Thursday, 03 January 2019 14:51

Spotlight Series: Audit Trail

The Audit Trail Module is available within both the EFACS E/8 and Eagle Field Service software. The Audit Trail module logs, tracks and investigates data that is changed within the EFACS system. The functionality within the Audit Trail module provides an easy to use method of recording information when it is changed. The module also records who changed the information, how the information was changed and why the information was changed.

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Tuesday, 07 August 2018 14:00

SMEs and ERP

When Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software was first developed, only larger companies were able to access this new, innovative software. At the time, ERP was expensive and was seen as a capital investment. Nowadays, ERP is much more widely available for smaller businesses. Below you will find some of the reasons why many SMEs are now choosing to invest in and implement ERP software.

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Friday, 17 November 2017 14:10

EFACS E/8 as a Cloud Hosted Solution

For many years, the EFACS E/8 product has been a platform independent, browser-based and web-enabled enterprise ERP solution. However until recently the software was in the main delivered via an on-premises server. Even so, from the point of view of both the software developers and the customer, web-based software has been the obvious choice for more than a decade for the following reasons:

Ease of Administration

Software is installed on the server only. No need for a client installation - users simply point their web browser at a URL which directs them to the server.

User Friendly

Everyone is familiar with a a browser interface. The software is clean looking, logical but most importantly conforms to what users intuitively expect from it - a logical flow of screens delivered in a familiar environment and format.

Software code base

As the software is written in the latest internet technologies, it is easier to support, extend and even for customers to customise. Integration with other systems follows internet standard such as XML, while screen customisations can be delivered using a derivative of JavaScript. 

Notwithstanding this, the EFACS cloud offering has initially been slow to take off as users have shied away from putting their mission critical data out of their sight and direct control. 2017 saw significant changes in this area however, and this will continue into the future.

Infrastructure

Along with elsewhere, Ireland's broadband infrastructure is rapidly expanding. Fibre is available now to most businesses. And the service is just about as reliable now as the electricity supply. This makes a hosted solution considerably more feasible.

Security of your data

Working in conjunction with our hosting partners you are assured your data is looked after better than you could hope for on your own server. The data is physically stored in highly secure data centres. Support is provided 24/7/365 with engineers constantly on call to resolve any and all issues as they arise. Enviornmental controls for temperature, humidity and protection against events such as storm, flood, fire etc. are standard. Data can even be backed up to multiple locations if required, to protect against major threats such as wars, natural disasters, etc.

Cost

As cloud and hosted solutions become more and more the norm, the cost of adopting a cloud infrastructure is reducing, making cloud a viable option.

Of course the fact that all versions of the EFACS E/8 product are web-based means that it is easily adaptable and can be moved efficiently from an on-premises to a hosted server - it can be done overnight. Right now, many of our current on-premises customers are evaluating running the system on a hosted platform, with a small number actually implementing. 2018 will be a big year to further boost cloud hosted solutions in the ERP market.

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Friday, 17 February 2017 12:41

EFACS ERP Version 8.6 Released

EFACS Version 8.6 is revolutionary.  Finally an ERP solution that you can simply move from your server to the cloud with no fuss, overnight, when it suits you.  Or move it back again.  The best bit is, end-users see no difference!

Published in Features

October saw the official launch of EFACS E/8 Version 8.6.  With a brand new user interface building on the deep, integrated and user-friendly functionality of prior EFACS releases, 8.6 sees a clean "Windows 10" style tile based menu system incorporating embedded dashboards and a streamlined menu structure.  It has proven massively popular in the market with prospective clients looking at it for the first time in general agreement that it is easy to follow, understand and use for new and inexperienced users. 

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Thursday, 07 April 2016 20:24

On-Premises ERP or Cloud ERP?

As the cloud has evolved over recent years as the primary delivery model for many business software solutions such as e-mail, CRM, even standalone accounting software, companies implementing ERP have tended to shy away and opt for the perceived safety of on-premises installations. Lately this has begun to change and over the next 18 to 24 months it is anticipated that the wide availability of faster and more reliable than ever internet access will see a seismic shift in corporate attitudes to the cloud. But which is better? How do you determine whether to opt for the cloud or the on-premises model, or indeed does the best approach lie somewhere between the two in a so called "hybrid" solution?

