Ransomware: Protect Yourself

April 28th, 2017 by Phil McIntosh

The bad news: Ransomware has become big business. CryptoLocker, Locky, and other variants are netting criminals so much money that there are some who provide it “as a service” to non-techie criminals for a split of the ransom money collected.

The good news: You can protect yourself.

The most important thing is training: your employees need to know not to click on links or attachments they are not sure of the source of. To help with this, make sure that the “Hide extensions for known file types” is UNCHECKED on your computers. If this is turned on, users can see an attachments as file.txt and think “It’s a text file – that has to be OK” when the file really is file.txt.exe, and moments later every text, office and PDF file on that computer and any shares it is connected to are encrypted and being held for ransom.

Also train users to hover over links before clicking to see what the link really points to. The link text may say accounts.amazon.com but the URL behind it may really be we.gotcha.com!

Next up – regular offsite backups. A copy on a drive attached to a server that gets encrypted will also get encrypted! It also isn’t of any use if fire or water damage is what makes restoring from backup necessary.

For more details and the history of ransomware, see this ZDnet article.

xTuple releases new version 4.10.0 with new features

December 8th, 2016 by Lee Graham

xTuple has released version 4.10.0 with improved functionality and several new features and added technology.

Added support for the xTuple Dashboard extension.  The new xTuple Dashboards commercial extension adds Dashboards throughout the xTuple ERP+CRM desktop client that feature Key Performance Indicator (KPI) charts and visualizations. Using xTuple Dashboards, you can get an immediate overview of how your business is running.  Dashboards have been added to most of the Workbench windows you use on a daily basis such as the Customer Workbench, Vendor Workbench, Item Workbench, A/R Workbench and A/P Workbench. On each of these windows, when you open them and select a record, a Dashboard tab will load displaying KPI charts and visualizations for that record. If you are using the popular xTuple Desktop extension, xTuple Dashboards also adds a personal My Dashboard for each user of the system. Each user’s My Dashboard is private to the user and allows them to add KPI charts and visualizations important to their job.  See the xTuple Dashboard Video

Creating a Simple Sales Order Entry window.  Several companies have a very simple order entry process and only need to capture the basic required data points to take a Sales Order. The new xTuple Simple Sales Order Entry window is designed specifically for those companies. xTuple has duplicated the Sales Order window and stripped it down to just the basics.

VAT/GST Taxation Enhancements  Value Added Tax (VAT) is a common tax structure used in many countries throughout the world. Another common tax structure is Goods and Services Tax (GST). xTuple has had some support for VAT/GST Taxation in the past, but there have been some limitations in what could be done. Numerous changes have been made to various documents in xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0 to improve or automate the handling of taxation in VAT/GST tax zones. Changes include improvements to the handling of freight (and VAT on freight) on Vouchers, automatic calculation and application of tax on miscellaneous distributions, automatic application of taxation on both A/R and A/P memos and a summarised Tax Return form. For EU countries, Reverse Charge VAT has also been included.

Bringing Workflow Management into the Desktop Client  During the xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0 development cycle, xTuple has been working on adding a new feature to the Desktop Client that has only worked in the Mobile Web Client to date. That feature is a Workflow Management system and it is available in the commercial edition of xTuple ERP+CRM starting in version 4.10.0.

Adding most remaining FeatureMob2 Items.

Several technology updates also.

For an extended list with details of all these changes, see  xTuple 4.10.0 What’s in it for Me.

 

Sage 300 version 2017 features

November 21st, 2016 by Lee Graham

Sage 300 2017 includes new features and improvements.  Here are a few highlights.

New financial management and administration web screens, as well as improvements to many existing web screens.  New screens have organized fields and controls on frequently used transaction entry screens into collapsible sections, making it easy to hide the fields and controls you use less often.

New Notes feature lets you add and manage notes for customers, vendors, and inventory items.

One-click processing for credit card transactions via new buttons on Accounts Receivable and Order Entry screens.

Drill down to posting journals and posting errors from batch list screens Batch list screens in Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable have been updated to support drilldown to posting journals and posting error reports.

Sage Exchange Desktop 2.0 allows you to process payments using smart cards (credit cards that have a built-in chip).

Release 2017.1 –  available on December 1, 2016 will feature a new web-based reporting engine, Sage Intelligence Reporting Cloud, additional web screens for customers using Sage 300c, new User profile capabilities, and a further developed API for adding controls to web pages.

Sage 100 version 2017 new features

November 1st, 2016 by Lee Graham

Sage 100 version 2017 has just been released.   Here are some of the new features:

Enhanced Auto-Complete features

Larger Fonts for selected reports

ACH Payments enhancements.  You must have a Sage Payment Solutions account that is set up for ACH payments to use ACH features.

Ability to Accept ACH payments in Accounts Receivable

Ability to Accept ACH payments in Sales Order Orders and Invoices

Improved Export to Excel for GL Financial Reports.  Minimum font size is now 8.  Empty columns and rows are minimized.

