Categories: General Posted by Mateusz Jazdzewski on 2/20/2012 2:14 PM | Comments (0)

SAPDashboardPicIn tough economic times the ability to analyse your past and present business data and the ability to predict future trends can give you a competitive advantage. Armed with a powerful reporting tool, you have a 360 degree view of your operation. Business Intelligence (BI) tools, therefore, can provide great help with many of your decision-making processes and can go a long way in offering your company a significant competitive advantage.

Crystal Reports from SAP is one of the most popular BI tools available. It has very extensive reporting capabilities on a wide range of data sources.

Accessible data sources include the following:

  • Databases such as PostgreSQL, Sybase, IBM DB2, Ingres, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Interbase and Oracle
  • Btrieve
  • Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel
  • Text files
  • HTML and XML files
  • Groupware applications as Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise
  • SAP: BW, Info Sets, Tables, and Business Objects Universes
  • Any other data source accessible through a web service, ODBC, JDBC or OLAP

In total there are over 40 available data sources.

Once you extract the data required from your data sources you can use the tools provided to sort, group and present it in the way which is easiest for you to understand. Crystal Reports offers you a high degree of flexibility and control over the way you present the data. You have the ability to further increase visual impact by choosing from a wide variety of map and chart types.

You can also add formulas to process available data.

Reports can be displayed in a number of formats including PDF, Excel, XML, HTML, and RTF to name only a few. This allows you to provide recipients with a report in the format they expect.

Crystal Reports is licensed per named user.

To get a feel for the software please visit the below link to download a fully functional 30 day trial:

Crystal Reports trial

Crystal reports is a worthy investment for any business which needs to create and process interactive reports to stay ahead of their competition.

Categories: General Posted by Chris Harman on 12/8/2011 3:54 PM | Comments (0)

In today’s working environment we have to deal with receiving information from many different sources, in multiple formats, which we are struggling to manage, digest and navigate the information to get to what is relevant. Something as simple as searching for information can waste a lot of time and have a big effect on our own productivity, and in turn can affect performance and job satisfaction.

We decided to conduct some research into this issue of information overload, with the aim of quantifying how much of a problem this is proving for office workers and consequently businesses today. Our survey was conducted by One Poll to office workers across the UK, Sweden and Holland, and asked a series of questions to find out how much information we receive on a daily basis and from which sources. The results of this research have provided some very interesting insights into around how the information that faces us on a daily basis is affecting employee efficiency and ultimately costing businesses.

View our infographic of UK results:


This is a guest blog post by Chris Harman who is an accomplished business leader with over 15 years’ experience in managing Sales and Marketing teams across EMEA and America. In his role as Regional VP NEWS at Mindjet, Chris directs Sales and Business Development across Northern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and is responsible for the operational and strategic management of the region.

Prior to joining Mindjet, Chris held various senior management positions in the technology sector, working for organisations that included Infinium Software, Comshare and Geac Computer Corporation. Amongst these, was his role as Regional VP of US West for Infor (previously Geac), in which he was responsible for managing the Sales teams for the Performance Management and Expense Management product suites across the US West and Canada.

Tags: , , , | Categories: General Posted by Ian Masters on 8/2/2011 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

Business continuity plans are often seen as insurance policies - something that organisations don’t really want to pay for, but feel they have to. In the worst cases, some don’t bother at all, thinking “it won’t happen to me.” However, as more and more companies rely on IT to support the everyday running of the business, the need for disaster recovery and business continuity plans continues to grow.

Organisations should not just see business continuity as an insurance policy though. Instead of being a necessary cost that delivers little value, the opportunity is there to re-assess the company’s wider IT infrastructure and think about future plans for IT.

Linking continuity planning into virtualisation provides a means to achieve cost savings through server consolidation: a reduced number of physical servers and the power to run them means less cost to the business, but continuity and DR plans can be added into this solution at the same time. Companies can use their savings here to buy in extra storage and replicate data across to a second back-up server, or use a service provider to host their secondary systems.

Similarly, companies can look at remote working and giving staff access to services over the internet - backing up data and applications across to a second site provides redundancy for disaster events, but this investment can also make staff more flexible in how they work, providing a day-to-day business benefit too.

Not having access to IT systems can cause disruption to the business, which can lead to loss of revenue and have a lasting impact on the company’s reputation. For many companies that hold customer data - banks and other financial institutions, for example - data loss is not an option due to legislation from the Financial Services Authority.

When thinking about business continuity, organisations should consider what amount downtime they can afford without causing too much disruption to the business, as well as the amount of data they are prepared to lose. This is important as it will affect the type of BC solution that is suitable for the business.


Ian Masters – Sales and Marketing Director

Ian is UK Sales Director at Vision Solutions, and has been advising organisations on their requirements for business continuity, disaster recovery and backup for over a decade. He has a wide background in the virtualisation, storage and high availability space, working across multiple platforms. Recently, he has also entered into the world of desktop virtualisation following the launch of Double-Take Flex.


His previous role was UK Sales and Marketing Director at Double-Take Software, who were acquired by Vision Solutions, and prior he worked as UK & Ireland Country Manager with Sunbelt Software, a supplier of Windows management tools and security software. Ian studied at Bangor University, North Wales, and gained a BSC (Hons) in Marine Zoology.

Tags: | Categories: General Posted by Mateusz Jazdzewski on 7/7/2011 3:30 PM | Comments (0)

Recently I came across quite an interesting question. A friend of mine asked me what software is. I thought that this was a very valid question, as not many people can produce a definition on the spot. After some short research I came across a brilliant definition on Wikipedia:

Software is a collection of computer programs and related data that provide a computer with instructions on what to do and how to do it.

I think it is a very adequate definition. Not every computer program is software. Software is a collection of programs which coupled with data allows the computer to perform certain tasks.

Ok, so how is the software made? Well this is usually a long process which involves writing loads of lines of code. The code (or the computer program syntax) can be written in a number of computer languages by computer programmers or software developers. They usually use some development tools like IDE (integrated development environment). The most popular IDE on the market is Visual Studio.

Visual Studio allows developers to create computer programs using a number of computer languages. Most popular computer languages used in Visual Studio are C++, C# and VB.NET.

A long time ago developers noticed that they spend most of their time writing the same code over and over again. They then created a theory of object oriented programming. This theory allows developers to create short computer programs called objects which can be reused multiple times in building their future programs.

There are also commercially available components on the market which make writing computer programs quicker and easier. Two of the main publishers of such components are ComponentOne and Telerik.

Once you create your application you will need packaging software which will take care of the installation process. There are two leading software packaging products on the market: InstallShield and Wise Package Studio. These packages will allow you to create an easy installation process for your customers to follow in order to correctly install your applications on their computers.

Good luck with your first project! Let us know how it went.