M-Files 2018 – New Features and Enhancements Summary

william-iven-5893.jpg

Intelligent Metadata Layer

bIkzfoI

This is the latest enhancement from M-Files where it doesn’t matter where a document is stored or what system manages it, M-Files will provide easy access to it through their user interfaces and allow metadata to be edited and added. This is done with the aid of intelligence services that add a layer of artificial intelligence to M-Files.

Note that a license and setup is required (it doesn’t just happen out of the box)

IML External Connectors

Allows end users to use any M-Files interface to search, browse, edit, and add metadata to content located in repositories other than vaults by means of special vault applications known as connectors.

The image on the right shows install files stored in a file share being accessed via the M-Files interface. Video

CPfmsSS

Introducing KPI Pulse

kpipulse.jpg

Just over a year ago, I experienced a couple of light-bulb moments...

  • Not everyone is, nor do they want to be, a data analyst – it might sound obvious, but the way that everyone accesses and consumes data can vary dramatically, even if they perform similar roles. I found that some people would like to view data in table form, like a big spreadsheet; these are generally financial, accountant types. Sales and entrepreneurial types liked big numbers and graphs.
  • More work is being done away from our desks; at coffee shops or at client meetings. Therefore, having easy access to important metrics and data isn’t always possible.
  • Many operational staff regularly like an emailed report, only to open it up and search for an issue or a value that needs their attention.

I thought, how can I take QlikView (or Qlik Sense, Excel and more, for that matter) and make it easily available to anyone, so that they can consume the information the way they want to?

screenshot tour (1)

The idea of KPI Pulse was created!

The concept was to have a locally installed publishing application which would automate the reloading of data into QlikView and then allow the designer to create a series of snapshots (they could be images like a graph, a complete dashboard, a data file or even a PDF report). These snapshots would then be available within a mobile app, a website, via email, a desktop app or even within Excel.

KPI Pulse was born!

We can now take QlikView metrics, personalise them for each user and push them up to your own secure cloud server. From there, these metrics are available on our mobile app, email, online Head Up Display, desktop app, Slack and Excel. We can schedule the distribution of key metrics any way you like and get everyone on the same page – aligned with your business performance goals.

Executives and managers can instantly see their own metrics on their phone, without needing to log in. If they then need to share that metric, they easily can with Slack, email or a text message.

You don’t need any extra QlikView licenses, allowing you to easily push metrics to all staff who require them, and even provide metrics within a website to your customers, clients or other stakeholders.

metrics made easy

KPI Pulse is easy!

Right from the start, my goal for KPI Pulse was to make it easy to distribute the great work that a QlikView Designer has done, getting relevant metrics to the right people, easily.

One of the great things about QlikView (and Qlik Sense) is that it’s like the Swiss Army Knife; it’s the one package that you need to learn, allowing you to do so much. When looking at other BI solutions, there’s always a stack of tools that you need to learn and use.

Now, with this one easy to use application, the reach and effectiveness of QlikView has become even more powerful.

Watch our quick video!

Contact us today to find out more about KPI Pulse, and what it can do for your organisation.

Or visit our website at www.kpipulse.com

M-Files Artificial Intelligence now makes Metadata Suggestions

M-File’s next release will include some powerful artificial intelligence services to help end users with metadata suggestions.

I mentioned in another article that the power behind IML’s ‘Intelligence Components’ comes from the integration of Abbyy’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies into M-Files. Based on textual content capture and OCR these AI technologies interpret text using algorithms that analyse the meaning of the words and the relationships between them allowing real time classification of complex and unstructured data.

mfiles.png

Even though it sounds complex, it couldn’t be simpler for the end user. Drag a document into the vault and you’re presented with ‘tags’ or ‘suggestions’ that you can click on to populate the metadata fields. The ‘tags’ are based on information in the document that matches metadata already in the vault. For example, your vault may have a list of suppliers stored as metadata to use when adding invoices. When AI reads the invoice, because it matches the supplier name with the one stored as metadata in your vault, a tag is created as a suggestion for you. All you need to do is click on it to add it as metadata, much faster, easier and more accurate than clicking in the field and typing the name to select it.

It doesn’t stop there either; AI based metadata tags can be invoked on existing documents when a property is changed. This is especially useful for business processes where metadata is added or changed along the way in a workflow. Going back to our invoice example, the initial metadata suggested when added didn’t include a description as this is to be populated by the person approving it.

If you want to know more about how to setup M-Files Intelligence Service to make suggestions when adding documents or when a property is changed, please contact us.

Which Backup Media Is Right For You?

Twenty years ago, backup media was easy to get your head around. Floppy Disk, Iomega, CD and Tape Drives, nothing to it.

Nowadays there’s so much more – what method of backup to use, where the backups are stored, how the backups are taken, when they are taken and how the backups are tested to ensure they are restorable.