Commodity codes are available for Inventory Items and Miscellaneous items.  Commodity codes can be set by Product line. A Commodity Code Import Wizard is available for importing commodity codes into the system.  Commodity codes are included with the data sent when processing Level 3 credit card transactions in the Sales Order module.

New version of Sage CRM comes with Sage 100 version 2017.  Sage CRM 7.3 SP3

  • A contemporary theme with new navigation – Sage CRM 7.3 Contemporary Theme Guide
  • New email marketing integration with MailChimp
  • An optimized mobile experience on a wider range of devices – Sage CRM 7.3 Mobile Feature Matrix, Sage CRM 7.3 Mobile Guide
  • New dashboards, charts and reports for improved business insight
  • New workflow enhancements and ready-to-use escalation rules for alerts and notifications
  • Deduplication capability added for leads
  • An enhanced text editor and new mail merge options

Sage 300 supported versions

October 17th, 2016 by Lee Graham

Sage 300 has maintained support for the current version and two previous versions.  Currently supported versions include:

  • Sage 300 2017
  • Sage 300 2016
  • Sage 300 2014

An Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) announcement for the new release of 2018 and the end of support for 2014 will announced once it is available.

Sage Intelligence Reporting for Sage 100 and Sage 300 can save you time

August 11th, 2016 by Lee Graham

Sage Intelligence Reporting is an easy-to-use yet powerful business reporting tool. Watch this demonstration of Sage Intelligence Reporting and discover how it can compliment your Sage accounting system.  Sage Intelligence Reporting comes with Sage 100 & Sage 300 systems and includes several standard reports.   A design tool can be purchased for you to create your own custom reports also.  For the video, see  Sage Intelligence Intro video.

An additional video shows Sage 100 (formerly Mas 90 and Mas 200) users how they can convert their Frx reports into Sage Intelligence reports.   See Converting Frx Reports to Sage Intelligence Reports in Sage 100

Alternative for Sage 100 and Sage 300 Credit Card Processing

August 4th, 2016 by Lee Graham

Century Business Solutions offers an alternative Credit Card Processing service for Sage 100 and Sage 300 users.   Unlike other credit-card services, Century’s EBizCharge can save unlimited transactions, offers next-day funding, Transaction Summary Report auto-emailed daily, partial payments capability,  Swipe and Store and Guaranteed Rates.   They also have excellent customer service to assist you.   You can view Century’s information at:   Century

Contact lee@friendlysystems.com if you would like more information and rate comparisons.

 

Sage 100c subscription-based plan will be the only option for new Sage 100 purchases after 2016

August 3rd, 2016 by Lee Graham

Sage 100c (subscription based) will be the only Sage 100 offering available for new customers and sales to customers who are off plan for greater than three months under Sage guidelines effective January 1, 2017The classic version of Sage 100 will still be available to current on-plan Sage 100 customers as a perpetual license. Current Sage 100 users who are current on their Sage Annual Maintenance plan can continue to purchase additional users and modules on the standard Sage 100 product.

While Sage left room for companies to purchase perpetual licenses between now and December 31, 2016, it is clear that Sage 100c subscription based product is Sage’s lead offering for future development. Sage 100c features a modernized user interface and bundled services such as Sage CRM, Sage Intelligence (financial reporting) and Sage Inventory Advisor Basics. Sage has publicly stated that they are moving to a subscription business.  Sage is taking this additional step so as to not disrupt their current customers’ businesses.  Sage100 customers will continue to receive compliance and bug-fix updates, but not new features such as the planned Job Cost and Work Order modules re-written using the business framework features.

Also, for a limited time, Sage 100 on-plan customers can upgrade to a Sage 100c subscription for no additional charge!   Note that 3rd party software add-ons need to be reviewed to be sure they are offered with Sage 100c before you upgrade.  For a limited time, if you currently are on Sage 100 Standard you can migrate platforms to Advanced or Premium (SQL) at NO COST (Possibly the best reason to migrate to 100c as some SQL migrations were pricing at $10-$20k just for the license – under this promo there is no added fee! )

Sage 100c is a subscription plan.  If you transition to Sage100c you no longer own the software, you are a subscriber.  Future subscription price increases are capped to a maximum of 10% a year.  Late payments of 45 days will be sent a reminder.  90-days past due the software will set to “Inquiry-only” mode (you cannot enter new transactions).  Subscription fees are paid directly to Sage.

Sage 100 users need approved versions to run with Windows 10

July 19th, 2016 by Lee Graham

Sage 100 ERP users need approved versions of the software to use it with workstations running the Windows 10 operating system.  The approved Sage 100 ERP versions are version 2016 (all Product Updates levels) and also version 2015 Product Update 4.   Be sure to contact us to upgrade your Sage 100 system before deploying Windows 10 workstations.

 

New xTuple Introduction video

July 12th, 2016 by Lee Graham

xTuple ERP has updated their introductory video.  xTuple helps companies of all sizes successfully implement powerful and easy-to-use open source Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to grow their business profitably.  Check out this short video.