xTupler #20 (September 2011)

Commissions, more CRM and money in your pocket

Plain xTuple Header
The xTupler #20 Open Source ERP, accounting, and CRM News
 September 2011
 
Dear xTuplers,

It's autumn in the northern half of the world - the kids are back in school, the politicians have returned to whatever it is they do, and businesses are looking to fine-tune their operations before the end of the year activities take over.

 

We can't help you with the first two ;-) ... but we've definitely got some things lined up that can help you get your business ready for the end-of-year rush.

Let's start with CRM.  It's amazing to us how many people don't fully utilize the powerful built-in Corporate Relationship Management that's a fully-integrated part of xTuple.  Yes, we said "Corporate," not "Customer"... because this system also manages your interactions with vendors, partners, sales reps, prospects, and employees, and more.  We've made some behind-the-scenes improvements to CRM in the upcoming version 3.8 that we're very excited about; you can read more in the second story below.

We've also built out powerful new support for advanced commissioning, which can handle even the most complex and demanding sales organizations.  See the third story below.

For our users in the United States, have a look at the story immediately below to learn how you can turn an xTuple investment into a major tax windfall.

And there's lots more about our ongoing outreach to professional accountants, and great activity in our booming global community - now over 50,000 strong!  Read on, and as always, thank you for your interest and support of our software.  We're proud to be growing and thriving even in these difficult times, and we look forward to continuing to share that success with you.

Warm regards,
ned signature
Ned Lilly
President and CEO

Attention US customers: Save thousands in taxes when you purchase xTuple

money bagDon't miss your chance to deduct the cost of a software purchase for your business! As part of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, U.S. businesses are entitled to deduct the entire amount of a capital expenditure, including software, (such as xTuple ERP) for the year, up to $500,000. The law also allows a business to depreciate the software 20% in the first year, increasing the tax deduction even further, up to a max of $650,000, which could amount to a total tax savings of $227,500 for the year (see calculator).

 

The deduction applies to capital expenditures made during the 2011 tax year. There is no guarantee that this credit will be extended in 2012. So, if you are considering new business management software, there may never be a better time to do it. See xTuple pricing for information about purchasing a perpetual license for your business before the end of the year.

 

Contact us at sales@xtuple.com for more information, and as always, make sure to follow your accountant's advice on tax matters!

Merge Ahead:  Get help with our new CRM utilities

 

merge signAs hard as we all try to avoid it, every company's databases hold some amount of duplicate data. And duplicate entries for contacts and accounts, with different spellings, etc., can cause all kinds of confusion, because transactions and account activities may be spread over multiple accounts for the same person or company. We've even had this problem at our own company, and we decided to do something about it.

 

We've had a CRM Contact Merge tool in xTuple since the beginning of this year, and in version 3.8, due out in October (beta coming next week!), we're adding a new CRM Account Merge utility to help clean up and consolidate CRM account information.

 

On a related note, in xTuple 3.8 you'll find an expansion of CRM account relationships; now xTuple system users, Sales Reps, and Employees are all tracked as CRM accounts as well. This was necessary to support the new Enhanced Commissions features (see story below), and makes CRM much more powerful - but we'll be honest, it also makes upgrading a little tricky. We've built a lot more "smarts" into the Updater packages migrating up to 3.8, and we also have a utility that identifies and fixes problems before the upgrade. But it's a lot to manage, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for everyone.

 

Of course, XTN subscribers can have all this done for them, as part of the bundled hours included at each level of the service. If you're not currently an XTN subscriber, we can offer a 10% discount for any new subscribers who sign up before October 31, 2011. Or, if you'd prefer just a one-time upgrade assist, we're offering a special package of help upgrading to 3.8 - just $380 (get it?) for up to two hours' worth of help cleaning up data, and getting your system upgraded. To take advantage of either of these special offers, please contact xTuple sales today!

Getting Creative with Commissions

A flexible commissioning system can give an innovative sales manager the power to shape a sales strategy, and to reward reps for aligning with the overall goals. Up to this point, xTuple has offered limited flexibility in sales rep commissioning, but recently a customer decided these features were important enough to sponsor an enhancement to the product. And here we were very fortunate: the manager at the sponsoring company understood the importance of building a system that could accommodate not just his own company's current commission structure, but also a wide variety of other potential arrangements. We are always trying to balance between flexibility and simplicity, the ultimate challenge of software design.

