DECEMBER 2008


IN THIS ISSUE

All I Want for Christmas

Veri-Shred 2.3.11 Release Notes Available Jan. '09

Could I Have Some Fries With That Customer Service?

Speaking of Service...

Malware: Coming to a Computer Near You


New ASI Fax Number

Please update your contact information with our new fax number: 440-627-2089.


Tana's Tech Tip

TIERED PRICING TIP
Use tiered pricing to give your customers a price break based on volume.  Tiered pricing can be set up for retention, hard copy services, and/or shred services.

There are 2 ways to calculate tiered pricing, Total Units and Cumulative. Total Units means that if the next tier quantity is met, then the price for ALL bins will change to that rate.  Cumulative means that if the next tier quantity is met, then only the bins OVER change to that rate.


Register for ASI WebShare Webinars

WebShare provides ASI Users with online webinar training sessions including step-by-step instruction and review of neat features offered by ASI's many records and information management software solutions.


Are you using
ASI Mobile Yet?

Email to find out how you can implement ASI Mobile. 

Sales@AndrewsSoftware.com

8 more shopping days for NAID and PRISM Members to receive 20% a Veri-Shred purchase, contact sales for more information!


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

Inside Self Storage World Conference & Expo
January 26-29, 2009
Las Vegas, NV

PRISM Int'l Asia Pacific Conference
Feb. 18-20, 2009
Bangkok, Thailand


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
Fax: 440-627-2089

www.AndrewsSoftware.com
www.InfoKeeper.com


Happy Holidays!

The Andrews Software team wishes everyone a happy holiday season and new year. We would also like to remind you that our offices will be closed Thursday, Dec. 25 and Thursday, Jan. 1. Emergency support is available on these days. We will be open with limited staff Wednesday, Dec. 24, as well as Wednesday, Dec. 31. This includes ASI Support.     


All I Want for Christmas
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

I was listening to the news today and hearing once again, reports of doom and gloom for the New Year, with no predictable end in sight it seems. Following that story, this particular program featured Christmas wishes and greetings from some of our brave soldiers in Iraq. There’s no denying good news is hard to come by these days and this made me think about Christmas lists and what I’d put on mine this year. Here are my top three:

  1. Peace on Earth – No doubt about it, this is at the top of my list. If adversaries could put aside their weapons – words and otherwise – and work toward building a world based on acceptance and tolerance, we’d all be better for it.

  2. A Roof Over Every Head – This has more significant meaning than usual, considering the mortgage crisis that’s been making headlines these days. So many families find themselves without a home to come home to this holiday. It’s my fervent wish that they have a home to call their own this Christmas and that those who are attempting to repair this badly damaged ship will do so quickly and with compassion.

  3. A Strong Economy – Based on those news reports I mentioned earlier, this wish may be more of a pipe dream. Nevertheless, it is imperative that we find our way back to solid economic ground so those with no jobs are working, those without a house can have a home, those without healthcare can afford to be healthy, those who are in despair can find hope.

These three wishes top my list. What’s on yours? What can each of us do to affect change to the wishes on our lists? Can we help create peace by mending fences with friends and family? Take action locally to help a homeless family? Offer a helping hand or job to a man or woman in need of one?

Take a look at your wish list this holiday season and do what you can to affect a positive change to those items listed. It’s true that we can’t change the world overnight, but we can’t change anything if we don’t get started. Merry Christmas and happiest of holidays to you and your family. I wish you the best in the coming new year.

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Veri-Shred 2.3.11 Release Notes Available in Jan. '09

The new year brings with it our latest release of Veri-Shred. We are pleased to announce the release of Veri-Shred 2.3.11coming in January 2009. This release contains several new features and enhancements, and it resolves some undocumented features a.k.a. “cosmetic & bug fixes” (CBF).

