The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Hayes Carll's honky-tonky rock album "Trouble In Mind," with a nifty laid-back version of The Ramones' punk version of Tom Waits' classic "I Don't Wanna Grow Up." If this guy had moved to Austin instead of coming up through the Little Rock scene, he'd probably be bigger today:
has announced the availability of Sage BusinessWorks 50 Accounting 2009, the latest version of one of the company's management products for small to medium-sized businesses.
Sage BusinessWorks 2009 includes "time-saving features and enhancements," according to company officials who describe it as "even simpler and easier to use than ever." The 2009 edition offers customer-specific pricing, detailed open credits and deposit tracking, unlimited line items on transactions, and increased sales account entry capacity, in addition to check printing efficiencies, and what are described by company officials as "other time-saving and technical enhancements."
Stan Stankowski of Apex Software Group, a Sage BusinessWorks business partner located in Orlando, pronounces himself "impressed with the new open credits and deposits functionality, and the new customer-specific pricing feature," which allows users to assign different part prices for individual customers.
The product also has features such as customer-specific pricing, designed to help eliminate data-entry errors. It makes configuring customer-specific pricing easier by allowing users to import customer part prices and providing tools to copy part prices to other customers.
Detailed open credits and deposit tracking are intended to allow users to reconcile open credit and deposit balances for customers, and the product allows tracking each open credit and deposit as an individual transaction. Additionally, new detail reports display all new transactions that affect the open credit or deposit balance. These reports include drill-down capabilities, making researching details about transactions easier, and helping to reconcile balances more quickly.
Sage BusinessWorks 2009 can also print regular payroll checks on payroll check stock and Direct Deposit Pay Stubs on plain paper, and users can print a check register containing a company's entire payroll run in one procedure.
Current customers with an active ClientCare Support agreement receive a Sage BusinessWorks 2009 upgrade for no additional fee, company officials say, explaining that for new customers, single systems that include General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Cash Management modules, plus a one year support contract (includes upgrades, maintenance updates, and 10 technical support cases) start at a suggested list price of $1,694.
Steven Hartley, a senior analyst at Ovum, had an interesting angle on the Federal Communication Commission's finally allowing the White Space spectrum between TV broadcast channels in the 700MHz range to be used unlicensed by wireless devices.
"Despite celebrations from the proposal's supporters, this does not signal impending doom for US mobile network operators. There is still a very long way to go," he opines, adding "Google is the clear winner, but this is only a 'careful first step.'"
The clear winners in this vote, as Hartley sees it, are the Internet players, such as Google and Microsoft, "which can now start developing 'Wi-Fi on steroids', as it was described by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin." Because of the frequency the hope, according to Google's co-founder Larry Page, "is for 'better coverage at lower cost'. This is particularly important in rural areas, which have become an important public policy issue," Hartley says.
Google "ins twice with this decision," he thinks: "As well as saving cash in this year's spectrum auctions, it has now been handed the spectrum for free. Other notable beneficiaries include hardware vendors, such as Intel and Motorola, who are keen to manufacture equipment."
It must be noted that the FCC was careful to highlight that this was a careful first step rather than the end result, though. Hartley sees a few outstanding issues remain that could limit its impact - interference concerns resulting in stringent device controls, for one, as the risk of interference from White Space services has meant broadcasters and wireless microphone users have been vehemently opposed.
The federal agency has responded by imposing more rigorous restrictions on the devices operating in this spectrum. "This will no doubt lead to higher equipment costs, eroding the commercial potential," Hartley warns, adding that "there is also the question of whether the larger device vendors will commit to produce devices if they feel that it jeopardizes their existing relationships with operators."
The FCC's decision "also lacked key elements that will, at a minimum, affect the timing of service deployments," Hartley notes, explaining that the most important is that "no technology standards have been defined, suggesting a standards battle that will limit economies of scale. This also means that the potential bandwidth and services that could be deployed remain undefined."
Google's involvement "strongly suggests" to Hartley that it will take an advertising-led approach - if it can get enough advertising revenue from the White Spaces: "If rural communities are the only segment - then no. Urban users will be key, but if the interference restrictions prove too limiting then Google could find its plans undermined."
has announced the launch of its next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) product Epicor 9 in the Middle East. Expected to be generally available before the end of the year, Epicor 9 will virtually put "ERP everywhere," using Web 2.0 concepts to provide users with " truly collaborative and dynamic enterprise business application experience," company officials say.
Basil Daniells, the company's regional director of the Middle East, North Africa and India, said the strategy is to "provide both new and existing customers with flexibility and choice. It's about delivering business without barriers. With the launch of Epicor 9 we are looking at significantly enhancing our market leadership in the mid-market segment."
John Hiraoka, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Epicor, said the product gives users "more ways to interact with information residing in their ERP system - through the 2007 Microsoft Office system and more."
The product features embedded capabilities that manage the flow of processes right across the enterprise, company officials say, adding that integral support for master data management and what Epicor officials call "Global Business Management" lets businesses virtualize their enterprise across plants, warehouses, sites, trading partners, companies, countries, and hardware, keeping everything synchronized in real time.
The enterprise business product has been designed for growing companies in domestic and global markets, and is built on a second-generation service-oriented architecture which Epicor announced earlier this year, Epicor Internet Component Environment 2.0. Epicor True SOA is different in that "all client code, as well as application business logic is delivered as self-describing business services," which lets Epicor applications to run as smart clients or Web clients or on mobile devices, all from the same source code.