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It's About Time! The Journyx Blog

March 30, 2015

monday link ups convergenceWe just got back from Microsoft Convergence and we're still reeling from the sheer amount of information we learned. With that, we wanted to share with you other Microsoft Dynamics conferences to hold you over until next year.

  • Dynamics Users Group Fall Conference 2015 - This year, the Dynamics SL conference will be held in sunny San Antonio, TX from September 16-18. We'll be there, so stop by and say hello!
  • NAVUG/GPUG/AXUG Summit 2015 - Registration is now open for NAVUG + GPUG + AXUG Summit 2015, which will be held in Reno, NV this year from October 13-16. We'll have a booth there, be sure to say hello!
  • AXUG Focus 2015 - This conference will cater specifically to those using, implementing, and wanting to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics AX. It will be in Orlando, FL this year from May 18-21. 
  • Convergence 2016 - Plans have already been put in motion for Convergence 2016. Next year, the major national conference will be held April 4-7 in New Orleans, LA. 

Want more groups and info to get started in these little communities? Check out the great resources below!

March 26, 2015

time tracking termsTime tracking is one of the most important elements of successfully running your business. Whether it’s by helping employees to be productive, properly bidding on new contracts or maximizing the profitability of existing ones, time tracking is the key that unlocks many different doors.

Unfortunately, the meaning of various time tracking terms are not always readily evident. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed four of the base terms used throughout the time tracking industry, illustrating why they are so important.

In this part, we’ll look at a number of terms and acronyms that are commonly encountered in the industry.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

GAAP are “the common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures that companies use to compile their financial statements. GAAP are a combination of authoritative standards (set by policy boards) and simply the commonly accepted ways of recording and reporting accounting information.”

These guidelines are especially useful when companies need to work with government agencies, as it establishes a common denominator for companies to work with.

Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)

The DCAA "provides audit and financial advisory services to Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal entities responsible for acquisition and contract administration."

In essence, the DCAA helps make sure that taxpayers’ money isn’t wasted. Originally for defense contracting, the DCAA now extends far beyond the military and encompasses almost all service and labor contracts for the government. As a result, getting DCAA approval is virtually a necessity for any company wanting to gain access to those contracts.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Established in 1993, FMLA requires companies to provide their employees unpaid, protected leave for medical and family reasons.

During any 12-month period, employees who meet the criteria can take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave. This time can be used to care for serious health issues of the employee or family, military leave, foster care, adoption and pregnancy.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

WBS was originally conceived by the Department of Defense (DoD) to help make large projects manageable. Essentially, “the work breakdown structure visually defines the scope into manageable chunks that a project team can understand, as each level of the work breakdown structure provides further definition and detail.”

Timesheet

In its most basic form, a timesheet is a simple piece of paper that logs an employee’s hours. As technology has progressed, however, timesheets have evolved. No longer restricted to a piece of paper, “timesheet” can also refer to an electronic version that logs an employee’s time.

Modern timesheets do more than simply provide a way to keep track of payroll. Timesheets are instrumental in tracking the time spent on specific projects and tasks, thereby helping the organization properly account for the cost of a project as a whole, as well as provide valuable information for future bids and estimates.

March 24, 2015

It’s official: Convergence 2015 came and went and while we are already counting down the days until Convergence 2016 in New Orleans, we’re even more overwhelmed with all of the great things we learned and people we met just last week. So with that, we’re giving you our top takeaways from the conference-of-the-year.

Speaker Highlights

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella opened Convergence with a keynote speech, bent on presenting the next steps that Microsoft, particularly Microsoft Dynamics, will be taking within the next year and beyond, kicking off the conference on the right note.

One of our favorite speakers, regardless of keynote sessions, was Errol Schoenfish, Director of Product Marketing at Microsoft Dynamics GP, with the session titled, “Microsoft Dynamics GP product roadmap and strategy”.  The points he set out to address in this session were, “Where is the Microsoft Dynamics GP product headed? What is coming in the next two releases? What are some of the solutions you should be taking advantage of today?”

Keynote Spotlight

The keynote that everyone was buzzing about came from David Finn, Executive Director at Microsoft’s Cybercrime Center, titled, “Digital detectives: Protecting data, commerce and privacy in the age of cybercrime”. In this keynote, he discussed how Microsoft has officially set up a Digital Crimes Unit with its very own lab to identify and target cyber criminals all over the world and stop them before the crime takes place.

How they do this is by following the metadata within objects like images or IP addresses and finding their botnets, and working directly in tandem with law enforcement in many cases to actually charge alleged criminals for their crimes. In this keynote, Finn did a stellar job of presenting information on cybercrime around the world and not only showing the problem, but also what they’re doing to solve it. You can see a snippet of the speech at the video from the Microsoft Dynamics crew below.

