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It's About Time! The Journyx Blog

March 12, 2012

As you already know, Journyx will be at the Microsoft Convergence show next week in Houston to showcase Journyx Timesheet’s integration with Microsoft Dynamics. Here at Journyx, we are definitely experts in the field of Microsoft Dynamics, as evidenced by our published article in today's issue of MSDynamicsWorld.com.

The article, by Journyx CEO Curt Finch, is titled, "Evaluating Cloud Solution Options for Microsoft Dynamics". Below is just a taste of what you'll learn in the article but head over to the MSDynamicsWorld web site to read the full article. (It requires a quick and easy - and free! - registration.)

Evaluating Cloud Solution Options for Microsoft Dynamics

The advent of Microsoft partners offering cloud software solutions represents the beginning of a transition away from traditional self-maintained offerings. That being said, businesses are still seeking information about the cloud options available to them. Microsoft now offers multiple deployment solutions for their software, and many find that popular business software such as Dynamics ERP experiences increased functionality via the low maintenance and minimal up-front costs that a cloud system can provide.

For some companies, this transition might be viewed with suspicion and concern for security. There are reasons to be cautious. However, while cloud solutions have different issues than traditional IT systems, that does not mean they have more extensive issues. In order to understand the benefits and setbacks of cloud systems, you must first understand the types of cloud solutions available.

What Do the Different Solutions Look Like?

Basically, there are three types of cloud solutions available to Microsoft Dynamics users. From partner-hosted solutions, to on-site installation and management, to "pure" cloud solutions hosted by Microsoft or other major cloud platform vendors, the options can appear complicated at first glance. However, all of these deployment options will fall into one of three general cloud categories: private clouds, public clouds, and hybrid clouds. Depending on your exposure to current trends in IT, you might already be familiar with one or more of these. For the sake of clarity, let's take a look at each one in depth.

Click here to read the rest of the article...

March 12, 2012

 

When Thomas Hobbes wrote The Leviathan, his philosophical political treatise, he put forth that a government should be heavily centralized and have near absolute power in order to essentially save people from themselves. Thankfully, western society affords us much more freedom than this theory would allow, and somehow we survive without bludgeoning each other over the heads with dull stones. That being said, much like the government in Hobbes’ philosophy, the United States government does have some “sovereign” powers that ordinary consumers do not have. When working on a government contract, it is important to realize this, as well as how those privileges can affect you.

One of the most important of these additional rights is the ability to unilaterally alter a contract, so long as it remains within the parameters of the contract. In practical terms, that means that the government contractor might be required to ship or package the product in a certain way, or even to supply more product. Of course, this does not mean that the contractor is without rights. Equitable cost adjustments may be instituted to scale compensation. In any case, the contractor must comply with these new contract components. 

Perhaps the most concerning possibility for a government contractor is the fact that, should the government decide that the need for the contracted product or service no longer exists, the government might cancel the contract. The contractor will be compensated for the project in this case, but it can be unexpected. When dealing with the government, it pays to be prepared.

So what does this mean, and what should the aspiring contractor do? First, it is absolutely essential to keep your house in working order, and to be sure that you have the necessary resources to take on a project. Second, it always pays to have a pivot strategy in place. The possibility for alteration or cancellation of a project is remote, yet if you can prepare for multiple possibilities it can save you from financial distress and in some cases can improve your relationship. Raising a big stink over shipping specifications, for example, will only make you seem uncooperative. It’s far better to maintain some level of flexibility in your operations so that no situation is ever too far outside of your control. The best way to do this is to consistently track resources and time to projects, that way you know exactly how much additional funding, time, or materials can be diverted while still remaining profitable.

March 8, 2012

As you probably have heard, Journyx is exhibiting at Microsoft Convergence 2012.  The conference attracts about 9,000 attendees every year, so it’s a great time to network and make valuable business connections, as seen here in this video by Microsoft:

We’re extending an open invitation to meet up with Journyx in Houston during March 18-21.  You can stop by booth #2053 to meet the Journyx team.  You can also schedule one-on-one meetings with a Journyx team member.  Our sales team, marketing team, and upper management are all available to meet with you personally.  If you’re interested in setting up a personal meeting, you can contact me directly at claire@journyx.com and I’ll make sure your meeting is set up.  We look forward to meeting you!

