WebSan Continues Growth

WebSan has continued its growth by expanding its office facilities.  We have recently taken over additional office space, doubling our office size.  We are also expanding our workforce.  If you have the proper blend of technical capabilities & a knack for business, applying to one of our openings at the link below:

http://www.websan.com/about/careers/

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Built In Informational Messages on Login

One of the lesser known setup features of Microsoft Dynamics GP2010 is the ability to have the system pop-up a predefined message box on login advising to the status of an environment.

If anyone has used the fabrikam company, you know what I'm referring to, the modal dialog box that appears advising that this is a demonstration company, etc etc.

There are actually two other message boxes that you can trigger for your own company.

If you navigate to your company setup screen  (Tools--> Setup --> Company --> Company)

You can add two different reserved tags to the end of the Company Name.

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Getting Started With Codeigniter PHP Framework

PHP is one of the most versatile programming languages for building web applications.   However, one of the problems with PHP is that there is more than one way to do the same thing.  This might not sound like a problem, but PHP's ease of use is also its downfall.  Because there are less restrictions on the structure of the code you write, it's much easier to write bad code. The solution to this problem is to use a framework and design pattern such as Model, View, and Controller (MVC).

There are many PHP frameworks out there.  Here, at WebSan, one of the PHP frameworks we use regularly is Codeigniter.  The reason is that it is well documented, small footprint, exceptional performance and has a large user community.

Here are some resources to get started with Codeigniter:

Tutorials:
CodeIgniter From Scratch: Day 1, Nettuts.com - Getting Started With the Framework
CodeIgniter From Scratch: Day 2, Nettuts.com - Database Selecting Methods
CodeIgniter From Scratch: Day 3, Nettuts.com - Sending Emails
CodeIgniter From Scratch: Day 4, Nettuts.com - Newsletter Signup

IBM developerWorks - Getting started with CodeIgniter

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WebSan Solutions Inc. raises $1,260 in Ride for Heart!

Congratulations Team WebSan! The final tally of the fundraiser is in at a respectable total of $1,260 in the Becel Heart and Stroke Ride for Heart. It has been a proud moment for all the employees here at the office. Dressed in bright orange shirts, the team could be visibly seen from miles away - way to represent! (Pictures soon to follow)

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Dynamics GP in Canada - Buy 1, get 3!

For a limited time, take advantage of the rich functionality of one of the top Enterprise Accounting systems on the market today!

From now until June 24, 2011, buy 1 Dynamics GP user (either AM or BE) and get 3!

“Microsoft is excited to announce the “Buy 1, Get 3” offer – a Microsoft Dynamics promotion for small and medium sized businesses that wish to take advantage of the rich functionality offered by Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2. The promotion allows a customer purchasing either the Advanced Management (AM) or Business Essential (BE) Foundation Pack (which both includes 1 user as standard) to then get two (2) additional user licenses. This offer applies to new customers making their initial purchase of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010″

By : Andrew King, Managing Partner, WebSan Solutions Inc.

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Join the WebSan Team! Here we grow again...

Interested in a career with a dynamic, growing Firm? Check out our open postings: here

We are currently advertising for a PHP developer, but we're interested in meeting talented people willing to join our team.

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Growth and Adoption Rates of ERP Systems in Recessions

The foundations of ERP are found in manufacturing resource planning, traditionally used by companies which produced tangible goods in factories. The adoption of ERP and MRP systems was initially quite slow – management were content with the status quo and saw no reason to change what seemed to be working. However, the recession experienced in the late 1980s and early 1990s forced many companies to make a choice: Either find new ways of operating more efficiently and effectively, or go under. This created a massive boom in the ERP market, which lead to massive changes in the ways in which fundamental business operations were conducted, and those organizations that made it through the recession came out stronger.

North America is no longer the goods-producing collection of nations it once was and is instead dominated by service industries. However, many of the same problems that existed in manufacturing organizations twenty years ago still exist in these businesses: Lack of integration, inability to respond and take advantage of environmental change, time and money wasted on data entry and redundancies, and so on. Much like the recession twenty years ago, the economic downturn caused by the subprime mortgage crisis has forced many modern companies to find new ways of performing more effectively and efficiently.