 

The Big OneRepublic Show

microsoft convergence 2015By the end of the week we were reeling with the massive amounts of information learned and excited about all the knowledge we were going to take home to Texas, but there was still one event remaining: the OneRepublic concert. And while we were exhausted, we still managed to push our way to the front row, grab a spot next to the Microsoft Bogota, Columbia staff, and proceed to get the party started.

We weren’t let down, either. OneRepublic brought a lively performance and energy to the conference. The best song of the night by far was “Counting Stars”, and by that point, the crowd was electric.

Top Takeaways

  1. Cybercrime is a very real and very booming industry, and Microsoft is on the forefront of doing whatever it takes to stop it.
  2. GP is not going anywhere and Microsoft won’t be dropping the product anytime soon, considering its users make up roughly 35 percent of their Dynamics customer base.
  3. OneRepublic is talented on the radio and even more amazing when performing live.
March 18, 2015

ultimate guide to best time tracking appsWhen it comes to time tracking, there’s no shortage of ideas, methods and applications to make it an effective addition to your business processes. Many of these applications are created with a sense of individuality in mind, with different people preferring different methods. Still, other apps are born out of the unique requirements of specific industries. Add in the varied pace and workloads of freelancers and one thing quickly becomes apparent: there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

In this post we’re going to look at popular time tracking applications, analyze what they have to offer and see why we feel they deserve to be labeled the Best In Category Time Tracking Apps.

For Freelancers

When it comes to the freelancer market, few apps have made as much of a splash as Timely. This is an app that rethinks time tracking in an effort to make it as appealing of a process as possible. Their approach is outlined by their founder, Mathias Mikkelsen:

“Every time tracking app out there uses the same concept: you log hours backwards in time. We want to flip that around. Instead of asking ‘what did you do this week?’, we're asking ‘what are you planning on doing this week?’ As a result, you’ll spend seconds logging hours. All you have to do is to move your existing schedule to Timely, and you’ll be logging hours simultaneously.”

What sets Timely apart from the competition? The fact that the company isn’t just trying to ease the pain for those that dislike filling out timesheets, but trying to destroy those pains altogether is a key differentiator. With an easy, drag-and-drop interface, the application is ideal for freelancers but may not fit in well with a corporate environment.

It’s offered free for personal use, and is also a great option for someone looking to keep track of their personal time and better organize their life. For freelancers, it’s available for $14 a month for unlimited use for a single user.

For Teams

Toggl is an app that “is built for teams.” The company claims that “your entire staff will be set up and running in minutes. It’s as easy as Twitter - no training required.”

Toggl has a number of features that make it a winner, especially for smaller, team-driven companies:

  • Unlimited number of projects and clients—all free
  • Ability to divide into teams and groups
  • Offline time tracking
  • Sharable reports via custom link, Excel, CSV or PDF
  • Multi-platform support

For Enterprise

We would, of course, be remiss if we didn’t highlight our own software, Journyx, that we have been developing and supporting since 1996. As the first enterprise, web-based timesheet system, we have unparalleled experience in the field. As a result, our software is the time tracking solution of choice for all areas of a company: CFOs, payroll administrators, project managers, supervisors and more.

Journyx offers automated billing and payroll, as well as project accounting and management. When it comes to time tracking, few things are as important as reporting—knowing exactly where and how you and your employees are spending your time. As a result, reporting is front and center in Journyx, and a primary reason why so many companies trust our software. Not only that, but because our software is web-based, it works across all platforms.

Journyx integrates with most other business systems, allowing you to tap the data from other solutions and feed that data into Journyx. A few of our most popular integrations include Quickbooks, Microsoft Dynamics, ADP, SAP, Oracle, Paychex and many more.

We offer a free 30-day trial of our software as well as a free version for small businesses under 10 users.

Whatever your needs, whatever your preferences, there’s a time tracking app that will meet them. Thanks to innovative features, multi-platform support and deep understanding of the time tracking industry, these three are our picks for Best In Category Time Tracking Apps.

March 5, 2015

microsoft convergence 2015An annual staple for every Dynamics user is Microsoft Convergence. “Part education, part conversation,” Convergence is THE conference to attend for Dynamics customers, partners and vendors alike.

Stacey Goff Johnson, ZAP, well-described the importance of Convergence: "Microsoft Convergence continues to be an outstanding event each year, drawing key decision makers from industries across the board. In addition to the unbelievable amount of leads we obtain every year it also enables us to network with other partners within the Microsoft Dynamics eco-system.”

How did Convergence become such an important part of the Dynamics scene? What are some of the hallmark moments of the conference and how did it get to be the massive event that it is today?

