Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dateline Woodstock:
During a recent visit to Los Angeles, where a few hundred software developers spent three days contemplating new marketing innovations, we wandered into the men's department of an upscale department store, the kind of store where all the salespeople have sharp haircuts and perfectly tailored suits that are far fancier than anything we own. Due to an unfortunate oversight on the part of one MISys staff member, we were skulking around, looking for the underwear section when we ran across the Ralph Lauren Exhibit which, in addition to clothes, featured an old saddle, croquet mallets, and various other props associated with rich people. Ralph uses these to create a fashion look that has made him several zillion dollars. This got us thinking that it may be time to revamp the image we are trying to project in our MISys manufacturing software ads. Imagine a MISys advertisement featuring Lauren-clad people with their hair slicked back, standing around in a huge croquet mallet manufacturing plant, looking grim, as if they had just received the tragic news that one of their key polo ponies had just injured itself trampling a servant. Obviously the look has worked very well for Ralph and conventional wisdom suggests it could work just as well for MISys. Our advertising agency, Baton Barton Dan and Oliver (BBD&O), is already at work on a new campaign they describe as "Pretend Cowboy" featuring a number of rugged male models, wearing designer cowboy outfits, fixin' to ride their tastefully color-coordinated ponies down to the Old Trading Post to purchase MISys Basic Manufacturing, Material Requirements Planning, and three User Licenses. This isn't the kind of advertising Vermonters are entirely comfortable with, but it has worked so well for Ralph Lauren, we feel we just have to give it a spin.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

MISys Inks Deal With Sleeter Group. The Sleeter Group and Manufacturing Information Systems Inc. (MISys) recently announced that they have formed an alliance intended to increase MISys’ penetration into the small- to medium-sized accounting software market, where right-sized manufacturing solutions are in high demand. The new relationship enhances the existing business partner programs of both organizations by bringing existing MISysBusiness Partners who sell MISys Small Business Manufacturing (MISys SBM) into The Sleeter Group Consultant’s Network (SGCN). The nationwide network includes over 600 accounting firms and business software consultants with expertise in QuickBooks financial software and other products, will operate as a Value Added Reseller channel for MISys to handle sales, installation, integration, and business process consulting for MISys clients.

Friday, June 06, 2008

MISys Sure Start Expanded. Following a hugely successful trial period, the Sure Start program for users of MISys Small Business Manufacturing has been expanded to encompass three technical support options. New MISys SBM users will choose one of the following: Sure Start Bronze ($400), Sure Start Silver ($900), or Sure Start Gold ($1500). Each plan starts off with 60 days of implementation assistance from our Sure Start Coach. The Bronze plan adds 6 months of Standard Technical Support. The Silver plan adds 6 months of Priority Technical Support, and the Gold plan adds 12 months of Priority Technical Support.
When you select one of these options, your MISys Sales Advisor will contact you to introduce your Sure Start Coach, who will serve as your personal implementation manager to guide you through the installation and initial setup of the software. During your first 60 days as a user of MISys SBM, your Coach will be checking with you on a regular basis by telephone and web conference to make sure your installation is going smoothly and that you are making good progress setting up the program, establishing the required master files, performing your initial physical inventory, and posting your first inventory transactions successfully. At the end of 60 days, your Coach will review the Technical Support option you have selected and make certain that you ! know how to contact the MISys experts whenever the need arises.
Should you desire additional consulting services from our team of experts, your Sure Start Coach can help you make arrangements with our MISys Professional Services Group. Beyond the length of your chosen option, we will continue to offer Priority Support at either $225 per month or $2500 per year, or Standard Support for either $90 per month or $1000 per year.
MISys Development Roadmap. Last month at Insights we spoke to many of our Business Partners about our development roadmap and how it affects all of us. We discussed integration with Accpac v5.5 and other accounting packages, the future of MISys SAE and MISys SBM and more.Since we were not able to spend time with all of you and feel it's critical that you are aware of our plans for the future, we've scheduled two Webinars in which we'll explain where MISys is headed and what you can expect from our products. The first webinar will be held this Thursday, June 5th. The second will be on Monday, June 7th. Both webinars start at 1:00pm Eastern Time and should last about a half an hour.
If you are a MISys/Accpac Business Partner and would like to attend, please email Scott Beavers, MISys Channel Manager, or telephone 802/457-4600 x286 for the login information. We hope you'll join us.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Dateline Woodstock:
Regardless of where you live or work, there's a good chance that your evening news is dominated by two topics: 1) who is really the Democratic nominee for the US Presidency and 2) how much gas and oil costs in your neck of the woods. Since everyone (except one) knows the answer to the first question, Vermonters spend most of their time contemplating the impact the answer to the second question will have on our rural lives. On a recent trip to Florida (a state where the maximum elevation is measured in inches) we counted 3 sightings of Toyota Prius' and 8,457 Lincoln Navigators, Ford Explorers, Chevy Suburbans, and other gas guzzlers. Here in Woodstock, the Prius' are more common than mosquitoes. Gas may be hovering around $4/gallon but Woodchucks take great delight in 1) staying home and 2) traveling over 500 miles on one 10-gallon fill-up. Local businesses are adjusting for what may be a slow tourist season. Jake and Irv Samuels, the brothers who run the local RV park, have announced what they think is an innovative idea. The Samuels boys own 26 motor homes that they customarily rent to tourists who wish to visit various geographic and historic sites around the state. Problem is, the RVs average 8-10 miles per gallon. So the boys have announced their "Stay At Home Vermont Plan." The idea is that, for a yet undisclosed price, you get to stay in one of their "deluxe motor homes" and experience what Real Vermonters do most every day -- you go absolutely nowhere. Cleverly, Jake and Irv have contracted with Vermont Outdoor Sign Company to produce 26 large-format pictures of the Top Tourist Sites in Vermont. To entice prospective customers and make their visit to Vermont all the more authentic, the boys plan to position one of these pictures on each side of their units. According to Jake, "We'll move the pictures each night so that, in the course of a week, ou! r people will feel like they have seen the entire state." All without burning a gallon of gasoline!