March 8, 2012

Will you be attending SXSW in Austin over the next few weeks? If so, you’ll definitely want to do the whole SXSW networking thing! But maybe you’re having doubts because you’re feeling shy? Don’t be! Most likely, everyone else is just as weary of getting out there as you are and like you, they all just want to make the most of it. There are three stages of networking: pregame, during, and after-party. Keep in mind that these are figurative, not literal, phases of networking that you need to be aware of before stepping out to your next event.

The Pregame – Time to get warmed up. I find that it helps me to call a good friend on the phone while I’m on my way to a mixer. If you’re left to your own thoughts while driving to the event, you might start thinking of all the possible encounters in your head and get nervous. But if you have a good conversation with someone like your Mom who thinks the world of you, you will get that feeling that you are “on a roll”. A positive conversation will get your confidence flowing before you make your appearance.

During the Event – If you think or talk about how uneasy you feel especially while at the event, it’s going to flow into your actual behavior. You’ll walk into the room with these things I like to call “negative tapes” in your head:

“Everyone’s smarter than me”

“I am horrible at conversation”

“People think I don’t belong here”

These are terrible things to say to yourself and are detrimental not just to how you feel at the event but for your self esteem, in general! Instead, think to yourself, “His badge says National Instruments – my dad used to work there” or “She’s got cool boots, I wonder if she’s from Austin?” or “I wonder if anyone else had trouble finding this place?” Get curious about OTHERS and notice interesting things about THEM. It’s a wonderful way to take the focus off yourself and start conversations with people you don’t know. These “positive tapes” are really as painless as ice breakers get.

Dave Michaels, Director of Business Development, whom I met from a Tech Ranch Incubator Mixer

The After Party – Now that the event is over, you need to reach out to the people you’ve met, reminding them of the conversation you had or ideas you shared. Networking is a waste of time if you don’t follow up and do this important step. To maintain relationships with people you met, invite them to other events that spark your interest since you both are at least somewhat like-minded with events. Doing so makes it much easier to maintain a natural momentum and keep in touch with people you meet instead of it being a chore. Friendly, social, smart, encouraging people who have a passion for learning will wear off on you. I promise! You can see passion in others…which brings me to my final point. I know I said there are three stages, but this one’s a bonus and probably the most important!

I know it’s cheesy but be yourself and show some passion – in all the stages of networking! Have the right mentality going in, show enthusiasm at the event and follow through to the very end. You won’t get the best experience out of it if you’re doing it halfway.

Now, off you go! Go explore SXSW and all it has to offer! From my own experience, you will meet incredible people and have an amazing time doing it.

P.S. We at Journyx are going to a few SXSW Interactive events ourselves, so stay tuned or follow us on Twitter to keep up!

March 6, 2012

Hi, Journyx blog followers, I’m Christa. You might know me from the Pearl Harbor Day post. Everyone here in the office knows me as the social media girl. If you tweet to us or write on our wall, I’m the one who sees it and responds. So be nice! Also, if you’ve been to our mixers or parties, you have most likely seen me around.

Anyway, if you’re planning to attend Microsoft Convergence 2012, you can follow us on Twitter at @JournyxInc to receive all of the important information about the conference and, of course, what’s going on at the Journyx booth (#2053). You’ll definitely want to stay up to speed on what we’ve got going on! We will have giveaways at our booth that include a 42” HD LCD TV and an Xbox 360 w/ Kinect. Also, if you share our special QR code tweet while at the tradeshow, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card. We couldn’t forget about our social media fans!

This TV could be yours:

I’ll be uploading photos as well as video content – all of which you’ll be able to view via live tweet or right here on the blog site. Give me a shout out if you’re at the show and definitely if you’d like to meet up with the Journyx crew. There are many after parties, pre-games and everything in between we plan to attend. We can’t wait to meet up with our fellow Microsoft partners and friends like Susan Singleton at Kissimmee Utility Authority. Did you see our recent announcement we made with KUA?

We’re friendly, we won’t bite and we may or may not have lots of really cool Journyx swag handy. I can’t wait. See y’all in Houston, Texas! 

March 5, 2012

Journyx has been around for more than 15 years at the time of this writing. During that time, we have developed and distributed the first web-based time tracking system. We have served industries in nearly every field and provided custom solutions when other companies said it was impossible. We have a well-developed expert knowledge base that can help you tackle government contracts, recover from an economic downturn or make a footprint in the global marketplace. Our website highlights our capabilities in “Track Time and Expenses,” “Bill For Projects,” and “Pass DCAA Audits,” among other things. We do all of these things, and we do them well. But that is not why people choose Journyx.

