Sage Summit 2015: Early Bird Registration Rates Extended to 5/15!

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We are looking forward to what is sure to be another exciting Sage Summit! This year’s conference takes place July 27-30 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Did you know Sage customers can take advantage of an early registration price of $399? This rate is in effect until April 30, 2015 has been extended through May 15!

REGISTER NOW!

Note that on the registration page, you’ll find tabs for hotel packages
and airfare discounts.

What is Sage Summit?

In case you are new to this annual event, we’ll give you the run-down. Sage Summit is a four-day convergence of Sage partners and customers, packed with training sessions, and informative presentations on topics relating to ERP solutions, technology, and specific industry sectors. It includes a showroom floor to enhance the networking opportunities and give customers a chance to explore new technologies.

Sage Summit keeps it high profile, too. Last year’s speakers included Magic Johnson, Biz Stone of Twitter, and Jessica Alba.

xkzero Representation

Sage also calls on those with the pulse on issues affecting the Sage community, including our own Paul Ziliak, co-founder of xkzero. He emphasized the significance of mobile ERP in this presentation: Why Mobile, Why Now?. Turns out people enjoyed it so much that Paul was invited to speak again this year. Stay tuned for details!

As always, we will have a presence on the showroom floor, where we look forward to connecting with present and future partners and customers. We welcome you to stop by for a demo of our mobile apps such as xkzero Mobile Commerce, iSales 100, and GetX, all of which integrate with Sage ERP solutions.

It’s been an exciting time for xkzero, as we have grown a bit since Sage Summit 2014. We bring new offerings such as xkzero Technical Services, and have expanded our channel sales territories. These changes have also led to additional staff who some of you might know from their years of success in the Sage community. Be sure to visit our booth to greet our whole team!

Sage Summit 2015 Sneak Peek

We don’t have all the sought-after details about special guests or closing night celebrations, but Sage has provided the following calendar information so you can start plotting your Summit story now!:

This just in! Sage announced that Paul Ziliak will speak in the thought leader series again. He will present these two talks:
TL-134: Why mobile, why now? A decision maker’s guide to business success
TL-139: Disrupt your industry: Making your mobile dream a reality

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The inspirational energy at Sage Summit can be quite contagious. We hope to see you in New Orleans!

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At xkzero, we believe that people perform best when they are confident, informed, and have a high level of trust in the tools they use. Maybe it’s time for your wholesale distribution business to start gearing up with mobile apps. If your ERP data tells the story of your customers and your inventory, shouldn’t you equip your team to have that information in their pockets?

Contact us at info@xkzero.com or 847-416-2009, we can help you create a mobile plan that works for you.

Is your B2B industry about to go mobile?

Why Mobile ERP, Why Now?

blog series by xkzero

Goodbye printed product catalogs, adios order sheets, see ya, outdated price lists. And good riddance,
“I’ll send you a quote when I get back to the office
on Monday.”

Mobile has become such a part of the way we live that our dependence upon it extends well beyond personal use. As far as business is concerned, pretty much every leading business-to-consumer brand has a mobile-based site. It’s even common to check competitor prices with a phone right from the store aisle.

We know the convenience mobile devices offer us as consumers. And while certain industries have invested heavily in mobile for years, a big change is that any and all businesses now seem to be ready.

Why now?
Mobile was once thought of as trendy, and only used by high-tech, cutting edge industries. We can thank the trailblazers for working out many of the bugs to make it easy for businesses just getting started now. Smartphone and tablet technology today is more reliable, flexible, and dependable. Luckily, increased storage space lets us install and use a variety of apps, and access off-site information. Also, Internet connectivity is available nearly everywhere—if not via WiFi, at least using cellular data.

Which industries can benefit from mobile?
Now that the early adopters have paved the path, mainstream business-to-business (B-to-B) companies are rapidly discovering the unique uses for mobile devices and apps.

Here are just a few examples of how companies in various B-to-B industries are automating processes with hand-held devices:

Commercial Landscaper
We’ve had the opportunity to work with businesses in a wide range of industries that are taking advantage of the special nature of mobile technology. We were able to help a Minnesota-based commercial landscaper conduct business from places where even a laptop would be too bulky to carry, or otherwise impractical.

