Software Africa Newsletter - September 2017


We have a lot of news as we move into a heat wave in Gauteng. We should be concerned about the rising temperatures in a water scarce and badly drought-affected country.


We have clarification on the move from Maintenance subscriptions to Annual subscriptions. If you move on the promotions to Annual subscription, that subscription will stay at the same price for at least three years.  Whereas, the maintenance subscriptions will increase by 20% next February. Promotions and other special offers will continue for this year. I suspect they will continue through Financial 2019 as well.

In addition, do not think that buying Inventor Pro and AutoCAD, for example, will cost you less than buying a Design Collection. The wealth of software in the Design Collection  at around R36 000 inc VAT (at the current exchange rate) way undercuts buying any two standalone packages.

BIM options

BIM - Business Information Management, is growing its facilities for workers and associates to work together. This includes being in the field and doing basic designs or capturing client requirements. BIM solutions given tablet- and smartphone users the ability to do all of this plus check designs against the solution being built. The user can then raise flags on apparent errors etc.

Use this link to find out more about this stunning group of products.

Online Business Tip #11 - Improve Your Google Chrome with Extensions: Win7 Scrollbars

Google Chrome is a good web browser, but it has some oddities.  One of these is that its scrollbars do not match the Windows 7 standard (originally, it had no arrow buttons at the ends of the scroll bars, and it still has a slider that is a "blob" rather than a button).

You can fix this appearance with the Extension "Win7 Scrollbars" from the Chrome Web Store.

QuickBooks 2017 Update

Annual subscriptions are the new norm. I know that this makes us all angry, because, to quote a customer, "I want to own not rent the software". Why has subscription become the new norm? Well let's go there:

Piracy and out-of-date software upgrade costs

Since Lotus (remember them?) and Microsoft first sold us their solutions, piracy has been a huge problem. It has caused legal costs, lack of funding to meet customer requirements and lack of funding for real support. So, about 5 years ago, Adobe changed to an annual subscription model and marketed the benefits:

When Microsoft saw the results, it offered the Office 360 solutions. This enabled it to make users fully mobile as well as giving them Cloud Storage. Their experience mirrored Adobe's. We can still access long term desktop subscriptions. There is a drawback to this. When you upgrade to a new operating system, you have to buy new. That's expensive.

So the other advantage to the annual subscription model is that you stay current at a lower cost.

Customer uptake on this was good. Piracy dropped across the board, so Autodesk launched its solutions in Financial Year 2017. The Maintenance subscriptions continue but new software is on Annual or Quarterly subscription. There are regular promotions for existing users to change to the annual subscription.

Autodesk's experience has enabled it to offer high level support to all Quarterly and Annual subscribers. These subscribers now have full access to user group discussion and video tutorials as well.

So now, QuickBooks has gone the same route with the same commitment to raising the level of support and training. Development is also vital to you as their customer. In implementing this new model, development, to meet your needs, will happen far faster as well. For instance, EasyBIZ CONNECT for iPads and iPhones will be out by end October. This is part of the QuickPerks solutions. You will be able to access online chat to make suggestions and give feedback.

Your software will be always up to date and give you seamless access when you change your operating system to the latest.

Other new QuickBooks Developments

Because your customer experience has to be of the highest standard, resellers are to be certified. We, as resellers, have wanted this for some time. It means that we will be up to date as well! We will have to meet the standards set by QuickBooks.  This promises you, as our customer, a reliable and nurturing relationship. Wait for more announcements in future newsletters!

  • Contact Judith for more information!

    QuickBooks News - post 9th September Launch

    The above touches on the outcomes, for us, on the launch so far. As more becomes available for release, we will fill you in.

    Quick Payroll

    Please contact Judith for the new KeyPlayer software and assistance in getting your data file to QuickBooks for conversion.

    Green Tip

     As Southern Africa moves into a heat wave in the north west parts of the area and many drought-stricken areas look to stay that way, remember that it's OK to use a small amount of water repeatedly in your basin to wash your hands. As a conservationist, it's OK to wash dishes in cold water and keep a half sink full all day for this purpose. Collect shower water for flushing the toilets. Grill food or use olive oil or butter to fry it. This is going to be a creative, solution-seeking period! Don't forget to recycle as well.

    The World is changing rapidly

    All Autodesk products have similar links to training and resources. Here's the one for the AEC Design Collection . This is one powerful solution for Architects, Engineers and Construction companies.

    Excel Tip #157 -- What's New in Excel 2016 for Windows? New Stock Chart

    We are looking at what is new in Excel 2016 for Windows Desktop, compared with Excel 2010.  As we saw in Excel Tip #151 in February, on the Insert ribbon, in the Charts group, there are three new buttons: Hierarchy, Waterfall or Stock, and Statistical.

    In this episode, we will look at Waterfall or Stock and use the new Stock type. This type of chart is intended to show the movement of stock values day to day.  There are four types: High-Low-Close, Open-High-Low-Close, Volume-High-Low-Close, and Volume-Open-High-Low-Close.  The first data column is always the lsit of dates, and then the three, four, four, or five columns of stock prices respectively

    To create one of these charts, first select the data.  Click the Insert ribbon. In the Charts group, choose the third small button: Insert Waterfall or Stock Chart. From the drop-down menu, choose Stock. Pick the sub-type, or choose "More Stock Charts", in which case your screen could look like this:

    On the Open-High-Low-Close chart, the vertical line stretches from low to high; the bar from open to close is white if the stock rose from open to close, black if it dropped. On a Volume chart, volume should be the second column, and will be shown in colour on its own axis.

    Once you click OK, the chart is placed in the worksheet and can be modified as usual.

    Next month we will continue with the new Waterfall or Stock charts, looking at Stock charts.

    Computius Say:

    Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes.

    Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

    All the Best from the team!
    Judith and Rick

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