One of the most significant updates is the addition of ASI Mobile 3.0 release for Veri-Shred. With ASI Mobile 3.0, users will have wireless connectivity anywhere there is an Internet connection, with the right piece of hardware. This will enable drivers to receive the daily list of service orders, without ever having to return to the office during the workday or work week. It eliminates the need for the office to print the paper service orders the driver use to carry around with them to service customers, since the service orders can be easily uploaded to the scanner. Add to that the ability to print receipts at the time the bins are serviced displaying the capacity, type of material, weight or whether the service was performed onsite or offsite, including the ability to capture the Driver and Customer signatures in the mobile device. All of which is transmitted back to the original service orders in Veri-Shred updating the activity history of each container including the time it was serviced.

Look for more information in the New Year regarding the specific release date for Veri-Shred 2.3.11. Once available, users can access and download the release notes document at Support/Release Notes section of the ASI website. To ensure everyone in your office is up-to-speed on the latest Veri-Shred updates and enhancements, we encourage you to hold an internal meeting so your users will have the knowledge to take advantage of these new features and benefits. Of course, ASI support representatives will work with you to run the update and answer any questions.

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Could I Have Fries With That Customer Service?
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

In an earlier issue of our newsletter, I shared a memorable example of customer service, or lack thereof, that I received at my local gas station this summer. In it, I outlined how important it is to empower your employees to make smart decisions that will ensure your customers enjoy doing business with you. By doing so, they’ll come back time and again. Not only that, they’ll tell their colleagues and/or friends and family about the great service your company provides, which translates into potential new customers. Likewise, provide bad service or create an environment of employee “drones” who have no power or interest in servicing your customers and those customers will be sure to share THAT negative encounter with even more people, which is exactly what I did in telling you my bad customer service story.

Now, I’d like to share a recent example of outstanding customer service. Last week, feeling a bit frustrated and tense, having run a number of errands but with lots left to do, I realized part of my aggravation probably had to do with a lack of food. With lots of choices around me, I decided to head to one of my favorite lunchtime spots – McDonald’s. Yes, you read it correctly, I said McDonald’s, as in “Mickey D’s”. I realize it’s not a popular choice for many (even though they greatly improved their menu, adding lots of healthy options). This particular McDonald’s isn’t even the one closest to the ASI office, but it’s the one I choose to go to. Why? Here’s why.

Every time, and I mean every time, I’ve ever been to this particular McDonald’s I receive excellent customer service. Without fail, the employees are helpful and friendly, it’s well maintained and clean, and the fries are hot and the burgers are tasty. This particular day, I went through the drive through window (still had lots on the “to do” list remember). I noticed one of the employees who appears to be around 65 or 70 years old was working the window this particular day. He should host customer service workshops, this guy is so consistently upbeat and friendly. I just had to tell him on this particular day that I was especially impressed by the great service he provided. He smiled a little broader and gave me a card and asked that I call the number listed to tell McDonald’s about my experience. Normally, I’d take the card, but would probably not take the time to make that call. However, because it’s so rare that I receive such exceptional customer service, I did take a few minutes to make the call and extol the virtues of this gentleman and the rest of the team at this particular Golden Arches establishment. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Great Scott, you know where you can get a good burger and great service. Why should that be such a big deal for me?” Here’s why.

You’ve probably heard, we’re in the midst of what could be a very long economic downturn to say the least. More than ever before, your company will have to exercise the best judgment in how it conducts every aspect of its day-to-day business. Customer service is a critical part of ensuring your business maintains its current share of the market and continues to grow, even during lean times. If you have any concerns about whether your employees have the tools they need to provide the highest quality of service, take the time and make the investments required to give them what they’ll need to overcome those hurdles. If some of your staff haven’t gotten on board, or don’t seem to be able to put the customers’ needs first, find those who can. Now, more than ever before, you want to be that McDonald’s that people will go out of their way to do business with.

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Speaking of Service...

Have you checked out the Support Area of the ASI Website? There you'll find loads of helpful information including the:

Support Ticket System: This active database of client support tickets is available online to help users address similar issues shared by others.

Learning Center: Find webinar schedules, online training documents for records centers, media vaults and shredding operations, plus much more.

Help Manuals: In this section, you will find helpful “How To” documentation for ASI’s suite of software solutions.

Release Notes: Find the most recent software updates and enhancements.

Product Updates: Download the latest software update files quickly and easily.