People choose Journyx because they want to hold a finished product in their hand, not look at a report detailing last minute budget issues that require the cancellation of a project. People choose Journyx because they want to make sure their employees are happy and working on the tasks that they are individually best at. People choose Journyx because, at the end of the day, they want to leave the office secure in the knowledge that they are on track, without the nagging fear that they really should have kept working well into the night.

They choose us not because of what we provide, but because of what we remove: Inhibition. Stress. Uncertainty. Stagnation. These things are responsible for the ills that befall nearly every company from time to time. Executives don’t refuse creative new initiatives because they hate advancement; they do so because they are afraid they will lose money. They don’t refuse the promotion because they dislike the employee, but because they aren’t certain that it will increase overall company health. At Journyx, we realize that sometimes these situations will persist regardless of the action taken, but we also believe that by providing an in-depth view into the operations of a business we can make sure that the implications of every decision are known. That way, when a company decides to build the next pipeline, rocket engine or video game, they can rest easy in the knowledge that they are doing so with the right people, resources and budget. 

So don’t deal with Journyx because we are interesting. Deal with us because you are.

March 2, 2012

Every business is unique and has different business needs.  Because of this, Journyx Timesheet integrates with a variety of accounting systems, from Quickbooks, ADP, Microsoft Project, and Microsoft Dynamics™ GP.  Many accounting systems come with a simple time keeping system, but usually, companies find that it doesn’t meet all of their needs.  This month, we’re going to Microsoft Convergence to show off our integration with Dynamics GP to the Microsoft community.  Microsoft Dynamics GP is a mid-market business accounting software that is part of the Microsoft Dynamics Business Solutions platform.  Are you considering using Dynamics GP?  Here’s an inside peek of what the product looks like for a sales manager:

We recently announced that Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) will use Journyx Timesheet for employee time tracking. Their decision was in part based on Journyx’s integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP. According to Susan Singleton, Business System Quality Improvement Manager for KUA, “We can make customizations in Journyx and know that the system is going to work smoothly for our specific needs. No two companies are going to have the same needs. Companies will have different rules, levels of approval, quirky payroll calculations - all unique to them. Journyx allows us to configure everything to meet our needs upfront, which really allows us to save time and gain productivity.”

Do you use Microsoft Dynamics™ GP?  Are you getting the time keeping data that you need?

February 27, 2012

It’s about 5:30 am. A man stands facing a hastily built wooden tower many miles away, grasping a handful of torn paper. As a mechanical sounding voice counts down to zero, the man begins to dribble the handmade confetti into the air. For a moment, all is deadly quiet. Then, a light many times brighter that the sun illuminates the nearby mountain ranges. The blinding white gradually transitions to deep purples and blues. The tranquility and beauty of this moment persist undisturbed for a few moments, and then a tremendous roar overtakes the man, and a wave of pure force pushes at him, dragging his clothes backward, away from the wooden tower that no longer exists. The confetti moves too, wavering from its initial descent trajectory. The man thinks for a moment. Then, satisfied, returns to the base.

That man was Enrico Fermi, preeminent atomic scientist. The event was the Trinity test, the first major test of a nuclear weapon. The strips of paper were the only measuring apparatus that Fermi wanted to use to calculate the force of the explosion. The most fascinating part of the story is that his calculation was close to accurate. Using no more sophisticated a gauge than some crudely ripped paper, Enrico Fermi figured out, within one order of magnitude, the approximate kiloton yield of an event never before seen by mankind.

So what does this mean in practical terms? Two things. One, a creative use of simple metrics can often give you insight that is less than obvious at first glance. Two, we know more than we think we know.

Fermi’s ability to gain valuable insights into events by making educated assumptions has given way to an intriguing way of thinking about things, namely, that by clearly identifying and making educated guesses about relevant variables, we can make fairly accurate observations. In the business world, that means that as long as we have a good idea about how things have behaved in the past, how much things cost, or how much time was spent on something, we can make good guesses about future behavior. That is why it is so important to build a backlog of important business data, and keep it up to date and accessible, so that these types of estimates can come naturally.

