The Holy Grail in software is yours to have – finally.
There have been several leaps of technology in software since “packaged” software was first introduced to the market in the mid- to late 70’s. But certainly one of the most important has just recently been introduced with the new “AddonSoftware by Barista.”
The breakthrough is the ability for the software to “remember” the customizations that have been made to the programs for a specific customer and re-synchronize them back into the software automatically after an upgrade.
This ability gives customers the two KEY benefits they’ve always wanted and needed:
- Customize the software so it fits their specific needs
2. Be able to upgrade when a new update is released
…without having to re-implement their customizations!
To my knowledge, no other packaged software product has ever had this capability. This is breakthrough technology, and to my knowledge, it’s only available with AddonSoftware.
All other companies with packaged software either strongly discourage customizations or they prohibit them entirely, by not giving the customizing ability to either the customer or the reseller of the software – because they know that their customers won’t be able to upgrade, and they want their customers to a) pay the annual maintenance, and b) stay on the latest release in order to minimize support costs.
But, without the ability to customize, the customer ends up in one of two situations, both of which are unacceptable:
- Many, many applications and processes get written in Microsoft Excel or Access, and not integrated with the primary system,
- Or they customize anyway and have a system that cannot be upgraded, in which case everybody loses – the customer cannot keep up with technology (they’re “stuck”), and the software company cannot earn annual maintenance revenues.
For those who choose to heavily customize their installation, with a prohibitive cost to upgrade, as many of our clients have chosen, the customers get “stuck” with the version of the software they’ve implemented. I call this situation “stuck in time.” We have several customers who’ve been stuck in time for 15 or 20 years or more. They’ve wanted to upgrade, but it would simply cost too much.
With the new release of AddonSoftware, customizations are easier than ever – and it’s what customers truly need. They must have the ability to add their own “style” to their software - just to survive. It’s very important that their software match the way they conduct their business. And with AddonSoftware, it can.
And then, when a new release is announced, they can also upgrade, and all the customizations they’ve made (or that their reseller made for them) get synchronized into the new release automatically!
That’s the Holy Grail!!
For more information on this engineering breakthrough, give us a call.
Joe Lindbo, salesperson with Mt Hood Solutions, talks about how iPhone mobility from MASI helps him in his job. Watch the video.
Watch this 2 minute 25 second video blog for an interesting testimonial as to the speed and power of the UnForm Electronic Document Management System from MASI.
Rebecca says that UnForm saved her life. Watch the video to learn how...
Early in my career, I was given the opportunity to attend a weekend seminar conducted by the Pacific Institute in Seattle called "Achieving Your Potential" that focused on goal-setting. I was sent to the seminar by the company I worked for - my division chief believed the concepts of the seminar were influential in the success of the company. It was my first introduction to what I have come to believe is one of the most important concepts in human life - the concept that our lives and our successes are the result of our thinking. This concept is central not just to our individual success, but to the success of our businesses, too.
We've all heard the basic concept expressed in many different ways -
Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is" - Proverbs 23:7
The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale
The Strangest Secret, by Earl Nightingale
"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right," by Henry Ford
You Are What You Think, by Brian Tracy
And recently, The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne
The Pacific Institute seminar taught (among other things) that humans are "goal-seeking" in all of their actions. To accomplish something you must first visualize what you want to do. To first plan an action is not just a suggestion or a recommendation, but rather it is a requirement in order to do virtually anything, whether it's tying your shoes, finding your car in a parking lot, or buying a loaf of bread. You must have a clear picture in your mind before you can do it.
Planning is obviously a common business process. Each year most businesses create a plan for the coming year - a plan and a budget. Sometimes a Strategic Plan or a Long Term Plan is created. Business planning is based on the same human requirement - before we can accomplish something, we must first think about it. And the more clearly, thoroughly, and accurately we think about it, the sooner and more likely we will be to accomplish it. It's also true that the clearer and more detailed the plan, the more motivated we will be. It fires us up!
What has surprised me again and again is how important this concept is in everything we do and believe as human beings. It's key to every part of our lives. It is certainly one of the most important concepts in our lives - and yet, it is not taught in any public school program that I know of. Why not?
If kids studied this life-guiding concept in each grade of their schooling through high school, just think how much more successful they would be in their lives - regardless of their chosen profession or vocation. Just think how many more people would grow up happy and productive. And just think how much more productive our country might be if it were heavily populated with people with this education and the resulting motivation that would come from it.
As Sharon Ramey said in her article "Easy Riding: Put Your Attention on the Destination," when riding motorcycles you need to keep your eyes on the path you want to take and not on the obstacle in the road. If you focus on the obstacle - the piece of lumber, the pothole, or whatever, rather than on the safe path around the obstacle - you'll likely hit the obstacle. This law applies in every facet of our lives, not just motorcycle riding. If you focus on the problem, you'll be thinking about the problem - and that's what you'll likely get - more of the problem. If a business creates and focuses on a path toward smooth success, it's more likely to achieve smooth success.