A Brief History of Convergence

The very first Microsoft Convergence was held in Buena Vista Palace in Orlando, FL. The brainchild of Doug Burgum, Great Plains Software founder and CEO, originally boasted a mere 100 people in attendance. Since Great Plains Software started Convergence, initial conventions focused exclusively on what eventually became Dynamics GP.

Mr. Burgum envisioned Convergence as a way to bring users together, give the company an opportunity to get to know them better and build a real community. It quickly became apparent that Great Plains was on to something. As the software grew, so did the number of individuals and companies that were interested in being a part of the new community. The very next year attendance was 549, with the third year boasting 1,216 attendees.

2002 proved to be a pivotal year for Convergence. Microsoft completed the buyout of Great Plains Software in April 2001, making the 2002 convention the first since Microsoft took over the reins. As one would expect, attendance tripled, reaching a new peak of 3,355.

Under Microsoft’s guidance, Dynamics and Convergence both continued to grow and evolve. In 2005, Microsoft took the step of moving Convergence outside of Orlando for the first time ever. From that year on, the location and venue would change from year to year, although it would by no means be the last time the convention was held in Orlando, returning there again in 2008.

Throughout the years, the size and scope of the convention continued to grow, with the 2014 convention in Atlanta, GA boasting 12,200 in attendance. The one thing that has not changed, however, is the goal of Convergence. Eighteen years later Convergence is still aimed at its original goals: bringing users together, giving Microsoft an opportunity to get to know them better and fostering a community.

What to Expect This Year

What can attendees expect this year? This year is already shaping up to be a can’t-miss event. Few years in Microsoft’s history have been so full-of-change as this last year, in large part due to Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella. Since becoming CEO, Mr. Nadella has unveiled a bold new vision for the company that has unified its strategy and spread its influence.

It’s only appropriate that Mr. Nadella is one of the keynote speakers for Convergence 2015. And he’s not the only one to look forward to, as the roster is one of the most impressive that Microsoft has ever fielded. Here’s a look at what attendees will be treated to:

  • Satya Nadella - Microsoft CEO
  • Allison Watson - Corporate Vice President, US Marketing & Operations
  • Chris Capossela - Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
  • David Finn - Associate General Counsel and Executive Director, Microsoft Cybercrime Center
  • James Phillips - Corporate Vice President
  • Judson Althoff - President, Microsoft North America
  • Julia White - General Manager, Office Division Product Management
  • Kirill Tatarinov - Executive Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions Group
  • Seth Godin - World’s Foremost Marketing Provocateur
  • Tony Prophet - Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Windows and Search Marketing
  • Wayne Morris - Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions Marketing

Without a doubt, this year’s Convergence promises to be “the place where leaders gather to explore, share and experience business solutions.”

If you’re attending, stop by and say hello to Journyx at booth 1827! We'd love to meet you and discuss the exciting developments in the Dynamics world.

March 4, 2015

Announces Partnership with GP and NAV Reseller Etelligent Solutions

AUSTIN, TEXAS (March 4, 2015) – Journyx will attend Microsoft Convergence 2015 in Atlanta from March 16-19. At booth #1827, Journyx will be ready to explain to Microsoft Dynamics end-users how they can easily replace the time and expense tracking function in Dynamics with the Journyx integration. Additionally, Journyx is interested in speaking with Dynamics resellers share details about the Journyx partner program.

Journyx enterprise time and expense tracking software integrates with Microsoft Dynamics GP, AX, NAV and SL. Journyx for Microsoft Dynamics allows companies to quickly implement a complete time and expense tracking solution using existing business data.

Features of Journyx include:

  • Flexible accrual calculations
  • Multi-level approvals
  • Mobile entry
  • Integration with Microsoft Project
  • Data validation
  • Resource management
  • Local install or cloud

Journyx also announces its partnership with reseller Etelligent, a Microsoft Dynamics reseller out of Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. Etelligent is known for providing top-notch customer service by way of fully-certified consultants, help desk support and customer training, resulting in a high client retention rate. Microsoft awarded the ESI team with a gold-certified partnership for Microsoft Dynamics and ESI has consistently been in the top 10 percent standing for sales and support among all Dynamics partners across the globe.

Jesse Byam, Vice President at Etelligent, estimates that 75% of clients seek a third-party integration for time tracking and 100% use a third-party integration for expense tracking.

Byam believes that Journyx is a good fit for Dynamics users because “users can create approval workflows based on business process and drivers, including workflows based on divisions, amounts, managers, etc. All of these workflows can be configured to have multi-level approvals. The integration between Dynamics GP and Journyx is great as it removes redundant data entry and streamlines the process. It works like the Business Portal timesheet application should work.”