Theoretical physicists often use “Fermi Problems” to train themselves to think in this way. The classic problem asks, “How many piano tuners are there in Chicago?” Of course, it is possible to look up this data, but that’s not the point of the exercise. Rather, one approach might look like this:

1.  There are approximately 5,000,000 people living in Chicago.

2.  On average, there are two persons in each household in Chicago.

3.  Roughly one household in twenty has a piano that is tuned regularly.

4.  Pianos that are tuned regularly are tuned on average about once per year.

5.  It takes a piano tuner about two hours to tune a piano, including travel time.

6. Each piano tuner works eight hours in a day, five days in a week, and 50 weeks in a year.

 

Therefore, by calculating:

(5,000,000 persons in Chicago) / (2 persons/household) × (1 piano/20 households) × (1 piano tuning per piano per year) = 125,000 piano tunings per year in Chicago.

And:

(50 weeks/year)×(5 days/week)×(8 hours/day)/(2 hours to tune a piano) = 1000 piano tunings per year per piano tuner.

We can easily divide to find:

(125,000 piano tunings per year in Chicago) / (1000 piano tunings per year per piano tuner) = 125 piano tuners in Chicago, an estimate that, if the assumptions are good, will be relatively accurate.

 

Here are some more problems of this type:

How many dog groomers are there in New York?

How many hairs do you have on the top of your head?

How many competitors does a tech company have?

How many baths does the population of the United States collectively take in a month?

How many successful projects does it take to become a billion-dollar company?

Remember, these questions are intentionally vague and there is no one “right” answer. Rather, there are many reasonable answers based on the assumptions you make going into the question. Give one a try and share how you reached your answer in the comments below. And remember, no cheating!

February 24, 2012

Many U.S.-based companies (including Journyx) didn’t have a company holiday for President’s day this past Monday.  Why is that?  It’s not a surprise that many Americans found themselves at work last Monday considering that we work more hours than almost any other industrialized country.  Watch what David Lazarus of The LA Times has to say about American work hours:

Maybe you are currently trying to implement a paid time off (PTO) policy in your company.  If so, read what our CEO has to say about starting a new PTO policy.  Even though the U.S. government doesn’t mandate it, vacation time is important to provide for your employees.  Not only does it boost morale and decrease stress, but some of our most creative ideas happen during times of rest.  Remember, you’ll need an easy way to approve and track time off in your company so that PTO will be a great benefit instead of a headache.

Do you like your company’s PTO policy?  Tell us with a comment.

February 20, 2012

Sometimes, for some reason, the software that your company uses simply dies. It may be your fault, or it may not. Whether it becomes too bloated and slow, its arteries clogged with excessive, ill-managed data, or underutilized until support became much more trouble than it was worth, the fact remains: you can no longer use it to solve your problems.

Your options at this point may seem fairly limited. You can either buy new software to replace the old, regress to an earlier state of doing things, or maybe you will try your hand at building an in-house version of the software. All of these options are potentially viable, but consider this: there may be an alternative.

Often the problem that “killed” your software is very specific. Just like a living thing, if an essential process stops working, it will shut down the entire system. However, unlike a living thing, it is possible to revive your software, often by incorporating a third-party solution.

For example, if you are using a comprehensive software system such as Microsoft Dynamics you may be incredibly satisfied with the entire package, but one key issue -- possibly difficulty aggregating data or providing a tailored project management solution -- stops you from using it in the long-term. Software that specifically addresses these needs can patch over the problem, optimizing it for your company to an even greater extent than even a shiny new system. This can require some homework on your part, but the benefits can far outweigh the costs of buying and transitioning to a new system.

If you think your software is dead, why not spend a little time playing the modern day Frankenstein and seeing if there are some key pieces of third party software that will bring your system back to life?

February 17, 2012

President’s Day is this Monday, as you probably know. Maybe you have the day off of work to commemorate the holiday.  What has tech-savvy President Obama been up to lately besides hosting a very well received Google+ Hangout?  He’s also been using the popular Square device for his campaign, allowing for mobile payments for fundraising, representing yet another way he has used new technology in his campaigns.  Check out this video from the Mashable team:

Are you a small business that receives payment on-site?  If so, you may want to consider giving your mobile sales team Square card readers.  Square allows businesses to accept credit card payments via customers’ iPads, Androids or iPhones.  Also, Square is cost-effective -- it only charges 2.75% per swipe.  And even better, the app and the card reader are free.