When you see people who are obviously very unhappy with their lives and you can tell it's a lifelong problem for them, do you wonder why they are doing that to themselves? Have you known people who seem not to be driven by, or even excited by much of anything? If they only knew that a shift in their thinking could make a huge positive difference in their life experience. They need a new way of thinking - a new thought - to get them motivated and moving. I have found that the establishment of a goal - a well thought-out goal - one they can make a commitment to - can often be the spark of a new thinking process.
These concepts are not new. In fact, they are as old as written history.
Thousands of years ago, Buddha said, "All that we are is the result of what we have thought." And "He is able who thinks he is able."
Written about 2000 years ago, Matthew 13:12 says: "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him." This passage simply states this same concept. What it says is that when we think we have abundance, we attract more abundance to ourselves, and when we think in terms of lack and limitation, that is the experience we have, and with that kind of thinking, even what little we have we will lose.
It's all in our thinking - thinking that has the power to shape our lives, our businesses, and our experiences. Whether we think we can or we think we can't.
There are many reasons for electronically archiving a company's documents rather than printing them on paper, in some cases making additional copies, and then storing them all for seven years. And with today's technology, there are fewer and fewer reasons not to make the change to paperless archiving in your business. Here are three really good reasons many business owners want to begin today: (Download a PDF brochure that explains how the UnForm Document Management Solution works in greater detail.) You can set up electronic "file cabinets" for various types of documents, and each can be made accessible to only those individuals with permission to see the documents. In fact, each person won't even know there are other file cabinets in the library other than those that s/he has permission to see. So you can store sensitive documents alongside public documents and know that all of them are secure - much more secure than in traditional filing cabinets.
Reason 1: Increased Security
Reason 2: Cost Savings
This is a big category. There are cost savings of several types - in the printing of documents, in their delivery methods, storage, and retrieval of information from the documents. First, rather than continuing to buy multipart forms, each part of which can end up in your storage for seven years, just print the minimum needed. Sometimes that's zero! Just think of the paper you'll save! And if you're continuing to use multipart forms instead of copy paper and laser forms, it can add up to quite a sum of savings.
Then - consider the delivery of the documents. Mailing a document consists of paper, ink, envelopes, and postage, not to mention the time delay to deliver the document. Emailing a PDF copy of the document eliminates it all. And it can be an attractive printed document at the other end.
The difference in storage can represent the biggest cost savings. And not only the documents you print and mail, but all the documents you attach to the stored copy! (See Compliance below) Every business has box after box of stored records - and many businesses have rented storage units that seem to grow and grow over time. That monthly rental cost might not seem very significant until you multiply it by 12 months and then by 7 years!!
Finally, there is the significant efficiency savings of labor when trying to find information from a filing cabinet stuffed to the gills with old documents. It's not only a waste of time, it can also be a huge frustration for office workers. Information can be retrieved from archived documents with a "Search" capability from your employee's desk! Documents can be "tagged" with keywords to make data retrieval fast and easy.
Cost savings can pay for the document archiving system, and in many cases in a short time, depending on the company and the industry. If you want additional information, download the PDF brochure that explains how the UnForm Document Archiving Solution works in greater detail.
Reason 3: Compliance
Finally, many companies have compliance issues that require government-mandated forms to be stored along with the documents generated in house. Agricultural, food-related, transportation industries, and many other industries can be required to store all kinds of tests and certifications with every customer invoice! These documents can take up enormous storage space and be almost impossible to research once they're stored.
Well, not with document archiving. The outside documents can be scanned and in most cases automatically linked to the appropriate order, job, or invoice, and all stored electronically. Data retrieval is easy, paper storage is eliminated, documents can be emailed right from the archive, and you, your customer, and the regulators will all be happy.
You'll be surprised at how affordable it is, you'll be glad to know it requires no programming to your existing software, and you'll be amazed at the savings and the efficiency.
UnForm Document Management works with many software systems including Great Plains, MAS90, MAS200, Open Systems Accounting Software (OSAS), FACTS, AddonSoftware, Oracle, and more - essentially any system that outputs formatted text.
Easy Riding: Put Your Attention on the Destination - not on the Obstacle
By Sharon Ramey
Several years ago, my husband convinced me to take the Motorcycle Training Course with him. He's been riding motorcycles since he was 13 and is very skilled. But due to a few incidents like the one in Cancun involving a motor scooter and a hedge, I am what one would call "motorcycle-challenged."
In this course, however, great life teachings emerged, the most memorable being the advice to look where you want to go and not at the obstacle in the road. Although logical enough, the instructor spent a great deal of time on this concept. Apparently, when novice riders see an obstacle that they understandably want to avoid, such as a sharp drop-off between the road's edge and the shoulder, or a pothole, or a piece of lumber that just fell off a truck, the rider becomes almost mesmerized by this obstacle, thinking, "I must avoid this, I can't hit this, please don't let me collide..." and, you guessed it, there is a high incidence of catastrophe!
The instructor repeated time and time again "Take your eyes off the obstacle, and look where you want to go instead." I experienced the wisdom of this first hand as I took my motorcycle through an opening between two rubber cones. In my earnestness to avoid hitting one of the cones, I couldn't think about anything else. Yup, I hit the cone! (And fell down!) Instead of extending sympathy for my disgrace and pain, my instructor repeated "Focus on where you want to go and you will go there, naturally, avoiding the pitfall easily and automatically."
