Software Africa Newsletter - August 2016

Editorial

Now the trees are pushing out new leaves, the jasmine is flowering and the birds are singing. Life goes on strongly whatever the politicians decide to do.  Following up on customers and quotes is how we ace business.

QuickBooks' New Support Move:

When you need QuickBooks Desktop support, get the support you need.

From September 1st, QuickBooks will have completely remodelled QuickBooks Support to make it simpler and faster. This change will save you time, as well as a lot of frustration. This is what we are going to do:

·         We’re supporting all desktop versions of QuickBooks from 2005 to the current version.

·         This means that you no longer have to buy a maintenance plan or a subscription, which means that you no longer need a Support Pin.

·         However, we do charge for support - a very reasonable R75 for 30 minutes*.

If you think this is good news, here is some better news. QuickBooks have invested in software by the name of EasyBiz FreshDesk, which allows the following:

·         You have access to a QuickBooks Knowledge Base. This has all the documents you need to assist you in setting up and resolving errors.

·         If you cannot resolve the issue, log a ticket on the site with your contact details.

·         One of our Support Consultants will ascertain your needs and send you a quote based on how much time they require to solve your problem.

·         You will receive an invoice from the Support Consultant with a PayFast link. Once Payfast registers the payment, you will immediately be contacted by the consultant.

·         If your problem needs us to work directly on your computer, one of our consultants will use TeamViewer to solve your problem.

QuickBooks Support Terms and Conditions

·         Compatibility Issues: The one law of computing is that operating computer systems change regularly. Replacing your computer or installing an update could mean that your trusty accounting software no longer does what it is meant to do. That is why we ask you to study the Knowledge Base to see if it is a software or an operating system issue. If you cannot find the answer, then request a consultation. This will be a TeamViewer consultation, which is charged at R75 for 30 minutes. If you need to upgrade and do so immediately, we will deduct the session price from the upgrade price.

·         Data Support (VAT setup, refreshing of transactions, Data Fix, Upgrades): This will be charged at R350 per hour. If we cannot fix the problem, the Support Fee will be refunded.

·         Password removal: R350

·         Walk in Clients: R350 per hour

Payment must be received before the support session will commence.

Quick Payroll Key Player Support is covered by an Annual License Fee as well as the EasyBiz FreshDesk Quick Payroll Knowledge base. However, there are some technical issues that customers may require help with, which are not covered by the Annual License Fee. These will be charged for.

Quick Payroll Key Player Technical Support Terms and Conditions

·         Setups: Data received from a customer to do a Setup will be charged at R75 for 30 minutes and will be a TeamViewer consultation

·         Walk in Clients: R350 per hour.

·         Customizing Payslips and Reports: R150 per hour

·         Setting up payroll on a network: R75 per 30 minutes.

Payment must be received before the support session will commence!

The link is here https://easybizgroup.freshdesk.com/support/home

This will make obtaining support far easier and also goes back further than has been the case recently.

QuickBooks - 2016

QuickBooks 2016 comes in three flavours - Pro, Premier and Premier Accountant.  QuickBooks have rationalised their pricing and now only support the 2015 versions as well as 2016.  We advise people to upgrade to 2016, not only because it works better than 2015, but because the cost is the same.

If you run QuickBooks on a server, as we do, please make sure that the server is running the Database Manager.  Otherwise, you will have problems accessing multi-user mode.

If you are upgrading to Windows 10, please note that earlier versions of QuickBooks do not work on it.  You will have to upgrade to 2016.

Green Tip

Sadly, the water crisis in Gauteng is only too real.  Be sparing on how you use water and avoid using even borehole water on your garden.  Please note that riparian rights no longer apply to property owners, as these were abolished over 20 years ago.  You now need a Water Use Licence to abstract water from a watercourse.

Autodesk updates

Please note that from 1st February 2016, all maintenance subscriptions must be renewed promptly!

The Subscription Options

From the 1st February, only subscription offerings are available.  These are as follows:

AutoCAD LT subscriptions only come with Advanced Support!

The range of Suites is being totally replaced on 1 August by the Autodesk Industry Collections, an exciting brand new, value-driven
offering.

On or near August 1st, Autodesk will offer a convenient path to switch plans which will enable Suites subscribers to easily move to an Industry Collection if they so choose.

If you have bought perpetual Suites on a maintenance plan - that’s good too! You can continue to renew the maintenance plan for your Suite as long as
you want.

You can pause your subscription if you do not want to renew at the end of the period. The downside is that you actually have to purchase a brand new subscription. this requires downloading the new software again.

Revit Offerings

Autodesk Revit has been released as a standalone product once more. It incorporates Architecture, MEP and Structure, plus A360 cloud rendering.  The latter frees up the designer's machine for other work as well as operating much faster.  It is available on Annual and Quarterly subscriptions.

Inventor Changes

Autodesk Inventor Pro is now available outside of the Suites, whilst straight Inventor is not.  Pro comes in at the same pricing (approximately) as AutoCAD, which makes it a great investment as you can stress test your designs with Pro.

Something to think about: CADguru

This site connects CAD employers and employees.  Try it and let us know how well it works.

Excel Tip #146 -  Moving to Excel 2016

Having largely exhausted Excel 2010 (and, possibly, you too?), this series is now moving into the twenty-first century --well, the second decade of  the twenty-first century --oh, all right, the second half of the second decade of  the twenty-first century-- in the form of Excel 2016.

We downloaded our licensed copy of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016 from the internet as a 2.25 GB zipped file, which unzipped (over the course of time) to 68 files in three folders, still 2.25 GB.  Installed files were about the same size.  The install took its time, was simple and offered no options whatsoever.  Previously one could choose what should be installed or not installed, and where, but Microsoft seems to believe this was too difficult.  Now you install the entire package, or nothing!

You get shortcuts for Excel, One Note, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word (but not Access) installed on the taskbar (whether you like it or not) and Start Menu shortcuts for all of them (including Access) under All Programs (rather than in the Microsoft Office group).

Instead of installing into "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\", which would fit in with previous editions, it now installs into "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\" although the former folder is also created (perhaps as a decoy?) containing some minor files.  --Another pointless change, typical of Microsoft.

A worthwhile change was that a reboot of the PC was not required after installation.

The installation broke Microsoft Outlook 2010: "Error -- The required file Mso20Win32Client.dll cannot be found in your path. Install Microsoft Outlook again."  Hence one has little choice but to move to Outlook 2016. That appears to work after a fashion, although uglier and slower.

Next time we will look at starting Excel 2016.

Computius Say:

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

Members, Communication in Action cc trading as Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with standard and custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
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