Harmonize Your Business

Posts by BB

xTuple 4.4: What’s New for xTuple ERP?

By on Apr 17, 2014 in Blog, High Technology | 0 comments

13 days ago, xTuple, who tend to release their products to coincide with Marvel-related events, shipped out version 4.4 on the new Captain America flick’s opening day. We at Paladin Logic, the xTuple Gold Partner of Texas, are proud to elucidate its features for you, our fair customers and technology connoisseurs. Without further ado, let’s dive into xTuple 4.4! The Long and the Short We’ll begin this with “the short”: Many menus and screens on the desktop client have been renamed to bring it in line with xTuple’s mobile web client. Sales orders can now be opened from the line item tab of the Sale screen. More Time and Attendance features have been added to the Manufacturing Edition. Shipments between multiple sites can be processed in the Shipping subsystem. Finance charges can be assessed for overdue payments on invoices. An option that requires items to be reserved before shipping has been added. Perhaps the most apparent (and most significant) update is #1, where the desktop and mobile web clients have been unified in an effort to make switching between the platforms seamless and continuous. As users have a wide variety of choices to access their business’s database — four desktop platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, browsers), and three mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) — xTuple judged that users should not have to learn yet another interface while they are on the go. Hence, this unification will serve to stamp out any confusion that has arisen in the wake of the mobile web client’s introduction. What’s more, critical improvements to existing workflows abound. The ability to create sales orders from the line item tab, time and attendance features, and the renaming of the menus and screens themselves — these features all simplify processes and increase operational efficiency in even more areas. In addition, the mobile web client will eventually support them, making your overall workflows smooth and fluid and enabling you to work wherever you have an Internet connection. Before you implement any major improvements, however, check against this reference guide to ensure that your modules will be compatible. For those of you working straight out of Postbooks, we have a treat for you. With what we are about to release,...

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Optimizing your Processes: CRM and Big Data

By on Mar 27, 2014 in Blog, Harmonize Your Business | 0 comments

As social media grows ever deeper in the business and personal spheres, so does the need for the spheres to adjust to them. With a few exceptions (e.g. Turkey recently banning Twitter), they have become pervasive: even more so than the Motorola RAZR V3 flip phone in its heyday. Businesses in turn have picked up on the trend and are starting to realize its inherent power, giving them reach beyond their wildest estimations. Now, CRM is dependent not only on people, but also on the Big Data that they create for your business. What’s more, integrating Big Data with CRM will improve the processes within your CRM solution immensely by virtue of manifesting correlations, patterns, and trends among your customers. These three aspects will better inform you on the way you should build the customer experience, and thus maximize your profits. We will present five reasons from TIBCO Spotfire’s Business Intelligence Blog to integrate: “Better Customer Understanding. CRM analytics can integrate all customer data points including call center, the Internet, email and social media to group customers according to their behaviors. This allows a company to identify the most profitable customers who should receive special offers or get preferential treatment to boost their lifetime values.” “Better Understanding of the Customer-Facing Operations. Analytics will provide proof of how the company is performing in terms of service, sales and marketing. Most CRM projects are launched to drive down costs in these areas; without analytics to demonstrate the ROI of CRM, moving into new areas, like linking CRM with social media, will be hard to justify.” “Decision Support. After defining the value of customer-facing operations, changes can be made to drive operational investments. Companies can answer questions around building new call centers or outsourcing based on this analysis.” “Predictive Modeling. Predictive analytics will allow a company to forecast how customers are going to respond in the future based on their past behaviors and their segmented demographics. For example, a telecommunications company could find out how likely a customer is to turn to another carrier when his wireless contract expires.” “Benchmarking. CRM analytics will allow a company to track over time how well it’s performing related to a strategy or to competitors. Benchmarking analytics in areas...

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Will the Third Platform be Your Business’s Third Rail?