Floppy disks and Iomega have gone the way of the dodo, but let’s look at current backup media still in use

  • USB Stick
  • Internal Hard Drive (via RAID)
  • External Hard Drive
  • NAS
  • CD / DVD (some people still use it!)
  • High Speed Tape Drives
  • Remote Backup Services
  • Syncing over internet (OneDrive, Google Drive etc.)
  • Cloud Backup

Each of these methods has its place depending on many factors, but don’t fool yourself thinking that a cheaper version will be ‘OK’ - It rarely is.

backup.jpg

Considerations when deciding on a backup media type

Type of backup

Whether you are backing up hourly or daily and what sort of files you are backing up should help determine what backup media to use. For example, if you have a large amount of data requiring a nightly backup, then you could not use DVDs.

Backup Media Cost

It is important to factor in the cost of backup media, as well as the number of devices you require to ensure a consistent and effective backup process.

Backup data security

Identifying what is backed-up and how sensitive that data is can help you decide the most appropriate backup media. If your data is integral to your business, don’t sacrifice quality for savings.

Restorability

You need to weigh the risk of your selected media - how often will a restore fail per 1000 times it is tried? Each type of backup media has its own pros and cons and you need to investigate them properly to make an informed decision.

Hardware Redundancy

Ensuring that your hardware is not going to become redundant over time is extremely important when choosing a media type. Five years down the line, you may need to restore data which seems recent today, and the hardware may be considered obsolete with the restore devices hard to find. Restoring from a 3.5” floppy disk today would not be the easiest task.

Restore speed and time

Depending on the data, whether it is ‘mission critical’ or whether you can do without for a day or more, all plays a part on which backup media to use and what processes to put in place. Consider putting your crucial servers on a quicker restoring media where possible.

These are only a few considerations when looking at backup media. You need to see the complete picture and envision where your organisation might be in five to ten years’ time. If you think back on how things have changed since the 1990s, you can appreciate that being open to new ideas and processes could not only save you time, but also money.

For more information on back-up software and processes, get in touch with one of our highly experienced staff today. 

 

Dimensions & Cost Centres With SAP B1

GERENCIA28329.jpg

SAP Business One allows users to allocate cost centres to transactions with up to five dimensions. The purpose is to be able to allocate a cost centre to a transaction for transactional reporting, as opposed to general ledger account reporting. This provides users a more in-depth view of what is taking place in each area of the business.

Let’s take an example of this where dimensions come into play; say you have a general ledger account number and the accounting team does not require multiple segments for reporting (this would create too many accounts to monitor). Instead they enable cost accounting within SAP B1 by going to System Initialisation – General Settings – Cost Accounting and enable ‘Use Dimensions’. Generally, the option to display distribution rules ‘In Separate Columns’ is selected.

sdvf.png

Once saved, the dimensions can then be setup for cost centres to be created per each dimension. A cost centre is a company, unit or division that performs a specific business function. Users define the various cost centres and can then assign revenue and expense accounts to those cost centres.

The cost accounting feature, and the ability to assign dimensions and distribution rules, is a very versatile function. Once setup correctly, cost centres can be allocated to transactions at the time of posting, providing users a complete view of the costs related to running each department. In addition, it allows you to generate reports that reflect the distribution of costs across selected dimensions.

This provides management ability to better understand its operations and can assist with future planning and deciding what areas require improvement. Through utilising this function, SAP Business One can help businesses better manage their operations and provide them with access to necessary data and information across all business lines or departments.

Note that any changes to your system should be discussed with your consultant prior to proceeding. Ensuring that workflows are not affected, that reporting requirements are achieved and that other areas are correctly setup to allow for cost centres to be allocated correctly is integral to achieving the desired result.

If you are looking to implement cost centre accounting within your organisation, please don't hesitate to contact our team today!

Mobile Device Management

warren-wong-357941-unsplash.jpg

What is it?

Mobile device management (MDM) software allows IT staff to manage, secure and monitor mobile phones provided to employees. MDM software can be implemented and used to manage devices across multiple different Service Providers and all major phone operating systems.

558946-the-best-mobile-device-management-mdm-solutions.jpg

Why is MDM important?

MDM allows IT staff to have a centralised management portal covering all the devices provisioned with the MDM software. This allows IT to have quick access to device data and statistics, apply security profiles and give mobile device support.

The security profiles can be used to implement secure emailing, secure web browsing and the lock down of the app catalogue, ensuring only certain whitelisted apps are available.

An MDM platform can be utilised to setup and configure a VPN for use by those mobiles which have the VPN policy applied, allowing for centralised management for any updates needed.

MDMs can perform remote locking and remote wiping of data in an event where this could be necessary, if the device is lost or stolen and contains sensitive information.

For organisations using a corporate network, implementing an MDM profile on a mobile device can ensure that whenever that device is in range of a pre-defined WiFi network that it is granted access.

Other Benefits?

A major benefit of implementing an MDM is that it gives IT the ability to let staff utilise their already existing mobile devices for the work place and permit connectivity to the corporate environment. Due to the sheer number of people who have personal computing devices (smart phones, tablets, laptops), this gives a major advantage and saves costs for those organisations who do allow BYOD (bring your own device) with their MDM platform.

Advance and MDM

Advance work with the AirWatch platform, which is VMware’s MDM solution. Offering compatibility with Android, Chrome OS, iOS, macOS, Windows 10 and more, AirWatch is a leader in the MDM space.

If you are interested in more information, or wish to try out AirWatch contact Advance Business Consulting below.