JULY 2007


IN THIS ISSUE

ASI Introduces .NET

ASI Trouble Ticket Provides Support When You Need It

Vista Service Pack 1 Not Expected Until 2008

Resellers Ready for RFID But Customers Aren't


ASI User Seminar - Your Feedback

In last month’s newsletter, we asked for feedback as to the preferred date and location for this year’s ASI Users Seminar. Many of you responded, with a majority indicating September or October in Cleveland as your top choice. We've taken your feedback and will announce the User Seminar date in the very near future.

Thank you again for your feedback!


And the Winner Is...

Congratulations go to Chris Rauch, General Manager of Corrigan Record Storage based in Novi, Michigan.

Like many of our customers, Chris participated in last month's survey requesting feedback on the date and location for this year’s ASI Users Seminar. For his participation, Chris qualified and won the IPOD Nano.

Congratulations Chris and thanks again to each of our respondents.


July's Tech Tip

Item Deleter in VCK
Did you know that you can delete unwanted box and file barcodes from VCK? If you delete a box or file from VCK for an InfoKeeper customer, it will also delete that item in InfoKeeper on the next WebSync process. Cool!


Veri-Shred Update to Be Released

We are excited to announce that a long-awaited update for Veri-Shred has been released. Version 1.1.187 contains several new enhancements including new calendar filters and views, many new reports, and much more.

You will receive an email in the very near future with details on scheduling time to have your system updated.


Are you using
ASI Mobile Yet?

Email to find out how you can implement ASI Mobile for  $100* per truck per month. 

Sales@AndrewsSoftware.com

*does not include shipping, taxes, duties, finance charges or additional supplies.


Useful Links

ASI Learning Center

Here you can view all ASI product help manuals.


24/7 Software Support

Have an issue you need assistance with? Get help today by visiting our online Support Center with FAQs and more. Don't see an answer to your problem? Create a support trouble ticket. One of our support staff will respond within 24 hours, plus you can view the status of your support question at any time simply by logging in!


Upcoming Events

PRISM International & NAID Joint European Conference
September 10-12, 2007
Paris, France


THE 411 ON ASI

Please send any payments, hardware and other correspondence to:

Andrews Software, Inc.
6900 W. Snowville Road
Cleveland, OH 44141

Toll-Free: 800-807-2093
(North America)

Phone: 440-546-9771

www.AndrewsSoftware.com

www.InfoKeeper.com

What's Luck Got To Do With It?
Mental Meanderings of Scott Bidwell, VP Sales & Marketing

Did you feel lucky earlier this month? Many did, since July 7, 2007 marked the “big kahuna” of numerology for the superstitious. From weddings to betting, people around the world were counting on Saturday to be their lucky day. For sure, many saw this as a bit of good fun. And then there were those who sincerely hinged their chances for increased marital bliss or wealth to the date on the calendar.

Would this work for our businesses? Could we delay major decisions or toss the dice of chance, hoping for positive outcomes? Not likely. Successful businesses are not generally created through sheer luck. Rather, an eye on opportunities in the marketplace combined with thoughtful planning, execution and good ol’ hard work seems to be the most likely recipe for long-term success. Sure, a bit of luck doesn’t hurt but would I base my business’ rise or fall on it? I don’t think so.


ASI Introduces .NET
B
y: Tony Kovalik, ASI Senior Developer

Did you know ASI has gone .NET? While Visual FoxPro is still the core of our product line’s code base, .NET, Microsoft’s latest development framework, enables our developers to provide our customers with features built with cutting- edge technology.

ASI Mobile, our latest "smart" scanning software is programmed completely in .NET. Our new web client tools, like the recently released VVKweb.NET and the in-development VCKweb.NET are all solutions written, as their names would suggest, with the .NET Framework in Visual Basic .NET.

What about the desktop applications? Throughout ASI’s history, we have continued to upgrade our products with new features and functionality while taking advantage of the latest technology and implementing new methods and practices learned by our expert development staff. While our developers have continued to code and publish in VFP, they have been training in and using the .NET framework and the newer .NET development languages (C+ and VB .Net). This knowledge is now being leveraged to bring enhancements to our existing software. The desktop applications you are familiar with do not need to be rewritten to take advantage of .NET. Rather, new screens and features can be added seamlessly "behind the scenes" without affecting performance or functionality.

While FoxPro is, and continues to be, a cost-effective work horse, and while we haven’t discovered anything that can’t be done with FoxPro, our developers have found some things are just dead simple in .NET. By capitalizing on Microsoft’s feature rich development framework, our developers can bring you amazing results with less effort in a shorter timeframe. This bolt-on strategy means that you, our client, won’t be waiting for the latest technology to appear at the end of a long rewrite process at the sacrifice of the stable and reliable applications you have come to depend on and love. Rather, until we decide to rewrite, the future is here today.

So, while our suite of desktop applications, VCK, VVK, and Veri-Shred, are still running on FoxPro, don’t be surprised if, as part of a coming update, our support staff asks that you download and install the .NET Framework from Microsoft.