On-premises ERP solutions

The traditional approach to ERP has seen companies pay a considerable sum upfront for software licences.  Added to this is the often high cost of the infrastructure to support the system - including servers, network, client devices, backup facilities, routing and firewall, etc.  And that's even before you start into the implementation and any possible software modifications.  Many companies prefer the comfort of knowing where their data resides, the fact that they own the licences should the vendor cease to exist in its current form and the fact that they are not beholden to the utility company supporting their internet connection.  There is also the added concern that where someone else is looking after your data, security may be perceived as an issue.  These are the principal reasons the cloud model has not been adopted to date.

Cloud ERP solutions

Over the past couple of years, cloud solutions have begun to expand into the ERP space.  Up until two or three years ago, it was rare to see a company putting their entire backoffice business systems online.  However, as the cloud becomes the norm for many other aspects of day to day corporate life, more and more businesses are looking to the cloud for the platform on which to deliver their mission critical software infrastructure.  This is helped by ever-increasing globalisation.  A couple of years ago, the concept that a company operating in Ireland with manufacturing facilities in China and Australia could have all sites working off the same ERP instance at the same time in the same database was considered impossible.  Now with cloud and web-based solutions this is a relatively commonplace occurrence.

Hybrid ERP

For many, the ability to dip a toe into the world of Cloud ERP is enabled via the concept of a hybrid solution.  This can come in various forms, but typically it involves the out-right purchase of software licences that are installed on a cloud virtual server.  This server becomes part of the corporate network via a Virtual Private Network (VPN.)  In this way, the company has the option to move the system in its entirety to an on-premises solution, or indeed migrate to a full cloud solution in the future if so desired.

 

At Profitsflow we provide ERP solutions for Irish manufacturers, and Field Service Management software to teams of engineers.  The software is available as a traditional on-premises solution, a cloud solution or on a hybrid model.  To help prospective customers decide on which model suits their needs best, we have put together a white paper which evaluates the options in an impartial manner.  To get your free copy, register online: On-Premises vs. Cloud ERP Solutions

Published in blog
Friday, 18 March 2016 16:11

When is the best time to implement ERP?

This is a question that arises time and time again. If you find yourself asking the question, it is worth considering all of the variables. The answer will probably not be what you expect it to be. Why? Because implementing ERP will take quite an amount of time, usually at least a number of months. Therefore what may appear to be the right time will only likely be a point or a period of time during the process. Therefore it is important to firstly understand how long the project will take, then schedule key aspects or milestones during the implementation period to occur at the optimal time for the business.

Many people have an objective of implementing a new system during a quiet period of business activity. While as a strategy this appears to be sensible, it is important to remember that this quiet period may also be when cashflow is at its tightest. That may not be when you want to see lots of consultancy bills! Some factors to consider:

Seasonality
Most businesses follow seasonal patterns. There are peaks and troughs in trade and production requirements that are to some level predictable from one year to the next. It does not make sense, for example, to go live with a new system at the busiest time of the year. It might make sense however to select the system at this time.

Holidays
It is incredible how many system selection projects are put on hold "until after the holidays" - be it Summer, Christmas, Easter or whatever. The reality is, all you have to do at this point is review the options and make a decision. Whether that is done before, during or after the holiday period in question doesn't make a difference. Do it before the holidays and the elements you have no input in (e.g. prepping hardware, vendors processing orders, scheduling consultants) can happen during your downtime.

Planning
You have a project that will take many months to deliver. In co-ordination with the vendor, map out a plan that takes account of all of the considerations - individual's holidays, busy and quiet business periods, and cashflow cycles. Devise a dated implementation that sees you going live with the new system when it makes sense. And the all important payments schedule - when do you pay for consulting, licences, maintenance. Can this be phased over the duration of the implementation?

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