This is the time to get ahead of the competition, and Microsoft Dynamics GP is the perfect solution for organizations looking for more than simple accounting and reporting features without high maintenance costs and complexity.

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Come see our blog at techrepublic.com!

Recently, one of our Directors, Andrew King, has been featured at www.techrepublic.com, a website for IT professionals.

See his latest blogs here :

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How to look for a new Enterprise or Accounting System?

I see a lot of Clients attempting various methodologies to research and find new software.

One of the great resources that I've recommended is : FindAccountingSoftware.com

This is a website whereby you can find objective, 3rd party information on many systems offered (there are many, believe me!). We've had numerous Clients find us through that website and they're quite happy with their selection of MS Dynamics GP and WebSan Solutions Inc.

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Get Ready for GP 2010

GP 2010 is coming soon!  Over the next while we will be previewing some of the new features.

Also, join us during our upcoming webinar featuring the top 10 new features.

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Wireless Data Transfer

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How Assistive Technology Products can Improve Productivity in the Workplace

Whether its aiding an aging workforce or assisting a disabled employee, there are a wide variety of cost effective products in the market today that can help employees become more efficient in the workplace.  Many of these technologies will also allow employers to take advantage of resource pools they once were unable to profit from.

Our analysis of assistive technologies focuses on two of the leading impairments faced by workers today, visual difficulties & dexterity impairments.  Those with either of these impairments can take advantage of many technologies discussed.  For example, Speech Recognition Software is a great tool for those living with either difficulty.  Furthermore, many of these technologies can be used to aid those with learning difficulties or simply assist those not living with any impairment.

Aides for Visual Impairments

Among adult computer users in the United States, more than 1 in 4 (27%) have a vision difficulty.  This large percentage of the population can take advantage numerous technologies to aid in everyday tasks.

 

  • ·Screen Enlargers – Working like a magnifying glass, these enlarge a portion of the screen as the user moves their focus. Many allow the user to further zoom in & out on a specific area of the screen as well.
  • ·Screen Readers – These programs used to verbalize, or "speak," everything on the screen including names & descriptions of control buttons, menus, text, and punctuation.
  • ·Braille Displays - Provide a tactile output of Braille letters such that users can read with their fingers.
  • ·Speech Recognition Systems - Allow users to enter data & give commands using their voice rather than a mouse or keyboard.

Aides for Dexterity Impairments

Among adult computer users in the United States, 1 in 4 (26%) have a dexterity impairment.  Technologies used to assist this portion of the population can also aid those with other disabilities, such as the Speech Recognition software mentioned above.

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Why you need a WMS Volume 2:Your customers will love you!

In the first volume of this series, we discussed one of the key advantages a well-designed warehouse management system (WMS) delivers – visibility of inventory. For volume two we will touch upon the direct correlations between an effective WMS and increased customer service.

By implementing the appropriate WMS solution to fit your warehousing needs, you are telling your customers through your actions that, “Hey, we really do care that you get your product on time and in an accurate fashion”. It’s one thing to promise your customers that you can do something for them and another to keep that promise.

The simple concept of customer service is very often confused and misplaced in a world full of fancy gadgets and new-age business theories. At the end of the day, just make them happy; it’s really all they ask for.

A WMS increases customer service directly through:

  • Improved warehouse organization
    • Efficient usage of warehouse space means lower storage and overhead costs. This translates into a competitive advantage you can leverage to provide more attractive pricing to customers
  • A return system that actually works
    • An ineffective return merchandise authorization (RMA) program is as frustrating to customers as misleading promotional deals. A returns processing applet is typically integrated in a well-designed WMS
  • Better inventory accuracy
    • If a customer needs to order a product and your website says that it’s available then you should be making sure this is true. A WMS increases inventory visibility, which reduces the number of stock-out confusions
    • By forecasting inventory trends, buyers can determine when a demand spike for certain products will arise and make appropriate purchases to support it
  • Faster order cycle times
    • A WMS is not only software – it is a complete integrated system that works with your ERP system. RF devices can be incorporated to increase order-fill rates. Shipping stations can be established with shipping partners for automation and shipment management

Vernon Johnson is a warehouse management specialist at WebSan Solutions Inc. He can be reached at 416-499-1235.