I'm convinced that motorcycle training is the same as "Life Training!" Ernest Holmes, who was a great life trainer, captured the concept in these words: "The quick and effectual way to eliminate anything you do not want is to disregard it and turn your attention and interest to what is directly opposite."
Sounds easy, yet how often do we get mesmerized by our fears, and consequently lose sight of our intentions? We see "potholes" threatening to destroy our chance for prosperity, or joy, or love. Yet, our focused attention on those potholes produces a "pothole experience." Ouch!
Today, take a Life Lesson from that life teacher-extraordinaire, the motorcycle instructor! If you see an obstacle on your path, acknowledge it, and consciously turn your attention away from it, seeing again where you intend to go. Often, with little or no extra effort, life gets easier as you go where you intend with ease.
Sharon Ramey is a staff minister at the Center for Spiritual Living in Seattle, Washington, with a focus on business and prosperity.
Today's the end of June, 2009. I have a scientific theory that as humans age, time actually speeds up. Of course, we've all heard the theory that time actually does not exist at all - it only appears to exist to help us through our human experiences. But my theory is that between (approximately) the ages of 0 and 10, a year actually takes about 1 1/2 to 2 years to pass. Then between 11 and about 25, a year is basically a year's time.
From about 25 to about 40, a year passes every 10 months or so. From 41 to about 55, it speeds up to about 6 months. After 55, a year passes every 3 months! Christmas comes every three months! Almost as soon as we take down the tree and put away the ornaments, it's time to get them out again!
So it's the end of June, 2009. It's been 1 1/2 months since the beginning of 2009, and it's about 1 1/2 months 'till Christmas.
Have a great Summer!
What can Dizzy Dean, the legendary 1930's St. Louis Cardinals baseball pitcher, teach us about document management in the 21st century?
"The doctors x-rayed my head and found nothing," Dizzy once said. Does your organization rely on spotty individual memories (such as that of Dizzy) and scattered PC data files rather than having an easily accessible database of information available to all employees? Wouldn't the members of your team be more productive if they could all rely on a centralized database rather than on memory and hard to locate documents jammed into filing cabinets?
"I never keep a scorecard or the batting averages," Dizzy once said. "What I got to know, I keep in my head." This may have worked well for an extremely talented Hall of Fame pitcher living in a simpler world, but wouldn't your team members be happier and more productive with an archiving and document management system where most of the information they need is readily available from a PC, web browser or smart phone?
And shouldn't everyone on your team have access to the information required to provide outstanding service for customers, prospects and vendors. Even Dizzy, a member of the famous 1934 Cardinal "Gashouse Gang" team, encountered a few questions he couldn't answer. "It puzzles me how they know what corners are good for filling stations," Dizzy once said. "Just how did they know gas and oil was under there?"
With a powerful document archiving and management system your team members may be able to avoid some the puzzlement Dizzy experienced in his life.
One definition of the word Posh is that it referred to the practice by British steamship companies of placing their wealthy customers to India on "Port Outward, Starboard Home" berths on the ship. This allowed the passenger to always be on the shady side of the ship in a pre-air-conditioning era. I'm not sure if this resulted in the best views but certainly would have been the most comfortable rooms. The word is now generally accepted to refer to something that is reserved for the very rich.
Often during implementations I get the impression, either by questions that are asked or through feeling I receive from principals that they would like a "Posh" view of their business. Often this means different things to different people, but in general it means that they want a simple overview of the status of their business. It often feels as if this is expected in any modern software package. When their expected view is not present you can almost hear the POP of the air leaving their bubble. When the view exists the excitement almost causes them to glow!
What do you expect in your system that would make you feel you had the "Posh" view of your world? Is it a simple financial status, a number of orders shipped in a day, statistics like number of day's sales outstanding or possibly that EBITDA number? Let me know what would make you feel rich!
<a href="http://technorati.com/claim/ny6a9ek9bu" rel="me">Technorati Profile</a>
Does Yogi Berra, the quotable former New York Yankee baseball catcher, have any words of wisdom for information technology professionals working in a today's dismal economy?
"Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel," said Yogi. New hardware and software definitely aren't in most budgets today, so maybe we should start thinking like Yogi and work on getting more out of our old "luggage." Wouldn't this be an excellent time to work on integration projects with existing email, word processing, spreadsheet, database and ERP software rather than evaluating new technology that is not in the budget?
"I knew exactly where it was, I just couldn't find it," said Yogi. Doesn't this sound like a few network environments you know of where there is a massive amount of valuable data hidden from users in numerous data files and applications? Why not leverage the software and data your organization already owns with integration projects that put information in the hands of those who need it.
It doesn't matter whether you call it a mashup, portal or just a hybrid integration project. What's important is to get the most productivity and cost savings possible by using existing software and hardware when there is not money in the budget for "new luggage."
And there is no better time than now to move forward with existing technology to improve productivity in your organization. As Yogi was fond of saying, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."