More information about the Journyx and Etelligent case study can be found here.

“We’re continuing to invest in the Microsoft Dynamics space as we are finding more and more customers seeking a better time and expense solution,” said Curt Finch, CEO of Journyx. “We enjoy attending the Microsoft Convergence show as it brings end users, reseller partners and ISV partners together under one (very large) roof. Microsoft really knows how to do a conference well.”

About Journyx

Journyx enterprise time and expense tracking software integrates with Microsoft Dynamics GP, AX, NAV and SL. Journyx for Microsoft Dynamics allows companies to quickly implement a complete time and expense tracking solution using existing business data. Journyx features flexible accrual calculations, multi-level approvals, mobile entry, integration with Microsoft Project, data validation, and local install or cloud. Customers include Crate&Barrel, Schlumberger, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Callaway Golf and Honeywell. Since 1996, Journyx has provided web-based time and expense tracking solutions. For more information, visit www.journyx.com.

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February 25, 2015

Integrated Accounting Solutions with Microsoft Dynamics

 

Background

Etelligent, a Microsoft Dynamics reseller out of Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, is known for providing top-notch customer service by way of fully-certified consultants, help desk support and customer training, resulting in a high client retention rate. Microsoft awarded the ESI team with a gold-certified partnership for Microsoft Dynamics and ESI has consistently been in the top 10 percent standing for sales and support among all Dynamics partners across the globe. 

Jesse Byam, Vice President at Etelligent, states, “Etelligent sets itself apart because we provide vertical solutions that match up to our clients’ industries. We are strong in oil and gas field service organizations as well as non-profit associations. We work to understand the client’s business so we can provide the best solution for their needs. Most importantly, we put the customer first and do everything we can to ensure our customers success through a partnership where transparency and trust are key.”

Etelligent and Journyx have partnered to offer the best time tracking and expense solution to clients with Journyx enterprise time and expense management software for Microsoft Dynamics GP and NAV. Byam believes this partnership makes sense estimating that 75% of clients seek a third-party integration for time tracking and 100% use a third-party integration for expense tracking.

Etelligent specializes in Microsoft Dynamics GP, NAV and CRM. In regards to the shortcomings of the Dynamics products in terms of time and expense tracking, Byam states, “The most common complaints we hear are around matching the workflow to the business processes. Right now, the flexibility is just not there. For example, there’s no ability to have more than one level of approval or multiple approvers. Also, the workflow engine in GP was previously based on SharePoint so you had to have Share-Point for it to work. In GP 2015, Business Portal is not supported so your options are even more limited.”
 

Byam believes that Journyx is a good fit for Dynamics users because “users can create approval workflows based on business process and drivers, including workflows based on divisions, amounts, managers, etc. All of these workflows can be configured to have multi-level approvals. The integration between Dynamics GP and Journyx is great as it removes redundant data entry and streamlines the process. It works like the Business Portal timesheet application should work.”

Etelligent strongly believes that Microsoft Dynamics will be the ERP solution of choice for many years to come. According to Byam, “Microsoft Dynamics is a great system and provides a lot of core functionality that you just don’t see in other products. For example, the ability to run Dynamics GP or NAV in the cloud as well as on MS Azure means companies can get a system in the environment that works for them, spend less time worrying about infrastructure and more time running efficient busi-nesses. I see the future of Dynamics as being very bright, Microsoft products are becoming increasingly mobile which grants organizations the capacity to work where, when and how the business works. The ability to build apps for GP and NAV is going to be a game-changer and I can’t wait to see what technology moves into the product with the next few releases.”

About Journyx
Journyx enterprise time and expense tracking software integrates with Microsoft Dynamics GP, AX, NAV and SL. Journyx for Mi-crosoft Dynamics allows companies to quickly implement a complete time and expense tracking solution using existing business data. Journyx features flexible accrual calculations, multi-level approvals, mobile entry, integration with Microsoft Project, data validation, and local install or cloud. Since 1996, Journyx has provided web-based time and expense tracking solutions. For more 
information, visit www.journyx.com. 

February 18, 2015

journyx microsoft convergence 2015Microsoft Convergence—"part education, part conversation" – is just around the corner and here at Journyx HQ, the air is more electric than usual. Why are we buzzing with so much excitement? Convergence is a conference that lives up to its name, bringing together every aspect of the Microsoft business community. Microsoft team members, industry leaders and visionaries, customers and partners all come together to learn, connect and network.

What can you expect from this year's conference in Atlanta, Georgia? Who will be the keynote speaker? What can you gain from being there? Read on to find out!