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Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) vs. SAP, Oracle and Peoplesoft

In an independent analysis, Nucleus Research studied various customers who had implemented either:

  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Oracle E-Business Suite
  • Peoplesoft
  • SAP

They found that :

"Microsoft Dynamics GP has a lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and delivers a positive ROI by limiting costs while delivering significant returns. Microsoft Dynamics GP takes less time to deploy and fewer resources to support than other solutions."

For more information, see the following presentation for more details:

http://websan.com/downloads/GPCompetitiveROIPositioning.pdf

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Getting Started with a Virtualized Testbed

An often-used buzzword over the last few years in the IT sector has been virtualization - the process of turning one server that hosts a single operating system into a super-system that can potentially host 10 or more operating systems. By now most large corporations and agencies have some sort of virtualized infrastructure in place, and for good reason. The benefits to using this technology are numerous: hardware and operation costs are drastically reduced, virtualization provides enhanced flexibility with the allocation of resources, and production environment’s mission critical applications have been noticing improvements of up time. But how can a virtualized server improve your organizations testing and development cycles?

One of the major benefits of a virtualized test server is the ability to swiftly bring new resources online and create new development environments. Cloning a standard template that has been authored with the fundamental tools required by the development team can create these new environments. Procuring, configuring and installing hardware used to take weeks - but all of the sudden your development team’s new environment is up and running in less than the amount of time it takes to get a cup of coffee.

Another true benefit to a virtualized test server is that there is less risk of cross-contamination between environments. There is no longer an issue when development team A modifies core system files that could possibly interrupt development team B from using that code library. Why? Because both teams have completely separate environments using completely different virtual hard drives connected to completely different virtual networks.

So what about the cost? The common perception is that you need a really powerful and expensive server - but this is not the case. Taking into account the timesavings you will experience, you will also find that there is there is not much investment needed to get a virtualized test server online, especially now that VMWare’s ESXi Hypervisor is available as a free download. Perhaps that server sitting in the basement can be used to get your foot in the virtualization doorstep.

Mike Jantz is a Senior Technical Consultant with WebSan Solutions Inc., a professional services consulting firm specializing in helping companies get the most out of their ERP systems and Supply Chains. You can contact Mike at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 416-499-1235 ext. 210.

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Mobilize Your ERP Part Two

Everyone is connected!  And companies can now gain access to their ERP system through mobile devices securely.  Our previous discussion focused on the benefits found by sales personnel who can remotely access ERP & CRM data.  In part two of our discussion, we will focus on industry specific benefits that can be gained.

While we all know that mobile devices have allowed employees to become much more efficient.  However, many companies still require employees to be sitting at a work centre to access & input data.  By mobilizing your ERP system, one can differentiate themselves from competitors & reduce costs.

Mail carriers have been recording your signature upon receipt for years, but what other uses can be found by mobilizing your ERP?

Consultants or engineers can assign their time to projects or input travel expenses all while waiting to catch a flight.  Busy logistics professionals can supervise deliveries & shipments without being close to the warehouse.  Maintenance staff in the utilities sector can be remotely tracked & that data directly visible in system reporting.  Those working with chemicals would have instant access to quality & safety processes.

WebSan has found that companies that effectively implement mobilized solutions realized significant cost savings. Contact WebSan today to arrange an evaluation of your industry specific needs.

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Why do so many technology projects fail? - Part I

The truth about large-scale technology projects is that the majority of them actually fail. In fact, studies show that 65% of them fail!

If IT projects were airplanes, no one would ever get on one! So why do so many companies venture down that road and why do so many fail?

Here's the answer to the first part of that question : because, to remain competitive in today's market, you have to leverage the benefits of technology. Performing every function of the company manually, or with Excel, is just too time-consuming and costly to be competitive.

The problem is that as companies grow, employees literally invent processes in order to accomplish tasks. These processes are mainly work-arounds to "get around" inefficiencies in the current ERP system or other people in the company. The fundamental issue occurs when a new ERP system is installed and merely automates inefficient, manual, processes.

So how do we ensure that projects are successful?

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