January 25, 2011

Aether's Blog Relocates

Aether's blog has relocated to the newly redesigned company website. We'll keep older blog posts here for a while...but in the meantime, new posts can be found at www.aetherconsulting.com/blog. Or, go to our home page at www.aetherconsulting.com and select the "Blog" menu item on the left.

November 18, 2010

SAP Business One How To: Create links & attachments to marketing documents

by Ellen Maier, Implemention Consultant at Aether Consulting

To create a link/attachment to a sales quote, order, delivery, or other marketing document in SAP Business One, here's a handy how-to for you.

Go to Tools – Customization Tools – User Defined Field Management. Expand the Marketing Documents option and click on the word Title. Click the Add button at the bottom of the screen:

Fill in the field Title and Description.
Then select General as the Type. This will automatically set Link as the Structure.

Click Add. It will ask you if you really want to continue – click yes, and then it will show you who is currently on the system – click the Ignore button. If anyone is working in SAP, it will ask them to save their work, and then it will close their active window.
You will then have a link attached to any of the marketing documents. You can create multiple links to hold multiple links/attachments on a single SAP document.

Note: *Don’t move the documents into a different folder or you will lose the link. The good thing is this type of link isn’t embedded in the database, so it won’t make your database big. *To remove a link, put your cursor over the link and press Alt-Double Click to remove the link.

Web-based Dashboards for SAP Business One

by Jerry Eisinger, President of Aether Consulting

Business Dashboards provide an at-a-glance view of your company’s cash flow, sales to-date, top customers, on hand inventory or any other business metric you need to see on a daily basis. Aether Consulting offers SAP Business One users a couple options for dashboards, depending on what version you're running.

• On the new SAP Business One 8.8? Enable the built-in dashboard functionality via the all-new cockpit.

• On SAP Business One 2007 or 2005? Enable Web-browser based Dashboards.

Aether has pulled together some examples of browser based dashboards that have been created for other SAP Business One customers. These dashboards:
• Can be configured to show any data, in detail or graphically, that is available in SAP and add-ons
• Deliver data in real time
• Can be viewed by anyone with a web browser – you don’t need to be an SAP user
• You control who sees the data – set up inside your company’s firewalls

How much do they cost? Because these are completely customized for your business metrics, we need to quote specifically for your dashboard.
- Call Andrea (586) 939-8028 to discuss what you want on the dashboards so that we can get of idea of the configuration time required.
- We can also share more examples to give you ideas.
- Then we can provide you an estimate.

Get started with your customized dashboard today!

August 17, 2010

Enprise Software Development Roadmap

Firstly, many thanks to the team at Aether for the opportunity to share Enprise's forward development plans with you through this blog. Aether is a longstanding and valued partner of Enprise and together we've helped many businesses improve project visibility and overall profitability.

If you're not already familiar with Enprise, we develop add-on solutions, as they're commonly known, for SAP Business One. As we're best known for our award winning job and project costing add-on, I'll focus on that today.

Over the last 18 months Enprise Job Costing has undergone many fundamental advancements, with improvements not only to functionality, but also to usability and performance. Over the next 12 months, we'll continue to expand the product feature set, with a goal of proving that SAP Business One with Job Costing is hands down the best project costing solution for project and services based businesses. So, let me share with you what's just been released and what's coming up in the next year.

MULTI-LANGUAGE / MULTI-CURRENCY - Extending the multi-language capability of Enprise Job Costing, we've made it incredibly easy to add new language options. Add to this recently improved multi-currency functionality and project or services companies doing business in non-English speaking countries are now well catered for.

ROUTINE TASK AUTOMATION - Taking some of the load off core Job Costing, we've released a new server based 'Services Manager'. This new tool enables automation of routine tasks, such as the import of transactional data from our web based time and expense entry tools. We'll continue adding new tasks and functionality to the services manager as we see this playing an increasingly pivotal role in the Job Costing solution stack over time.

JOB ALLOCATION & DESPATCH - Coming up later this quarter, we have a web-based job allocation and despatch solution which will provide better two-way communication of job details to technicians in the field. The solution features a centrally based Gantt Chart style drag and drop capability for job scheduling and management and will support Windows Mobile, Blackberry and iPhone devices in the field.

CRYSTAL REPORTS / XCELSIUS - With SAP moving to Crystal reports in version 8.8 of Business One, we're following suit with support for both Crystal and Xcelsius making its way into Job Costing later this quarter. Crystal is an incredibly well supported reporting tool which has really become the industry standard, while Xcelsius adds an exciting new graphical display layer to the data you need to make critical and timely business decisions - think dashboard style window to critical information.

MICROSOFT PROJECT - Our much anticipated integration of Enprise Job Costing to Microsoft Project, for resource planning and allocation, is due out in September. This first phase release will enable export of data from Job Costing to MS Project, with a second phase due early next year that will enable the re-import of data from MS Project to Job Costing.

For businesses not interested in running MS Project, we have another option due out later this year, which will enable Gantt Chart drag and drop resource planning functionality directly within Job Costing.

WEB TIME & EXPENSE - Good news for users of our Web Timesheet and Field Service Pro tools for Job Costing and SAP Business One - we're scheduled to begin a project to completely overhaul these solutions later this year. The overhaul will include vast functional improvements, making expansive use of current technology advances. At the same time, we'll significantly improve the user interface, with the aim of making routine tasks faster and easier, while also improving use of available on-screen real estate. Individual user configuration will also be upgraded, enabling a simplified user interface where only limited functionality is required.