What to Expect

The conference begins Sunday, March 15 with registration and community outreach. Each year, attendees are offered the chance to help the local community that is hosting the event, in this case, Atlanta, Georgia. Opportunities include framing a house for a first-time home buyer, building raised gardens to promote healthy living and constructing tables and benches that will be used throughout the city. Learn more about the community efforts at Convergence here.

Also on Sunday the 15th, Dynamic Partner Connections is hosting its PreGame event exclusively for Microsoft Dynamics partners. Learn all about PreGame here.

Monday through Thursday includes a combination of general sessions, concurrent sessions, interactive discussions and, of course, the keynote presentation. See the full agenda here.  Additionally, the Microsoft Solutions and Expo Experience will feature exhibitor booths as far as the eye can see. See a full list of sponsors and exhibitors here.

Who Will Be There

The keynote speakers for Convergence 2015 will be none other than Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and Kirill Tatarinov, Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Business Solutions Group.

Since joining Microsoft in 1992, Nadella quickly rose through the ranks where he became known as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and businesses to transform some of Microsoft’s biggest product offerings.

Prior to becoming CEO, Nadella served as executive vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise Group, no doubt providing the foundation for the cloud-first, mobile-first strategy he would unveil as Microsoft's CEO.

Kirill Tatarinov is responsible for all aspects of Dynamics development, operations, sales and marketing.

Prior to joining the MBS, Tatarinov was in charge of the Management and Solutions Division. His years of experience running these two groups make him an ideal candidate to speak at Convergence.

The famous Seth Godin—author, entrepreneur, marketer, founder of Squidoo and Yoyodyne-- will also be a keynote speaker that you surely will not want to miss. And to prove we all need to balance play with work, OneRepublic will perform on Wednesday evening.

What You Can Gain By Attending

What can you gain by attending Convergence 2015? To answer that, notice what previous attendees have expressed:

"If you are trying to sell into companies using Microsoft Dynamics you have to be at Convergence," said Andy Snook, Fastpath.

Stacey Goff Johnson, ZAP, echoed that statement: "Microsoft Convergence continues to be an outstanding event each year, drawing key decision makers from industries across the board. In addition to the unbelievable amount of leads we obtain every year it also enables us to network with other partners within the Microsoft Dynamics eco-system."

Whether you're a vender, partner, customer or potential customer, this convention is a must-attend. You'll have access to Microsoft executives and employees, fellow vendors and partners, not to mention the opportunity to network with potential customers.

If you’re attending, stop by and say hello to Journyx at booth 1827! We'd love to meet you and discuss the exciting developments in the Dynamics world.

February 16, 2015

JOURNYX AT MICROSOFT CONVERGENCE 2015It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and no, it’s not the Holiday season. We’re talking about that time of the year when we pack up all of our best gear, giveaways and designs, and head over to Microsoft Convergence for three days of Microsoft Dynamics madness in sunny Atlanta, Georgia.

If you’re also attending, here’s our list of the must-see events and panels at the show, and while you’re at it, stop by and visit us at booth #1827!

  • SMB Success in a Mobile-first, Cloud-first world – This session, lead by Wayne Morris, CVP of Marketing of Microsoft Business Solutions, will be one of the heavy-hitters at the conference. It will primarily focus on tech trends in 2015 and how it will impact small business using tools such as “Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Dynamics GP, NAV and SL”.
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015: Security – Presented by Brian Roney, Principal Engineer for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Alice Newsam, Software Engineer for Microsoft Dynamics GP, this session will go through and hit the main highlights of software security updates in GP 2015. Surely this one is a must-see.
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP SmartList Designer overview – Presented by Jen Ranz, Program Manager at Microsoft Dynamics, you’ll learn the basic points of how SmartList Designer works in GP 2015.
  • Deep Dive: Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 – Presented by Claus Lundstrøm of Continia Software, this session is geared toward intermediate-level end users of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and goes through (in detail) reporting options and capabilities in NAV 2015.
  • Keynote: Satya Nadella – If you’ve been under a rock for the past year, Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft. He’ll be the featured speaker and you won’t want to miss what he has to say about the future of Microsoft.

Still want more? Join these groups and follow these blogs, and get ready for the full Microsoft Dynamics experience.

February 11, 2015

time tracking glossaryTime tracking is one of the most important elements of successfully running your business. Whether it is by helping employees to be more productive with their time, properly bidding on new contracts or maximizing the profitability of existing ones, time tracking is the key that unlocks many doors.

Unfortunately, the meaning of various time tracking terms are not always readily evident. So let's look at some of the common terms and what they mean. In the first part of this series, we'll look at some of the foundation terms that the entire industry is built on.

