EBS News – Spring 2021

Welcome

 

Welcome to our Spring 2021 newsletter where you’ll find all the latest news and information on technology that will help your business.

 

In this edition we include articles on updates to Sage, end of life notifications for Microsoft products and advice on keeping your systems secure. Simply click on the link to the item on the left to go straight to the article in question.

Microsoft Windows Server Support Status

It is important that you are running a supported version of Microsoft Windows on your server. If the license you are using is out of support entirely, this can have a dramatic effect on security of your systems. Below are the dates for current Windows Server Standard Editions:

Product Mainstream Support End Date Extended Support End Date
Windows Server Standard 2019 09/01/2024 09/01/2029
Windows Server Standard 2016 11/01/2022 12/01/2027
Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard 09/10/2018 10/10/2023
Windows Server 2012 Standard 09/10/2018 10/10/2023

 

All previous versions of Windows Server and Windows Small Business Server have no support or security updates.

If you have hardware cover with EBS, we will advise you when your server version is outdated or when your hardware should be updated or replaced. If you would like to discuss this, please contact your Account Manager.

Making Tax Digital for VAT – Enforcement of digital links rules from April 2021

From April 2021, HMRC are enforcing the digital links rules under Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT. Since the inception of MTD, HMRC took a soft landing approach, allowing copy and paste between digital links, giving businesses time to adapt. From 1 April 2021 this will no longer be the case and non-compliance could result in penalties.

Please see this link on Sage’s website for more information

And this link on the HMRC website

If you are unsure of any details, please contact the EBS Sage support desk.

Webinars – Coming Up

Following the great success of our Distribution for Sage 200 webinar last month, we are pleased to announce that we will be rolling out further events over the coming months. Our webinars are aimed to provide information on solutions that will save you money by improving process flow with automation and reducing time across your business.

  • Thursday 20 May 2021, 11am – Sicon WAP
  • Tuesday 15 June 2021, 11am – CIM50 Manufacturing for Sage 50
  • Thursday 17 June 2021, 12pm – Manufacturing for Sage 200
  • Tuesday 13 July 2021, 2pm – Pixsell
  • Tuesday 20 July 2021, 11am – Getting the most out of Spindle Document Manager

Here’s a quick overview of the solutions:

Sicon WAP – Save time, effort and paper with automated workflow covering Purchase Invoices, Purchase Payments, Purchase Requisitions, Holidays, HR, Sales Orders approvals.

CIM50 – The Sage 50 manufacturing platform of choice following the announcement by Sage to end of life the current manufacturing offering

Manufacturing for Sage 200 – Enables business control of stock, resource and material planning leading to reduced associated costs and improved customer service

Pixsell – Fully integrated (BMS to iPad/website) sales ordering system

Spindle Document Manager – Sends all your outgoing documents to where they need to go and captures your incoming documents to instantly access in Sage 200, reducing your workload and ensuring documents are always to hand in a digital forum.

Please email any questions about how to register to Darren.tolley@e-b-s.co.uk.

If you are unable to make it to any of the above, we will be happy to organise a one-to-one demonstration, as needed. We will also record the webinars and publish to our YouTube site. Our last 2 webinars can be viewed via the links below:

Sicon CRM

Distribution for Sage 200cloud

Draycir release new version of Self Serve

Spindle Self Serve is an online customer portal that brings real-time financial and accounting information from Sage 200.

  • Your customers can have 24/7 ‘self-service’ access to their own accounts to view invoices, sales orders and download documents.
  • Your staff productivity can be improved as customer accounts and documents can be viewed without the need to access Sage 200.
  • Integration with Spindle Document Management means PDF documents can be viewed and downloaded by staff and customers within Spindle Self Serve.

A range of additional modules are available to include enhanced functionality such as viewing stock, proof of delivery, placing orders and much more.

The new release v1.6 features new improved additions aimed at enhancing usability. The functionality remains the same.

The latest additions are:

  • Stock inclusions / exclusions can be managed globally and per user at stock group and stock item level.
  • Ability for external users to see stock level labels (low stock, out of stock, in stock) on the Stock and Place Order pages.
  • Delivery addresses on orders now searchable.
  • Delivery address added to order history page.
  • Multiple users can now work on delivery allocations at the same time.
  • Improved page loading performance.
  • And much, much more!

We will be happy to organise a demonstration of Spindle Self Serve or any Draycir solution, please let your EBS Account Manager know.

EBS Data Manager

The EBS Data Manager allows businesses to easily connect third-party systems to Sage 200.  It is designed to be a ‘silent’ integration tool utilising either flat file or API data connections to transfer data between systems.