EXPENSE ENTRY TYPES - Currently within Job Costing users have the ability to enter timesheet information related to staff, while expenses are entered via Enprise's web based applications. In Q4 this year Job Costing will be enhanced to allow non-timesheet related transactions to be assigned to staff within the add-on.

PRODUCTION / STOCK CHECK INTEGRATION - In the current scenario, Job Costing will generate a recommendation to pick stock or raise a purchase order. During Q1 2011, we'll expand this functionality to provide recommendations for items that need to be produced through the SAP Business One production module, while also creating the necessary production orders automatically.

QUOTE VERSIONING - Also coming in Q1 2011 will be the ability to create quote versions. New functionality will enable users to track changes to a quote and revert back to a previous version as required.

MULTI-TIERED SUB-JOBS - A much requested inclusion, we'll begin a project to cater for multi-tiered sub-jobs early next year. As it represents a significant solution overhaul, a version of Job Costing that supports sub-jobs of sub-jobs of sub-jobs (you get the idea) is expected to be released around August 2011.

HIRE MANAGEMENT - A new add-on solution for Enprise, at the end of this year we'll be releasing a solution for businesses specializing in long term equipment hire. It will have strong ties into Job Costing and will provide an end-to-end solution for any business hiring out earthmoving equipment, scaffolding, audio/visual and stage lighting equipment, for example.

FROM A RELATIONSHIP PERSPECTIVE - So, there's a lot happening at a product level, but what about the tools open to end-user customers and Enprise's partners? Well, there's a lot planned for that space too!

We're in the early stages of planning a revamp of our partner support website, which will see greater communication between Enprise and its partners and between Enprise and its end-user customers. The new site will feature areas for actual users of Job Costing to gain access to tips, tricks, tools, whitepapers and other self-help material. It's expected that the site will also feature a user forum, or a community in which to ask (and answer) questions from other users of our solutions.

We've embraced social networking tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as a useful channel for disseminating regular information updates, such as new feature enhancements, new patch availability and bug fixes and are actively encouraging all our implementation partners and end-user customers to follow our various channels, to ensure they remain completely up-to-date with relevant news from Enprise. Follow us at:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/enprise
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/companies/enprise-software
LinkedIn: http://nz.linkedin.com/in/jasondlangley
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Enprise-Software/129716737045362

As part of these new activities, we'll also be introducing a customer focused newsletter, which will include a wrap-up of the micro-articles we've produced via the social networking channels, as well as tips, tricks and answers to commonly asked questions.

In short, there's a lot going on here at Enprise and we're very excited about the short to medium term future. Thanks again to the team at Aether for giving us the opportunity to share with you and thank you for taking the time to read.

July 21, 2010

You're Never Too Small for ERP

by Andrea Vermurlen, Marketing & Sales at Aether Consulting

Many companies have the same excuse for not using ERP: "We're too small." But they're mistaken. Even the worst-performing companies with ERP often do better than those without it, according to an Aberdeen Group Report. It shows striking results for companies using ERP - for example, cutting operating costs by an average 21 percent.

* Lowering admin costs by 19%
* Improving complete and on-time delivery by 17%
* Reducing inventory by 17%

Exclusive insights from Aberdeen report...register to download the report here: http://bit.ly/c5ycwl.

June 22, 2010

rediSend Document Delivery for SAP Business One

by Jerry Eisinger, President of Aether Consulting

rediSend is a full featured document delivery solution that integrates with SAP Business One. It is remarkably fast and easy to use. This is a fantastic tool for companies that want to automate document delivery in SAP Business One.
What can you do with the rediSend tool?

•Email, Fax, SMS, Print and archive documents in batch from SAP Business One
•Manage each document delivery setting by Business Partner -- and have multi-option available (ie. print and email an invoice to a customer)
•Secure documents through encryption and password protection
•Send attachments with your documents
•Append additional PDF’s to your SAP documents
•Integrate Outlook email to SAP Business One
•Schedule and send query reports

Contact Andrea at 586-939-8028 for a 30-day trial or installation copy of rediSend for SAP Business One.

How-To: Managing Purchases on a Company Credit Card and Issuing Payment to the Credit Card Company in SAP Business One

by Carolyn McNamara, AJ Brothers and Ellen Maier, Aether Consulting

Carolyn McNamara, from AJ Brothers in Livonia is running SAP Business One. She's devised a simple way to manage purchases made on a company credit card which enables her to write one check to the credit card company rather than multiple vendors. Carolyn was kind enough to share her method with our Great Lakes SAP Business One User Group in our June 2010 meeting. Here are the instructions from Carolyn’s demo…
First: Created payables accounts for each of the credit cards in the chart of accounts
Second: Carolyn holds all purchases done on a credit card until a credit card statement arrives. Then she goes into Open Goods Receipts PO’s and creates AP invoices to each of the vendors where they made a purchase on the credit card.

She goes into Outgoing Payments, Payment Means, and puts the payables GL in the Bank Transfer. This step is transferring the Invoice in step two from the trade payable account to the Credit Card payable account and satisfying the AP invoice with a bank transfer so that no check needs to be cut.Third: She creates a check for payment which credits cash and debits the credit card payables account. This is a service type check that is made out to the credit card company for the amount of all of the outgoing payments made above.

Note that she does this all at the same time so that none of these transactions make their way into the payment wizard.
Final: Viewing account balances on the credit card accounts:
We hope you found this helpful. Call Andrea at Aether Consulting, 586-939-8028 if you have questions or comments.