Knowledge Worker

Wikipedia defines ‘knowledge worker’ as often referring to, “software engineersdoctorsarchitectsengineersscientists, public accountantslawyers, and academics, whose job is to ’think for a living’.” It was actually Peter Drucker who first coined the term "knowledge worker" as a way of differentiating someone whose main asset is the knowledge they possess as opposed to the product they build. In 1969, he accurately predicted that new industries would primarily employ knowledge workers. This, in turn, has given rise to the need for more accurate time tracking as a means to understand the productivity of the knowledge worker.

Because there are so many companies (and entire industries) whose most valuable resource is not an item, but the collective knowledge of their workers, it is critical to the success of these companies to be able to properly manage that intangible resource. This is especially important as cross-project work becomes more common. If a single, highly-skilled employee works on multiple projects, the ability to properly track how much they contribute to a particular project can be an invaluable aid in determining the true value of that project.

Project Management

This is a term that is often used and more often completely misunderstood. The Project Management Institute (PMI), "the world's leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project, program and portfolio management profession," defines project management as:

"The application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently. It’s a strategic competency for organizations, enabling them to tie project results to business goals — and thus, better compete in their markets."

PMI further separates the project management process into five categories:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing

PTO

PTO is an acronym commonly used to refer to Paid Time Off. While the name is self-explanatory, what it includes can still vary significantly from one company to another. Some companies lump vacation and sick days into one pool for the employee to use as they see fit. Others exercise more control, separating vacation and sick days.

Time and Attendance

Time and Attendance refers to the actual process of tracking employees' time spent working. In their most basic form, this can take the form of a punch card system. On the other end of the spectrum are automated systems, such as barcode readers, and advanced time tracking software.

In this Part One, we've defined four of the base terms used throughout the time tracking industry. In succeeding posts we'll continue to build on this foundation and define some of the more technical terms the industry relies on.

February 4, 2015

b2b software industry trendsAccording to Forbes, by 2020 the B2B e-commerce market will be worth an estimated—wait for it -- $6.7 trillion. There are a number of trends in the software industry in particular that will have a significant bearing on your company's success in cashing in on this growth. The landscape is changing and businesses must adapt to survive. The following five trends are some of the most important changes we're seeing, and will likely have the biggest implications for your business practices in 2015.

The Evolution of Mobile

According to Entrepreneur, toward the end of 2014, mobile adoption in the U.S. was expected to reach 90 percent, while tablet adoption was expected to pass 40 percent. (Numbers haven’t been released yet this year to confirm those numbers were met but all signs point to yes.) According to Moxie, approximately 30 to 50 percent of online traffic comes from mobile users. Just as significant, consumers spend 15 hours a week on mobile research.

What does this mean for the software industry? It means that the days of catering strictly to desktop users are a thing of the past. Businesses who want to reach the widest audience must look at their mobile offerings with increased scrutiny. Is the company’s website responsive so that it looks great on any device? Is the company's software available on the top mobile platforms? Does the application's interface truly represent the experience mobile users have come to expect, or is it overcomplicated and give the impression of being an afterthought?

This is an era where mobile is king and companies who fail to adapt unfortunately do so at their own peril.

Big Data

Another significant trend that first made headlines in 2013 is “Big Data”. While the National Security Administration has made headlines for cataloguing vast amounts of data, the corporations whose services we rely on daily often collect troves of data on our web-browsing habits (we’re looking at you, Google), all in an attempt to better understand us as customers.

According to Bell Pottinger, spending on Big Data will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 46 percent between 2015 and 2020. In spite of that, it's estimated that 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies will not effectively use the data they have to gain a competitive advantage in 2015.

Regardless of how we feel about data collection, it's safe to say that Big Data is here to stay. In the coming years, the companies who can effectively use the data they collect to better meet the needs of their customers are the ones who will find themselves on superior footing.

Telecommuting

It's estimated that as many as 30 to 45 percent of workers are telecommuters, virtual workers or freelance contractors. Given the continued evolution of mobile devices and an ever-connected global workforce, this trend will likely continue.

This presents a significant opportunity for software that focuses on team collaboration, with an emphasis on helping remote workers be productive members of an organization. All other things being equal, that one factor may be enough to cause a company to choose one software package over another.

Software Flexibility

With so many monumental shifts in the software industry, companies must be flexible in their approach now more than ever. This applies not only to their own internal operations, but also to how they approach clients and customers. A significant tool in this regard is open-source software.

"First and foremost is flexibility, since open-source code can be modified to fit your needs," writes Scott Taback, Vice President of Business Development at Highland Solutions. "Catering to a particularly difficult set of buyers? While proprietary e-commerce solutions offer some features you need and a host of options you don't, leveraging open source gives you granular control over user experience."

Cyber Security

Although the above trends offer many advantages, one potential disadvantage is the security concerns they raise. The rise of mobile devices, the ongoing and increased collection of data, and the widespread employment of remote workers all increase the potential for serious security breaches.