For more information about .NET and what it means for your business, contact sales@AndrewsSoftware.com or call us!

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ASI Trouble Ticket Provides Support When You Need It By: Tana Schaad, ASI Support Specialist

When you need support or additional information, be sure to check out the Support area on the ASI web site. Here, you'll find loads of information in the form of FAQ's and a detailed Knowledge Base. This is also where you can submit a Trouble Ticket for non-emergency support issues. Here's how you do it:

  • Simply click the "Support" or "Trouble Ticket" button from the main menu on the web site.
  • Select "Submit Incident" and enter your user name and password.
  • Select a the category that the incident most closely relates to and a page will appear with more detailed sub-categories from which you can select and provide a full description of the issue.
  • Once submitted, you will receive a confirmation email.
  • Another option is to send an email directly to support@AndrewsSoftware.com where a trouble ticket will be generated automatically and can be managed later by logging into the support software.

A key benefit of this process is that you are able to view the status of your trouble ticket at any time, as well as view previously submitted trouble tickets, which are held in archive and accessed once you login with your user name and password.

So next time you're stumped or in need of support, check out the Support page. The answer may be right at your fingertips!

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Vista Service Pack 1 Not Expected Before 2008

Microsoft took another one on the chin last month when Google forced it to alter the Vista search tools after several states agreed that Google's complaints had merit. With this development, it looks like service pack one for Vista won't appear before the end of the year. What does this mean for businesses? Vista adoption is likely to drag out even further, since most IT shops are waiting for the first service pack before upgrading.

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Resellers Are Ready for RFID But Customers Aren't
By: Patricia Pickett

A recent study by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has found that while resellers and solution providers are ready to get into the radio frequency identification (RFID) game, customer adoption of the technology is lagging behind.

The goal of the Web-based survey, which closed with 64 respondents, was to understand the channel's current and future plans for addressing RFID opportunities. Eighty-four per cent of respondents said they will or may offer RFID products and solutions in the next three years. However, 65.6 per cent said their customers have not yet implemented RFID solutions. Most of the resellers who do have customers using RFID stated that those customers make up less than 20 per cent of their client base.

This is the third year Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based CompTIA has conducted this survey. According to David Sommer, CompTIA's vice president of e-business and software solutions, a number of RFID vendors and solution providers approached the association in 2005 to pull together a certification for RFID technology. CompTIA wanted to determine for itself what the need was for RFID skills by looking at the availability of personnel qualified to implement the technology, as well as customer adoption trends.

When it comes to customer adoption, the results have been roughly similar over the last three years, Sommer said. In 2005, 71 per cent of reseller respondents said their customers had not implemented RFID, while in 2006 it went down to 61 per cent. Meanwhile, 89 per cent of resellers last year said they were planning to add RFID to their portfolios in the next three years, slightly higher than this year.

The results of the survey are reflective of where the RFID industry is at this point in time, said Sommer. "There was a great deal of hype three years or so ago about how the supply chain would adopt RFID," he said. "There has been adoption but it has not kept up with what the hype was saying three years ago." Challenges to broad deployment have included workforce shortage skills, equipment and tagging costs and unclear return-on-investment (ROI) for supply chain applications, he said.

The first obstacle for most resellers is to really understand RFID technology and to be able to communicate what they know to customers, said Sommer. More than two-thirds of survey respondents said they believe the RFID talent pool is insufficient. Of the respondents who made that statement, two-thirds said the lack of skills will impact the adoption of RFID.

Resellers planning on getting into the RFID space should not underestimate the knowledge and skills required to install the hardware and make the tagging work, said Sommer. RFID is still in its "germination period" and is expected to blossom within the next couple of years. "Now would be a good time (to acquire those skills), despite the fact that it's not taking off as quickly as the hype may have indicated three years ago." He noted that CompTIA is doing its part to address RFID skills challenges through its RFID + certification.

Cost is becoming less of an issue now, said Sommer. The type and number of identification tags used depends on the application. Supply chain applications require low-cost tags to justify the ROI of RFID. "Those tagging costs have come down significantly and there has been a standardization of air protocols for communication between tags and readers." Consequently, the readers have also become standardized in the way they function, he added.

While supply chain applications were at one time expected to be the main driver for RFID adoption, companies have seen more ROI in other areas, said Sommer. "It's a lot easier to prove ROI for asset management and closed-loop applications because the ROI is contained within four walls," he explained. Part of the challenge with the supply chain is that there is always a question of who is receiving the benefits of the ROI. "The cost may be at one point in the supply chain but the benefits may be at a different point."

Among the resellers that said they would be offering RFID products and services, 89 per cent said they expect to focus on hardware installation and maintenance, while slightly more than 46 per cent said they will offer software implementation services. Meanwhile, 38.9 per cent said they will offer other RFID services, and 31.5 per cent plan to focus on software development.

Reprinted from connectIT; June 21, 2007

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