Whether it be an e-commerce website, a third-party manufacturing system or any other third-party program, the EBS Data Manager can handle it.  It can pass master data to the destination (Customers, Stock Items etc) and can bring new data into Sage 200 (Orders, Customers etc).

There is no limit to the data that can be utilised within the integration and, as it is our own tool, EBS can create new data connections to meet any requirement.  We have even created data connections to other finance systems that have an API available.

With full audit logging, scheduling of exports/imports and email notifications, you will always be in control of your data and be able to react to and resolve any issues caused by incorrect data in a third-party system.

Module Focus – Preallocating Stock in Sage 200

Do you have to manually allocate orders through a spreadsheet or on paper because you have no free stock? Sage 200 allows you to allocate items against free stock, but no free stock means that when goods are receipted against a supplier delivery, orders must be allocated manually. Updating each order wastes valuable time and probably ends up with a “bunfight” between your sales team members.

Preallocations, which is part of Sicon’s Distribution Suite, means no more spreadsheets or manual processes because it allows you to create connections between outstanding stock movements and to effectively allocate that stock before it has arrived. Typically, this allocation would be from an open purchase order to an open sales order. We recently ran a webinar covering the full Sicon Distribution suite, you can watch the recording here.

If you are manufacturing, Sicon Works Order Processing and Kitting also integrates with preallocations linking to sales orders so that when finished items are booked in, they can be automatically allocated to the originating sales order line. Preallocations can also be manually created from within a sales order line and a purchase order line.

For more information or a demonstration, please contact your Account Manager.

New Managed Anti-Virus includes Data Loss Prevention

The new Bitdefender Gravity Zone Anti-Virus includes device control which allows access to USB drives to be blocked to assist with data loss prevention (DLP).

Specific USB drives can be “whitelisted” as shown below, providing control over who, within your company, is able to copy files from their PC/Laptop to a USB stick.

BitDefender Gravity Zone

When enabled, BitDefender’s Device Control monitors USB devices that have been attached and provides details in its Event Log, as shown below:

Bit Defender Gravity Device Control

Device Control is On

Additionally, the BitDefender Gravity Zone portal shows the above detection as a blocked device.

Policy rules

PDF reports of activity can be generated too. These can be scheduled to send the report out via email.

Activity report

A more detailed CSV file can be generated if specific dates/times/users are required.

CSV download

It is also worth noting that Device Control can block the below device types in addition to USB drives:

Device Control USB drives

For information about upgrading your current anti-virus to Gravity Zone, please contact your Account Manager.

Sage 200 Tips – Clear Disconnected Logins

There may be instances where Users may receive a warning message to say either themselves or another user is in a record/area of the system:

Unable to access SOPorder

This message may prevent them from amending a particular record or accessing a specific feature, but upon checking with the user referenced they do not appear to be accessing that area of the program.

This message is generally caused by the Sage 200 program closing unexpectedly, for example there’s a Power cut, the PC shut down whilst Sage 200 is still open or there is a connection drop between the client PC and server. Any of these scenarios may result in a “disconnected login”.

If you have the appropriate user permissions, you can clear disconnected logins by:

  • Accessing the cog icon in the top right-hand corner of the Sage 200 Home screen
  • Selecting “User Login Status
  • In the “Disconnected Logins” tab of the window that opens, highlight the entries (you can use SHIFT/Ctrl on your keyboard to select multiple), then select the “Log Off” button:

Disconnected logins 

This will remove the disconnected login and any associated locks but will NOT affect any users legitimately logged in to Sage 200.

Once cleared, you should be able to access the area where you were previously receiving the warning message.

It is a good idea to keep on top of disconnected logins, therefore we recommend disconnected logins are “logged off” on a daily or weekly basis.

How quickly could your six character complex password be cracked?

Physically securing your house, car or other personal belongings is typically at the top of your priority list, and you would not leave your front door open or keys on a table in a busy coffee shop (if you can remember what that was like!).  But unfortunately, many of us are unaware that we are doing just that with our passwords.

Research suggests that a six character password, including numbers, upper and lowercase letters and symbols could be cracked in as little as five seconds. Two additional characters (making an eight character password) would increase this, but only to eight hours.

Read more on this subject in our specific blog post here.

Team Member Profile – Phil Smith

Name: Phil Smith

Position: Consultant

Worked at EBS: 14 Years

How would you describe what you do at EBS?
Dealing with customers, implementing software solutions that suit their needs.

What is your favourite product that EBS sells?
Sage 200cloud.

What are you most proud of during your time at EBS?
Implementing projects to a consistently high standard.

What is your hidden talent?
Saying the alphabet backwards!

Who is your favourite movie character and why?
Indiana Jones: adventurer, excitement and fedora hat!

Phil Smith