As these trends continue to develop, software and solutions that help companies manage their risk and protect the data they've been entrusted with will be invaluable components of an ever-changing landscape.

There's no doubt that we live in an exciting era of changes. Technology has reached a point where things that once seemed firmly in the realm of science fiction and old Star Trek episodes are now realities that affect our daily lives. In the months and years ahead, these trends will undoubtedly continue to play a pivotal role in the B2B software industry.

January 29, 2015

According to a recent report by the ADP Research Institute, "one-third of both mid-size and large businesses believe employees [simply] missing work reduces profitability." In a time where just showing up can change your entire business practices, where does your bottom line lie? With this webinar, we go over the importance of understanding the actual costs of doing business, the best ways to measure them, and how they can change the way your business runs for the better.

In this webinar, you can expect to learn:

  • The importance of project cost accounting
  • How time is the biggest capital expense for most organizations
  • How Journyx can help companies to be more efficient and profitable

Presented by Austin Mayse, Account Manager at Journyx.

January 26, 2015

A few years back, we checked in with the Journyx Account Management team and asked them how a prospect turns into a customer, and what a prospect's main concerns are that drove them to seek a new solution. It was all very informative and gave us a pretty great read on how customers find us. It shook up our business process and was so useful to us that we couldn't keep it to ourselves any longer.

As the way we do things -- and I mean all things -- changes dramatically with the exponential increase of knowledge, data and technological advances, the way businesses purchase new technology has changed as well. More purchases have shifted online and companies without an online presence are doomed to failure (we're looking at you, Blockbuster).

So what does this look like in terms of data? According to a recent article by Kapost.com, "87% of large companies consult online reviews,  63% consulted reviews when building a shortlist of software products to evaluate, 44% of buyers wrote reviews after a positive experience, [which] trumps the number of people who write reviews after a negative experience (29%)."

Check out the infographic below to see our full software buying process flow chart. Have questions? Let us know in the comment section below!

January 21, 2015

time tracking trends in 2015According to Trading Economics, the unemployment rate in the United States fell to 5.6 percent as of December 2014, representing the lowest point it has been since June 2008 (thankfully!). From 1948 through 2014, the unemployment rate averaged 5.83 percent, making the current rate lower than its 66-year average.

It’s important to note that this downward trend is expected to continue. According to The Street, the U.S. GDP is expected to grow 3 percent in 2015 and unemployment may well drop below the 5 percent threshold. How’s that for a game-changer?

But how exactly do we make heads or tails of these trends as they pertain to time tracking needs in 2015?

Where We've Been

Over the last few years, many companies turned to more effective means of time tracking to eke out every last bit of profit in a challenging market. With effective time tracking, companies have been able to more accurately bill for time spent on a project, as well as keep better track of the actual costs involved.

Such is the case that according to a recent survey of our customers, “83% of businesses surveyed said that cost tracking is vital to their everyday job.”

While those are valid concerns in any market scenario, in a recovering market there are other factors that time tracking can also address, including finding and retaining valuable employees that can help your company keep its competitive edge.

Making Sense Out of the Dollar

One of the biggest trends we’re predicting for 2015 will be an overheated marketplace, one where (luckily!) the low unemployment rate will create a competitive environment for companies looking to hire new employees, and keep existing ones.

According to Jim Kaitz, AFP President and CEO quoted by the WashingtonTimes.com, “We have been tracking cash accumulation, which slowed this year as companies began to invest in the future,” said Kaitz. “Now the big news is that almost half of companies plan to expand payrolls in 2015.”

In short, this means that time tracking is going to be more valuable than ever for your company. But how so?

Time Tracking Looks Good On You

A solid time tracking solution is the single most valuable tool you have at your disposal to see exactly where your company's resources are being spent, where your income is coming from and which employees are the most productive.

Armed with this knowledge, you're in a much better position to optimize your company's operation no matter which direction the economy turns. You can focus resources on projects that make the most money, get rid of problematic clients that take up a disproportionate amount of resources and devise incentives to reward those employees who are consistently delivering the best value to the company.

That last point, in particular, is what will give your company a competitive edge in hiring and retaining employees. When you're in a position to "trim the fat," you're able to offer employees things your competitors may not, such as better pay, superior benefits, larger year-end bonuses or even better job security. The end result is happier employees and a company that has a reputation for being a great place to work, while other companies experience uncomfortable churn rates and the resulting loss of productivity and profit.

It's all too easy to "sweat the small stuff" when things are tight and the economy is struggling. Those companies who use time tracking to their advantage will find themselves in a far better position to take advantage of the economic recovery in 2015. 