Have you used Square or had your card swiped through a Square reader?

February 13, 2012

The term “hanging out” is often associated with friends, perhaps some cold beers, and just kicking back while talking about whatever. These conversations are informal, yet often have a profound impact on those who engage in them. In fact, the informality of it can actually contribute to the importance. The conversations are real, unscripted, and give direct insight into the mindset of the participants.

As a business, it can be incredibly valuable to both gain and offer this kind of insight for marketing and customer service purposes as well as to humanize your corporate brand.

Fortunately, Google has enabled just such an opportunity through their “Hangouts” service on the Google+ social media platform, and many high-profile individuals have already utilized it to their advantage. Foremost amongst them, Barack Obama recently held a hangout on January 30th to have a discussion with several Americans, and to answer questions submitted earlier in the week. It was a brilliant idea, and Obama, who has built a reputation as a savvy social media user, was wise to adapt this new platform to his political strategy.

Whether you are a CEO or some other executive in your company, if you would like to host a hangout to put a human face on your company, here are some quick tips that will help maximize the value of your hangout:

1.  Keep it secure. You don’t want the conversation to spiral out of control. Either set some ground rules for the hangout regarding who can talk when, who can block others from talking and who can respond to prepared questions, or only allow a few participants at a time to stimulate a more fluid conversation.

2.  Invite interesting participants. It is a good idea to have several interesting participants that can either host a round-table style Q&A or just banter with each other. If you do this, again, try to establish roles before going in so as not to step on anyone’s toes.

3.  Record. This one is pretty simple. It’s a good idea to record sessions so you and your customers/community can go back and revisit the information presented in the hangout whenever needed.

4.  Establish regularity. If you are just going to hold a one-off discussion on a popular topic, that’s fine, but consider the benefit of holding more regular sessions in the style of a “fireside chat.” If you hold a hangout once a week at the same time, you could potentially build a solid community that will grow and provide consistent, honest feedback.

These tips will get you started, but consider that this is a new method of communicating as a business. You can provide a forum where ideas are transmitted freely, honestly and directly in a way that has not been seen before.

February 10, 2012

Email—it’s a part of our everyday lives as business people.  Do you send emails that your co-workers take seriously?  Do you find some incoming emails off putting?  This humorous video by Entrepreneur Magazine highlights some common office email mistakes: 

Remember, email is tone deaf.  If you’re writing a sensitive email, ask a trusted colleague if your email sounds appropriate.  It also helps to read your email aloud and, of course, proofread.  Email can be an incredibly effective communication tool if used correctly.

Email is also a little bit of a dividing topic and I’d love to know your opinion on two areas:

  • Do you think attaining an inbox of zero messages is important?
  • How often should you check email to stay informed, but productive?

Let me know in the comments below!

February 6, 2012

There is a lot of hubbub about using third party solutions for successfully integrating software products into your business, and you can’t open a software provider’s page without hearing how well they will improve your current system, filling in the gaps and taking over the clumsy, clunky controls that you are stuck with. Whether you are using QuickBooks accounting systems or Microsoft Dynamics for projects, there will always be someone saying that they can take over and optimize or even replace the system entirely. In many cases this is true, because those businesses focus on very specific problems, whereas the software they attack is configurable to a wide range of needs. So, if your issues match with their specific skill sets they can count money in the bank. However, in many cases they are counting on one factor that is almost certainly the cause of the other issues: user error.

If you, or whomever you hire to consult, fails to optimize the installation of core business software, or fails to appropriately update it over time, then it can appear as though the problem lies with the software itself. In fact, most of the larger software packages are made to adapt to nearly any business problem, and those that can’t generally require only minor tweaks, not a major overhaul or replacement. Consider the claim that QuickBooks can’t be used for maintaining compliance with the Defense Contract Auditing Agency (DCAA). The reality is that you need only configure the appropriate settings and link it to a timekeeping system that meets the requirements of the federal government. Choosing an entirely new accounting system and implementing it across your company is time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient. However, there are companies just waiting for you to get frustrated with your products, throw your hands in the air and say, “I give up!” That, as they say, is when they’ve got you.

So, if you take away nothing else from this post, take away this: always look to see if your software has the answer built-in before abandoning it for something shiny with big promises to deliver. The odds are that it has flexibility that you were unaware of. If you had it installed by someone else, ask for assistance, or call the vendor. In many cases they will be happy to help. There is no reason to clutter your business with extraneous new systems that provide only a bandage to a broken arm. The most effective fixes come from an understanding of, and willingness to correct, the primary system itself.