 

When Advanced Commissions emerges from development in a few weeks, it will go through testing, and then it will be incorporated into version 3.8 of xTuple, specifically into the Enterprise edition of the software. It will also be available as a free-standing package in our xChange app store which can be added on to any other Edition.

 

We think Advanced Commissions is going to be a very desirable feature, particularly for companies with a dedicated sales force who want to exercise creativity in assigning commissions. You can find out more about the spec in the blog post, and the online specification.

 

Community Corner 

Community superstar Dave Anderson has been hard at work polishing up his Fixed Asset Management tools, an extension to xTuple that allows you to inventory your Fixed Assets, track their depreciation, and schedule their maintenance. 

 

The complete package, vetted and approved by xTuple, is available for purchase from the xTuple app store, the xChange.

 

If you don't require all the components you can also download individual parts.

The Fixed Asset Management bundle includes all three components and sells for $795.

 

xTuple Staff Profile
Cole Davis

Cole DavisLike a good professional baseball team, xTuple is always working to develop a strong bench. We usually have an intern or two slaving away here, and we love it when one of these precocious kids turns out to be a star pitcher. 

That was certainly the case with Cole. A recent graduate of the ODU Computer Science department, Cole survived his xTuple internship to become a first-string player in our development group. He's currently part of a team working on a secret project to ensure the future success of xTuple. We could tell you what he's doing, but then we'd have to kill you.

For fun, Cole raids the tombs of ancient Egyptian monarchs and is known to be able to flip up to 18 pancakes at one time.
Partner Profile 
Bill Bajcz, President of MegaTechnologies

Megabill
Bill Bajcz, known as "megabill" in the xTuple community, started his career as a professional consultant by helping a motorcycle accessory shop in Royal Oak, Michigan find and implement a point-of-sale system back in 1985.  Over the past 25 years, MegaTechnologies has helped many different types of businesses make sense of and effectively use I.T. resources.  MegaTechnology's current client base includes manufacturers, distributors, retail businesses, CPAs, medical offices, engineering companies, manufacturers representatives, other service businesses, and many more.  Several of Bill's customers have been with him for over a decade and in some cases, for nearly two. With such a diverse customer base and several quickly outgrowing the software that had been installed decades ago, Bill was committed to finding a solution that could help all of his customers, regardless of size or budget and one that would grow with them. He was ecstatic to find his answer in xTuple. 

Bill has a Masters degree in Chemistry, and a business school Masters with specialization in Information Systems.  Bill lives in Milford,  Michigan with his spouse of over 40 years. When not working, he reads and spends time with his family (three sons - all graduates of University of Michigan - and five grandchildren.)
More xTuple Accounting! 

In the last edition of the xTupler, we announced our partnership with the BDO Seidman Alliance, a nationwide association of independently owned local and regional accounting, consulting, service, and technology firms.

Our decision to partner with the BDO Seidman Alliance was the first of several initiatives to further engage with CPA firms around the world. And just this month, we launched a new webinar seriesfocused entirely on xTuple Accounting. With one of our largest webinar audiences to date, we kicked things off last weekBDO logi with overwhelming response. 

These webinars are a terrific opportunity for users of PostBooks, any of the commercial software editions or for those still evaluating xTuple for themselves or for their clients, to get a first hand look at the capability of xTuple Accounting. The webinars are held the second Wednesday of every month at 1:15 pm. Join us Wednesday, October 12 and bring your questions! 

For those looking for a deeper dive into xTuple Accounting, we invite you to join us for our upcoming remote training session, Advanced Tips for Accounting Professionals. In this two hour long session, an expert in xTuple finance application, Jim McCluskey, will review in detail more advanced accounting topics including Project Accounting. Purchase your seat today!
 
Get Connected


 Bookmark and Share

Just click the "Add This" button above to bookmark xTuple.com on delicious, digg, reddit or another site where you have an account. Every bookmark you add helps our search engine rankings - and that of course means great xTuple karma for you!

And of course, please follow us on Twitter @xTuple!

 

mead