Now, with our mobile tools, the company’s sales reps can order materials right from the job site. Not only are they able to enter customer quotes and orders this way, but while at client sites, they can also add photos and sketches on the spot and send them back to the ERP. This gives the installation team instant access to job requirements so they can immediately get started on plans and ask questions before the rep even leaves the site.

This saves time once needed for duplicate entry into the back office system. Also, the tablet’s camera and drawing capabilities provide team members in any location with a previously unavailable 360-degree view of the job site.

Heavy Equipment Supplier
We’ve seen a heavy equipment supplier benefit from mobile, too. A Texas-based cement truck company now deploys its sales people to customer sites using apps on their tablets to enter orders and provide price quotes. In this industry, it’s vital to submit an “all-in” price, which includes shipping costs. Our mobile shipping app helps this company get the best carrier rates—right on their smart devices. Providing an all-in price quickly allows them to close the deal faster than ever before.

Decorative Home Products Manufacturer
Smart devices are also transforming the way companies work at trade shows, where it’s increasingly becoming the norm to book a sale on the spot and not risk losing the deal later. One decorative home products company is no longer beholden to laptops or even at the mercy of spotty terminal services connections typical in many conference halls. This improvement is a result of using our mobile sales app, which can work offline, thus making booking sales at the trade show a more immediate—and much less stressful process.

More Than Just Sales
While conducting sales functions with mobile is a natural fit, automation of any aspect of the business has become a reality. This is especially true in warehouse operations, and is the case with one of our clients, a leading manufacturer of point-of-sale mobile device accessories. The company was fortunate to experience great success in product sales. Then, as demand grew, they discovered the picking, packing and shipping methods they had been using created a bottleneck. To solve this, we were able to provide an app that would automate those processes and ship thousands of orders per day—using the super-portable iPad minis.

One trend is clear. Just as 25 years ago most small and mid-sized businesses replaced paper-based systems with automated software systems, today, businesses in a wide range of industries are replacing paper-based sales and warehouse systems with mobile. Yes, that includes your industry.

Why Mobile ERP, Why Now?
blog series by xkzero
This article is part of a series based on xkzero co-founder Paul Ziliak’s talk at Sage Summit 2014 called “Why Mobile, Why Now?: A Decision Maker’s Guide to Business Success.”

Paul Ziliak, xkzero Co-Founder

Paul Ziliak, xkzero Co-Founder

Through our blog, we bring to you some of the ideas initially shared in this talk. We will also continue to add new insights about why mobile for ERP is here to stay and how you can get the jump on your competitors by incorporating everything special about mobile technology into your business now.

You may also like this story from the series: Establishing Trust with Mobile ERP.

Establishing Trust with Mobile ERP

Why Mobile ERP, Why Now?
blog series by xkzero

In this technology-driven society, we have high expectations for our business software. That certainly holds true with mobile apps for ERP too. We need both our systems and apps to have the capacity to handle dynamic information, the sophistication to enable analyses, and the credibility to have trustworthy accuracy.

Part of that precision comes from accessing the rich and even visceral story beyond spreadsheets with raw numbers. This means building a narrative with product images, customer feedback notes, contact information and geo-tags. Using the video chat functions native to our mobile devices, we can not only communicate but gather sights and sounds from remote locations. This data can be used, for example, to assess the source of a machine malfunction, or to walk through a store to approve a product’s placement.

Even outside the realm of business, we have enjoyed the capabilities of sophisticated technology. When driving to the airport recently, two colleagues IndicatorLightsnoticed a pair of icons were lit up on the dashboard. The passenger used her iPhone to search the manufacturer’s web site and quickly matched up these images with a list of warning signs. “This means your tire pressure is low,” she said. The car had been driving smoothly, and none of the tires were overtly flat, yet the built-in system was designed with safety in mind. Its functionality was proactive; it provided the driver a warning before she even suspected a problem.

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“Car Talk” Hosts Ray & Tom Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers (photo courtesy of NPR)

It’s a good thing automobiles weren’t always so sophisticated, or we may have never enjoyed “Car Talk,” the brilliant call-in show hosted by Tom and Ray Magliozzi, known as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers. It first aired in 1978, at a time when cars were simple enough that many people did their own repairs.