February 3, 2012

For the first time, Journyx will be exhibiting at Microsoft Convergence 2012.  Convergence is the premier event for the Microsoft Dynamics Customer and Partner business community. This year, the conference is in Houston—not too far from the Journyx headquarters in Austin!  It’s hard to ignore the buzz that surrounds this show.  Check out this video created by the Microsoft Dynamics team:

This video so full of energy!  We’re really working hard to bring our A-game to this conference.  Now why is Journyx going to Convergence 2012?  Journyx wants to show off one of its more recent integrations with Microsoft Dynamics GP, specifically with Project Accounting.  We’re proud to know that we can provide easy project tracking for GP users, as well as give data validations, approval levels, and customization benefits.  Many GP users find that they need just that extra bit to make GP all encompassing for their business.  So we hope we can make a big splash for GP users looking for accurate, easy time keeping.

Will you be at Microsoft Convergence this year?  Is the George R. Brown Convention Center as amazing as Microsoft makes it out to be?  I personally hope it is.

January 30, 2012

Who is ultimately responsible for the data of your company? In every case, the answer is you. Sure, you might outsource your data storage to a third-party, but guess what? Anybody who needs access to that data is going to expect it from you, and any issues such as loss, theft, or corruption of that data will be your responsibility as well. It is not enough to select a data storage provider and then wash your hands. It requires a relationship of constant communication. It also requires quite a bit of homework, as the best data vendor is selected

The importance of keeping data secure is particularly important when dealing with the US government, as they require secure records that can be easily retrieved and reproduced with all the accuracy of traditional “paper” records. Proof that your company can secure their records in this way can help win the trust of government agencies or businesses looking to subcontract. Of course, it will also help you if you already have a contract. If the DCAA ever needs to look into your records, you will want to provide them with well-kept data that could not have been compromised.

So what are the best ways to ascertain if a data storage provider, or a SaaS provider that stores data on their servers is legitimate? For starters, you should make sure that you will have access to your data at all times, and whether or not they have backup systems in place should there be some sort of power outage at their facility. This could mean that they have data stored at more than one geographic location, or that they have reserve power or some other contingency in place. If they don’t you might be without data at a crucial time. You will also want to inquire about the speed of data uploads and restoration, particularly if it is important that your company have fast access to its data. Finally, it’s not a bad idea to inquire about their other paying customers, and how many there are, to get an idea of whether or not they currently provide necessary support for businesses such as yours.

Data storage need not be a stressful factor of your business, but it does require some forethought. Grant it that, and you will have a secure solution that works well for your business. Fail to do so, and you might find that you are without key information during those crucial times when you really, really need it.

January 23, 2012

Guess what? Gaining a contract with the defense industry is indeed a lucrative process. At least, it is when the business who wins the contract understands all of its terms. One of the most important terms to determine, especially at the outset, is what it means to have a fixed price contract. Sometimes, a business will overestimate its ability to deliver on a project, possibly because they are used to acting as “yes men” for their standard customers, promising they will deliver just about anything the customer wants and opting to iron out the details later. However, the federal government is not a standard customer, and if you say yes to them, you should be able to deliver.

The truth is, the contracting agency will adhere rigidly to the terms of the contract. If they allocate a certain amount of money for the completion of a project on a fixed price contract, that is all the money that the agency will spend. If a business takes on a project that’s out of its league, it’s quite possible to lose money. Therefore, an understanding of all your businesses processes, particularly related to available resources and time to completion, is absolutely necessary before attempting to win the contract.

Of course, even if you don’t have the ability to tackle a project due to resource requirements that are a bit out of reach, the story doesn’t end there. It is still possible to team with other aspiring contractors, or even to act as a subcontractor. The point is, without a firm grasp on the logistics and assets of your business, you might either undersell or oversell yourself, and thus miss out on the optimum profit potential of your government contract.

January 20, 2012

We have a new face on our Account Management team, Neil Penberthy!  To let people get to know Neil better, our Marketing Specialist thought it would be a great idea to create a video of Neil.  Below is the finished product:

This way, our current customers can feel more comfortable with Neil on their accounts.  I love that Neil incorporates the company dart board in his video.  The dart board has been a big hit with the Journyx Sales and Development team.  Around 4pm, you can find them taking their daily dart break and competing with each other.  It’s healthy and fun competition between co-workers.

