The Attivo Blog

Feb 20 2015

Disaster Recovery: Be Proactive Rather than Reactive

Since 2005, FEMA has declared 1,335 Major or Emergency Disaster declarations. Those disasters added up to tens of billions of dollars in damage to businesses across the US. Several small to mid-sized business never recovered from events like Hurricane Sandy or the massive tornado that tore through Oklahoma in 2013.

The next disaster that could impact your business doesn’t have to come from Mother Nature either.  There are plenty of man-made disasters that can shut down your operations for an extended period of time, and in some cases, cause a business to shut their doors forever.

Of course, physical damage accounts for a large portion of the financial damage done by disasters.  But even more crippling to businesses is the destruction and loss of data.  Disaster recovery isn’t about cleaning up a mess after it’s already happened.  Disaster recovery is a proactive plan that protects your data and ERP software, insuring your business against catastrophic data loss.

How Does it Work?

Your business might not be in tornado alley or anywhere near a coastline where a hurricane might make landfall.  It might not be located on top of a fault line that has you bracing for the next big earthquake.  But what would you do if there was a fire in your building?  Or maybe faulty wiring causes the sprinklers to go off in your building, destroying your server bay.

A disaster recovery provider will replicate your entire system and place it in a secure data center. Depending on your agreement, your data will be regularly copied and backed up. In the event of a complete and total data loss, your system in the data center is made active, and you can continue your day to day operations with minimal data loss. Most every reputable disaster recovery provider will also have a redundant data center that can be activated within a matter of hours should the data center itself fall victim to a major event.

Do I Need to Be in the Cloud?

If you have already moved your ERP software and other applications into a dedicated cloud environment, you most likely have an element of disaster recovery already built into your contract. But you don’t have to be in the cloud to enjoy the benefits of disaster recovery.  If you still prefer to have an on premise ERP set up, your system will simply be copied and stored in a data center. Think of it as having a spare engine sitting in storage in case something goes wrong with the engine currently in your car.  It’s there when you need it, but not in use 24/7 like a traditional cloud hosted system, saving you money.

If you wait until after a disaster strikes to figure out how to recover your data, it might already be too late for your business. Having protocols in place that you can test periodically throughout the year will insure that if the worst case scenario does strike your business, you’ll be able to minimize any financial impact.  For more information, or if you have any questions, you can call The Attivo Group at 877-428-8487 or contact us here.


Feb 16 2015

Exact Macola 10 Changes the User Experience

In the 7 months since Exact Macola released their latest ERP software offering, Exact Macola 10, there has been quite a bit of buzz. This new software offering wasn’t just an extra layer of paint and a shiny new box slapped onto old software. Exact Macola 10 was, and is, a total redesign intended to modernize the look and feel of ERP software with one overarching theme in mind — user experience.

Considering that a lack of user buy-in is often cited as one of the leading causes of an ERP failure, it stands to reason that Exact Macola would focus much of their time and energy on the overall usability of their software.  Here are just a few of changes that Exact Macola 10 has to offer the end user.

Introduction of Workspaces

Exact Macola 10 is highly configurable. Its introduction of workspaces can be completely customized to fit specific roles. Not only can users access the reports and modules that they specifically use on a day to day basis, but menus can be customized as well, providing contextually relevant data without the need to go hunting and searching. Browser based functionality ties everything together, meaning users have the tools they need to be successful, leading to greater productivity.

Seamless Integration with CRM

We’ve often blogged about the importance of having a CRM system that integrates with your ERP software. Exact Macola took it one step further by including Exact Synergy as part of the Exact Macola 10 package. This all-in-one solution means a consistent look and feel whether you are working in the ERP system, CRM system, document management or workflow management screens.

Access to External Websites within the Workspace

Take a look at the bottom of your computer right now.  Odds are that you have multiple web browsers currently open, multiple Microsoft office tabs open, e-mail and other applications running. Now imagine being able to access those applications from within your ERP workspace. Exact Macola 10 brings you that functionality, eliminating the need to jump around from one screen to another.

Role Specific KPIs

Just like the workspaces are completely configurable based on roles, so are key performance indicators. KPIs can be set up to alert users, helping to automate processes. Purchasing managers can get automated alerts in their workspace when inventory drops below a certain level.  Shop floor managers can receive alerts when machines are inactive and available, increasing productivity. Sales people can even be alerted to make follow up calls to prospects, ensuring that sales pipelines stay full and in constant motion.

There are so many things that Exact Macola 10 can do that previous ERP systems simple didn’t offer.  For more information on Exact Macola 10, call The Attivo Group at 877-428-8486 or contact us here.