Of course, phone support is also available 24/7, 365 days a year. Normal business hours are 7:30am to 5:30pm EST. Support calls placed during non-business hours will be returned within 30 minutes. To reach an ASI Technical Support Team member directly, please call or email:

Toll-free: 800-807-2093 ( North America only)
Phone: 1-(440)-546-9771
Email: support@andrewssoftware.com

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Malware: Coming to a Computer Near You
Kevin Baird, ASI Systems Administrator

Due to the fact that I tend to serve as ASI's resident " Geek Squad" (a.k.a. computer repair technician), I have recently had my services requested more than usual to help remove viruses and malware/spy ware from people's computers. There are a couple of major attacks in the wild right now that are wreaking havoc for a lot of people.  Even folks that patch and run antivirus are being hit with this problem, and so I did a little research and thought I'd share my findings on what can be done to avoid this on your own machines, but also help you with the family PC at home that may be an even easier target.

The first major hijack is due to a bug in Adobe Acrobat Reader ® .  Because this is Adobe's software, it doesn't get patched by Microsoft ® updates or your antivirus software.  It's something you typically have to go out and install manually to get the latest version.  Even if you don't use Acrobat Reader, you may have it on your machine from when it was initially purchased.  Websites you visit and your home and office computers are hijacked by hackers running simple scripts that then infect your machine with adware, spyware, and viruses.  In most of these cases it makes it impossible to browse the web without advertising pop-ups appearing everywhere and slowing your connection down. I suggest downloading the latest edition of Adobe Reader:  http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html  or you can download Foxit Reader (which is what I use). It's a faster alternative to Adobe Reader and generally more secure: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php.  Lastly, you can always attempt to uninstall Acrobat Reader from your control panel, but because many applications rely on Adobe Reader it may get reinstalled without your knowledge, and typically with an older version. It may be better to simply upgrade, but of course, the choice is yours.

The second major attack is more of a trick to get you to install third-party software, but without you realizing it  This sort of thing impacts the less knowledgeable users of the home computer more than someone with a lot of PC time.  However, I have had a few friends who I consider more savvy than most get caught by this hack, so it's important to be aware of it.  The trick is that a browser pop-up window appears and it looks exactly like the Microsoft Security Center, except that it's named "Windows Security Center" and "Antivirus 2009".  It recommends you run/install the software and, because it looks like it's coming from Microsoft, many people do. Here are some screen shots. You'll notice how they look like regular Windows programs that you'd expect to see. Below you'll see the Antivirus 2009 pop-up window, and then below it, Security Center saying that no antivirus is found.  That's because it's not really antivirus software.



Here's a shot of the replacement icon for Security Center just below the real one.         

Unfortunately if you're infected, this particular string of malware has many different variations, so the tools found do not always clean it up properly.  If you're lucky you can find a working tool from one of the major antivirus websites (Symantec, Kaspersky, McAfee, etc.)  If you're not so lucky, you may need to copy off your important files (if you can) and start over from scratch by reinstalling Windows. As Microsoft tightens up their operating system (OS), the hackers are resorting to hacking into third-party software (like Adobe Reader) and tricking people into installing bad software. Folks will have to stay alert to keep from losing important information in their machines, so I hope this helps. Vista users are not impacted by either issue.  Vista's browser is always in "Protected Mode" if the UAC is left on (the admin nag messages) so that rogue applications and scripts cannot be installed into the OS like they can on XP.  Keep in mind, however, that this requires the UAC to be left on.  Otherwise the browser is no longer in protected mode and, due to backwards compatibility with XP, it leaves you vulnerable to attack.  You can still infect Vista by installing a rogue application. You are just protected more because the applications cannot auto-install like they can on XP.  So it's still important not to assume your OS is safe and be diligent in your security. As a funny side note to this, many years ago there was a trojan/virus that silently took over your computer's webcam and microphone.  The hackers would watch people at their computer and sometimes talk to them or cause things to happen, like opening the CD tray or flipping the OS screen upside down.  Luckily, YouTube wasn't around then or there'd be a lot of embarrassing stuff on there, I'm sure.   

Hopefully, this will help you avoid or prevent a future malware attack on your office or home PC system.

Questions about malware? Email support@andrewssoftware.com.

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