I’m also excited that there is a new video on the Journyx YouTube channel.  If your small business has not considered incorporating YouTube videos into your marketing or advertising plan, maybe you should!  YouTube videos have a high SEO rate, which means more eyeballs for your company’s site.  Videos in general are much easier for new prospects to digest compared to text.  It’s why we’ve been incorporating more videos on the Journyx blog to create a multi-media experience.

What do you think of Neil’s new video?  Leave us a comment!

January 18, 2012

Some Journyx customers have come across issues trying to run Cube Reports in Timesheet. Outlined below is the standard solution for Cube Report issues. If you've been upgraded to MS Office 2007 or 2010, you will have to request that your IT person go out on the web and find Microsoft Office 2003 Web Components Service Pak 1 (SP1) for the 2007 Microsoft Office System. This can be found on the Microsoft web page under downloads.

Note that Cube Reports can only be viewed in Internet Explorer.

The first thing you need to check is to make sure your Office Web Components version matches your version of MS Office. Here are the corresponding versions:

Office 97, 2000 = OWC 9

Office XP/2002 = OWC 10

Office 2003 = OWC 11

 

1. Make sure OWC11 is installed (if using Office 2003). If not, or if you are not sure, go here and download the file then install it: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=7287252C-402E-4F72-97A5-E0FD290D4B76&displaylang=en

2. Go to Tools > Internet Options > Security > Click on Internet > Click Custom Level > Tick the radial button to enable "Access data levels across domains".

3. Do the same steps listed in step 2 after clicking on "Trusted Sites" as well.

4. Make sure the Timesheet site URL is listed as a trusted domain by clicking on "Trusted sites" and then "Sites".

5. If that still doesn't work, you will need to uninstall OWC (through Add/Remove Programs), then reboot, and then reinstall OWC.  

 

If you're still experience issues, you may have to contact Microsoft to see if they have any suggestions.

January 18, 2012

It’s all over the internet. Major sites, such as Craigslist, Google, Wikipedia, and many others have put up personal appeals to stop the passage of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). Meanwhile, those supporting the bill are equally voracious, stating that it is not the internet apocalypse that its critics are making it out to be. In fact they propose it as the logical next step to halt abuse of internet commerce, much in the same way security cameras and other anti-shoplifting devices secure physical retailers.

As far as I can tell, the vast majority of complaints on both sides do not actually believe that SOPA itself is the real issue. Rather, they focus on what the passage, or failure to pass, SOPA represents. For critics, it is the first real attempt by the United States to formally monitor and control internet activity. Thus, even though they might believe that SOPA in and of itself poses little risk to legitimate websites they feel that it is an “open door” that will lead to further restrictions of a far less agreeable nature. Once a major bill of this type is made into law, they believe, it is relatively simple to institute further restrictions piece by piece until it is no longer possible to browse the internet with total freedom, but rather with whatever the current political climate deems “appropriate.” In this current age of heavily divided bipartisan shenanigans, such fears are understandable.

On the other side of the issue, individuals believe that this represents the greatest chance to protect intellectual property yet. Although they know of the various bypasses, sites that redirect to “blocked” materials, and other workarounds, they also believe that they will have the groundwork in place to launch a more aggressive attack on pirates and those who would bootleg their software rather than pay for it fairly. They believe that if this bill fails, it will be nearly impossible to meaningfully curtail the rampant piracy that infects nearly every software developer today. And this is also a valid point. Even though it is easy to joke about fat-cat companies losing out on a few extra dollars, the truth is piracy really hurts many online retailers, particularly smaller businesses and start-ups, and can lead to major financial issues. And to them, the idea that this is an attack on the freedom of the internet is somewhat laughable, as they are simply trying to protect their freedoms to sell without fear of theft.

The truth is both sides have valid points, and the possibility for abuse exists on both ends of the spectrum. On one, the internet becomes a government regulated shell of its former self. On the other, piracy kills software development, resulting in the death of innovative start-ups and curtailing profits to the point that freeware is the only viable option, heavily reducing the quality of available software. This is really a tricky one, with far reaching implications should either side fail.

Where do you stand on the SOPA issue? Can you provide some alternative viewpoints, or perhaps a compromise that will satisfy both sides of this important debate?

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