Although these guys had the brains to graduate from MIT and enough auto expertise to run their own fix-it shop, their diagnostic methods were laughable. Click would answer a call like this, “Ziliak with a Z… How are things in Chicago?”

Humans making car sounds got a lot of air time. A typical caller might say, “I crank the ignition and it goes, ‘RRRRHUURRHRRRCHSHH.’”

Clack would disregard the reason for the call and impart his philosophies about deep dish pizza, and his sudden craving for a large pepperoni pie. Click, unfazed by the interjection, would inquire about loyalties to the White Sox or the Cubs. Amidst the rolling tangents, one of them would announce, “It must be the transmission!”

These goofy guys earned an impressive following in the 15+ years the show was live, and fans still tune in to listen to previously unaired episodes. They set the tone with sibling razzing, marked by the catchphrase, “Don’t drive like my brother.” They also thrived on settling bets—especially those between a husband and wife—about questionable DIY repair methods, or how to tell if the animal living in the engine is a muskrat or a chipmunk.

While people continued to call Click and Clack to get their on assessment of the auto ailment associated with their impressions of squeaks, creaks, and whirrs, the real takeaway was the duo’s hilarious spin on the problem and Tom’s infectious laugh. That said, they were actually spot-on when troubleshooting your 1980 Dodge Dart based on a few suspicious sounds.

However, cars have evolved, and so have our diagnostic methods. Today, you wouldn’t trust a mechanic with your brand new fuel-efficient European sports car who listens to your funny noises, replies, “It’s the transmission!” then pops open the hood and gets to work (on your dime).

These days, when shelling out the cash for auto repairs, car and truck owners can expect a comprehensive diagnostic process conducted with precise electronic measurements. Mechanics often use mobile devices to collect information from the car’s computer system, which gives the customer confidence that their data is scientifically based—and meant to be taken seriously.

~~~
Tom Magliozzi died November 3, 2014 from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. Coincidentally, we discussed the content of this blog on that very day, before learning of his passing. We extend our sympathies to his loved ones.

NPR, November 4, 2014: “‘We have learned absolutely nothing,’
Tom Magliozzi on Decades of Car Talk”
~~~

Why Mobile ERP, Why Now?
blog series by xkzero
This article is part of a series based on xkzero co-founder Paul Ziliak’s talk at Sage Summit 2014 called “Why Mobile, Why Now?: A Decision Maker’s Guide to Business Success.”

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Paul Ziliak shows off his new invisible smart phone to an incredulous Las Vegas audience.

Through our blog, we bring to you some of the ideas initially shared in this talk. We will also continue to add new insights about why mobile for ERP is here to stay and how you can get the jump on your competitors by incorporating everything special about mobile technology into your business now.

We carry the auto theme into an article about mobile technology’s role in parking meter payments, “Is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel a fan of this app?

 

Sage Summit 2014 Innovation Sessions

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Have you booked your trip to Sage Summit 2014 in Las Vegas yet?  With attendance already north of 6,000, Summit promises to be an entirely new experience for Sage users and business partners this year with a whole new look at how you grow your business from here.

xkzero’s own Paul Ziliak will be a featured speaker from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 30 in the Innovation Theater, on the topic, “Why mobile, why now?  A decision maker’s guide to business success.” When building your conference agenda you will find this as session BUS-503.

Session BUS-503 Sage Summit 2014

Session BUS-503 Sage Summit 2014

But Paul won’t be alone.  Sage has assembled a world class collection of speakers providing unique business and insights.  Scheduled speakers include Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter, Robert Gibbs, former White House Press Secretary to President Barack Obama, Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush, Magic JohnsonJessica Alba and more.

And because 6,000 people have at least as many interests, the Sage Summit schedule contains over 400 educational events built around topics such as Business Performance in the Digital Age, Industry Best Practices, Managing Risk and Data Security, Maximizing Your Workforce and Benefits, Navigating the Regulatory Landscape, and Strengthening Sales, Marketing and Customer Relationships.

It really begs the question, while these 6,000 people are in Las Vegas, what will you be doing to grow your business forward?

You’ll also find xkzero as a Sage Summit sponsor on the exhibit hall floor in booth 414.  We hope to see you there!