By on Mar 24, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

What is the Third Platform, exactly? No, it’s not the name of the platform for a train that will take you to the Promised Land of Success. It’s not the platform that sits under a hidden block containing a climbable vine that will grow skyward to Cloud 9, where coins abound. Rather, it’s actually the third step in an ongoing change in the way business is carried out with information technology tools. The exemplar of the first platform is the mainframe computer, which had its origins in the 1960s and continued to evolve to manage large-scale business operations.  Their powerful processing capabilities, and ability to run multiple operating systems simultaneously, mean that continue to be an important part of large business computing.  The second platform was the much smaller PC, which dominated the period between 1985 and 2005. Now, the third platform is mobile technology, the cloud, social networking, and Big Data that comprise the industrial revolution of information technology. It’s easy to see that more and more people are casually working on smaller and smaller devices, with smartphones doing many (if not all) of the same things a top-of-the-line PC could do in 2004 and more. People that would rather not deal with a monthly cellular service fee will most likely carry out their workflow routine on a tablet instead. The combined influence and popularity of these devices will threaten the profitability of the PC industry’s participants who make solely PCs; “Industry analysts also predict that 2015 will be the first year that more American consumers will access the Internet with mobile devices rather than PCs,” says Mark Neistat of the US Signal Company. Social networking is expanding in developing countries at blistering rates: as Neistat postulates, network access in the Middle East and Africa is projected to grow by about 23%, with the Asia-Pacific area coming in at 21.1% and Latin America at 12.6%. On the continent where it all started, however, social networking won’t gain nearly as much ground in a saturated “market” at 4.1%. Those networks that differentiate themselves from the Big Four (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+) and even from social location services like Foursquare and offer outstanding features — even for a certain...

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What is Sales Acceleration Technology?

By on Mar 20, 2014 in Blog, High Technology, Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s understandable that you would ask. After all, the terminology spawned in what has recently been an unexplored field. However, most of the technologies encompassed under this label aren’t quite as novel as you may think. It is a collection of technologies that have been developed to improve various aspects of the sales process. Ken Krogue, a proponent of sales acceleration technology, argues that it builds upon the foundation laid by sales-related CRM and marketing automation, and leverages other technologies to bring in more sales faster: “It’s gathering real-time sales intelligence from LinkedIn, InsideView and ZoomInfo. It’s having something relevant to talk about when you call a new prospect besides just the weather. It’s connecting with social media, lowering costs, raising visibility, and generating leverage.” Sales acceleration by its nature requires a complete overhaul of sales department operations. It incorporates technologies in various categories into an overarching strategy of increased sales, including remote sales presentation (e.g. Citrix’s GoToMeeting), sales email (e.g. Hubspot), social networking tools (e.g. LinkedIn), and gamification (such as Hoopla), among many other categories that Krogue specifies here. Any effort to increase efficiency and profitability with these technologies is contingent on your company actually utilizing them for those goals, says Krogue. “[Some companies] made 22 dials a day before they used our power dialer, and they make 22 dials after. It’s crazy. That isn’t sales acceleration. 170 calls a day is sales acceleration.” Like any major change in sales procedure, it also requires that sales employees possess minds with the energy and openness to learn. Based on the list I’ve linked above, how do you think you want to streamline your sales process? Are you using too much technology or not enough of it? In what area(s) could you improve? These questions will help to guide your decision toward taking on sales acceleration at full...

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5 Reasons to Look for a Cloud-based ERP Solution

By on Feb 27, 2014 in Blog, Harmonize Your Business, High Technology | 0 comments

Today’s ERP systems are evolving at a breakneck pace, leading traditional methods of bookkeeping to retire from service for good. Records for purchases, production, sales, and even the dreaded returns are no longer at home in bulky file cabinets. Your staff are frustrated that they can’t access your data on the road. Even the top-of-the-line ERP systems from the late 2000s have seen better days. Having observed some indications of a need to upgrade your ERP system (or to get one in the first place), it’s time to consider five reasons to level it up to the cloud. 1. Savings abound in an upgrade. When you’re unloading your data from any and all of your in-house servers, you’ll enjoy an immense lift in upfront costs, operating costs, and time spent waiting on upgrades and services. How? Your servers draw electricity constantly, your IT managers install updates and features on them and maintain them at a relatively high price, and you may buy even more of these servers to commission and maintain. You’ll save some sanity from the unthinkable loss of your data from failed servers. And, if you want to save your IT professionals, they can oversee the status of their cloud-based database, assist other staff on connectivity and usability issues with the system and other IT-related inquiries, and ensure that any local database backup you choose to keep is secured and up to date. 2. Cloud systems are scalable and robust. You can claim as much or as little space as your business requires, and it can grow with your business. Even though you’re buying into a subscription model for large-scale storage, other ERP system owners like you are buying into the same scheme, which means that hosting comes in at a collectively low price. Chances are that even the larger space will still be cheaper than what you could feed your own server for the same time period. A good cloud ERP provider will even back up your data regularly and frequently to prevent any massive loss of data in a disaster. 3. Your staff will be relieved…mentally and physically. Rather than your staff grow more and more frustrated over modules that try too hard to work...

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