Sage Software – Hammond’s Candies Case Study

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Regardless of size, if there’s something that all businesses need to pin down before they can scale and grow efficiently – it’s nailing down managing finances and customer relationship management.

When you first start out you may very well be able to manage your accounting, payroll, invoicing & payments and more from an Excel spreadsheet or Google Docs. The more adventurous may even attempt using one of the many free/open source CRM options that are available. These solutions may work short-term but eventually, if you are serious about your business growing you’ll need to take the step and get an integrated business management solution that will allow you to grow by allowing your business to be managed more  efficiently and providing valuable insights based on data not typically available to non-integrated systems.

The video below is a brief case study of how Sage helped Hammond’s Candies (the largest manufacturer of hand-made hard candies in the Untied States) scale their process by providing inventory control, and helping manage production planning to boost profitability.

Learn more about how Sage Business Management Software could help your venture by visiting

Samsung Galaxy Series – #TheNextBigThing

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If you’re a geek like me, or simply not an American, then you probably didn’t watch the Super Bowl and didn’t get to see Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan team up to pitch ideas for advertising Samsung’s “Galaxy” line of products to Jon Fevreau (complete with another cameo that I won’t spoil for you).

So, is the Galaxy series the “next big thing”? I’ve got to say that I love the Galaxy line. I’ve yet to have serious issues with my reliable Galaxy S phone, which just keeps on working like a trooper no matter what I do to it, but just looking at that big S3 in the ad, with it’s 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED screen and Jelly Bean makes me realize how badly I need/want to upgrade to newer hardware and away from the aging Froyo.

While I’ve got a lot of love for the Galaxy line, the question is do you think it’s the next big thing?

Click the vote button above to let us know, and then head over to twitter and tell us what you think the next big things is using the hashtag #nextbigthing.

Revisiting Internet Explorer 9 And A More Beautiful Web

Internet Explorer 9

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The first time I wrote about Internet Explorer on this particular blog was back in 2004. In a post titled “IE gets Fired”, I slammed IE for it’s failings when compared to Firebird 0.8 beta (Firebird for those who aren’t old enough to remember was an earlier name for what we now know as Firefox.

“Firebird is still in Beta at version 0.8 but is already very stable and has replaced IE as my browser of choice. Why? Options, size, and speed. Firebird positively trashes IE in all these departments, not to mention a few others.”

That post was written in May of 2004, which makes it nearly 8 years old and the browser landscape has seriously changed since those days. Firebird has become the much beloved and jack of all trades browser for the internet Firefox, which while it can do almost anything has seen it lose it’s edge in terms of speed, stabilility and size. Chrome is now the darling of the Google brigade, of which I count myself a member, is fast, has some cool features and an endless amount of extensions, but it’s also becoming increasingly unstable on my system (even as I reduce the number of extensions that I use, and that’s not good for someone who lives 8 hours of everyday almost exclusively within his browser.

Yes, there are other browsers I could (and do) try on my Windows 7 laptop. Opera, Safari and a number of other smaller browsers which have essentially been relegated to the realms of “also rans” in the windows world.

Recently I’ve found myself slowly but surely creeping back into using IE9 more and more everyday, because there is one important thing that Internet Explorer 9 not been doing that other browsers have been – crashing. Not crashing is critical for me given the previously mentioned 8 hours of daily use.

Another thing that is making the return to IE9 awesome for me, is the ability to pin websites to taskbar and have them open as individual sandboxed apps. Most of the other browsers on the market allow you to run apps inside them, but none of them allow you pin them to the taskbar and this ability gives you a unique experience whereby opening your gmail is almost like opening a dedicated desktop application.

Plus, being developed by Microsoft, IE9 has a unique advantage in terms of hardware acceleration which makes browser based applications, particularly those written in HTML5, have native hardware acceleration for graphics, and gameplay. In other words it’s fast. HTML5 rendering tests are amazingly fast and my real world use certainly demonstrates that it is at the very least “as fast as” if not faster than other browsers.

As a developer the thing I’m appreciating most is the amount of screen real estate that IE9 gives me. If you have IE9 installed open it up beside other browsers and compare it. The streamlined interface, most notably due to the positioning of the address bar, gives you more visible “web site” than any other browser I’ve tried. Neither Firefox or Chrome come close unless you put them in fullscreen mode, but hey, IE can do that too.

I’ve been undertaking this journey almost completely unaware. It’s been one of those things that has “just happened” as I’ve been using and experimenting with different browsers and tools to streamline my work. I suppose I should have seen it sooner, especially when we talked about IE and other browsers for so long on the WinExtra podcast, but I guess sometimes we spend so much time looking at and dissecting things that I didn’t see the larger picture and how things could apply to my online life and work.

You can learn more about Internet Explorer 9 by visiting and downloading it for yourself. Don’t just take my word for it, and do yourself a favor, try to remember that Internet Explorer 9 is not IE6 and go in with an open mind. You may be very pleasantly surprised.

Visit Beauty Of The Web.