January 19, 2015

The often forgotten about and outright ignored time management apps on the tablet are finally getting some love today, and it's about time (no pun intended)! According to a recent Mashable article, "The number of mobile devices has now surpassed the global human population," according to Steve French, global vice president at Amdocs' OpenMarket. He continues to say, "Nearly 90% of consumers own a mobile phone and 30% a tablet." 

time management apps on tabletThat's a lot to absorb right off the bat. So, fresh out of the proverbial 2015 gate, we're coming at you with a list of our top 4 favorite time management apps on the tablet. 

  1. Instapaper - This app, available on both the iPhone and the iPad, not only gives you the ability to save interesting articles for a good read later on (once you've finished your to-do list, of course), it also optimizes your content for "readability", and gives you the option to share on the social media network or email inbox of your choosing.
  2. PocketInformant - This app manages your to-do list and daily, weekly, and monthly planner all in one spot. It also syncs with your Google Calendar, OneNote, Evernote and more to give you the easiest usability in your daily life.
  3. Box - Much like Dropbox or Google Drive, Box makes it easy to download and upload projects on multiple devices; so whether or not you're at lunch, you can still connect with coworkers and complete projects right on deadline.
  4. Mindmup - Two parts Van Gogh and one part Steve Jobs, Mindmup makes it easy to take a concept and flesh it out in one amazing brainstorming tool. Not only does it help you get to the finished result you've been stuck on for weeks, it also syncs to Google Drive for simple cross-app functionality. 

But what about the blogs with the latest time management tips and statistics in the industry? Check these out:

January 14, 2015

Journyx CEO Curt Finch will present " From Chaos to Success: How Better Cost Accounting can Propel Your Company to Higher Profitability" at the San Antonio IMA chapter meeting. The presentation will be approximately 50 minutes. For more information and registration, visit the San Antonio IMA website here.

January 14, 2015

Journyx CEO Curt Finch will present " From Chaos to Success: How Better Cost Accounting can Propel Your Company to Higher Profitability" at the Richmond IMA chapter meeting. The presentation will be approximately 50 minutes. For more information and registration, visit the Richmond IMA website here.

January 14, 2015

Journyx CEO Curt Finch will present " From Chaos to Success: How Better Cost Accounting can Propel Your Company to Higher Profitability" at  The FENG - San Antonio (Financial Executives Networking Group) chapter meeting. The presentation will be approximately 50 minutes. For more information and registration, visit The FENG - San Antonio website here.

January 14, 2015

free web-based timesheet softwareOne of the most disruptive trends in modern software development is the rise of the "freemium" software model. Companies offer their software free of charge, usually with limited features, and unlock the full program once the licensing fee has been paid.

When it comes to Web-based timesheet software, is it worth it to take advantage of these programs? Do you get what you pay for (or don't pay for in this case) in this category?

The Pros

The benefit of freemium software is that the end-user has the opportunity to evaluate the software free of charge. This is often referred to as an “Experience Good”. Writing a guest post for TechCrunch, Uzi Shmilovici, CEO and founder of Future Simple, said: "Most Internet products or services fall into the definition of an Experience Good: a product that needs a period of use before the customer can determine the value they can derive from it."

With this model, customers are able to use software free of any restrictions, aside from possibly a limit to the number of users or the time period in which the product is tested. This gives them the ability to fully explore the software, see the advantages of a dedicated timesheet package and determine how a software solution will fit within their existing workflow.

The Cons

There are some disadvantages to this approach, as well.

For example, when performing a normal installation for a paying customer, our team here at Journyx works hard to help customize the installation for their specific needs. As with any complex software, there are a myriad of features and configuration options, not all of which may be needed. When we consult with a customer, we make sure the necessary features are activated, while the unnecessary ones are not.

Without this assistance, there's a good chance that potential customers will misconfigure some of the settings resulting in a less-than-ideal setup. Under these circumstances, software may not offer the value that it otherwise would.

Alternatives

What alternatives are there for companies looking for a completely free solution, without worrying about limitations or misconfiguration?

One possibility, especially for smaller companies, is Excel spreadsheets. There are many examples of timesheet setups in Excel available on the Internet. These may be a viable option for companies with limited personnel, resources and number of employees.

For larger companies, who nonetheless want to keep their expenses minimal, open source software may also be a viable option; the different applications that are available can range in complexity and features. Depending on an organization's needs, there may be a package that suits them perfectly.

Final Thoughts

So what option is best for your company? As with most things in life, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

For the most basic requirements, spreadsheets may be all your company needs. For more moderate demands, open source software may hold the answer.

For more robust requirements, however, many companies find that a commercial option, complete with setup and ongoing support, is the best choice. With this option, your company will have an optimized solution, and one that provides the best value. 

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