Outlook Add-In: forgotten attachments

June 28, 2010

We’ve all done something like this: you hit the send button on an email that refers to an attachment, only to then realize that you forgot the attachment. Your follow-up email sheepishly says something like: “…and here’s the attachment.” I last did this just 3 days ago – and did it twice – when sending information on our wholesale distribution software to several recipients. Way to make a lasting impression.

There’s a new free download for Outlook from Microsoft Office labs – Forgotten Attachment reminder. Once installed, it scans the text of your message when you hit send for references to an attachment, and if it finds such a reference but no attachment it warns you thus:

 

As my colleague at the accounting software company said, “An excellent way to avoid looking like a dolt!”

You can download it from http://www.officelabs.com/projects/forgottenattachmentdetector/Pages/default.aspx


Business software good, data loss bad

June 15, 2010

So you’ve implemented an excellent accounting software package, and are now reaping the benefits: time savings, efficiency, and extra revenue opportunities due to the insights you gain from your reports and dashboards. All is good…

…until the fire starts in your server room, and you discover that:

  • your daily backups haven’t always completed successfully
  • the weekly offsite backup tapes weren’t taken offsite last week
  • the previous week’s offsite tapes are stretched and won’t restore properly
  • all the other tapes were left on top of server, and have gone up in smoke

The good news: you can easily re-install the software. The bad news: your data for the last 4 weeks is gone – forever.

Sounds far-fetched? Hardly – the above scenario is a composite of two actual situations faced by customers over the past few years. It is for this reason that, in my opinion, all businesses should at least consider using an online backup service. No matter how good your in-house backup process may be, if you are backing up to on site media you are always vulnerable to human error (or omission), and to media failure.

The use of an appropriate online backup service removes these risks. At a minimum, a robust business-oriented online backup service will provide automated incremental backups of all your key data, once daily or more frequently, and will store redundant copies of your data in different physical locations. The data will ideally be double or triple encrypted to ensure that no-one but you can ever actually use it. And this will usually cost way less than you likely currently pay for insurance against data loss.

Not convinced? You’re not alone, and I’d be really interested to hear your reasoning. Please feel free to post a comment below.


N2: Food Distributor makes the List

June 9, 2010

I was paging through Profit Magazine’s annual list of Canada’s 100 fastest growing companies yesterday, when I let out a whoop of approval. N2 Ingredients Inc., of Oakville, ON is ranked at number 38. (My whoop drew some interesting looks from fellow passengers on the flight to Montreal…)

N2 is a customer of my employer, using our Food Distribution and Inventory Management software. But more importantly, the principals of N2 are terrific people, and we consider them amongst the best we’ve done business with. Bob and Jill have grown their company  the right way, and I have no doubt that their business will continue to grow and thrive.

This is not the first time we’ve had customers ranked in the Profit 100 – in fact in the last few years, several other Blue Link customers have been on this list.

It’s always gratifying to see good people succeed. Congratulations on the achievement!


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