Exact Software User Conference Highlights 

     The Exact Software Users Conference, Engage, was held on March 11 to 14, 2007 in Dallas, Texas.  The conference featured over 160 breakout sessions, several guest speakers, a third party vendorís showcase, and hands-on solution lab with 60 computers.  Over 1,000 customers attended and there was high praise for conference overall.

     Jim Kent, CEO of Exact Software North America, highlighted the numerous enhancements completed for Macola Progression, Macola ES, and e-Synergy since the last Engage Users Conference, and shared the favorable financial results for Exact Software for its latest fiscal year.

     The keynote speaker was D. Mike Abrashoff, author of the book, Itís Your Ship.  Mike explained his leadership success as Commander of a battleship in the Pacific Fleet.  His talk was humorous and insightful, attributing winning the hearts and minds of his crew by showing the highest respect for each and every person under his command.

     There were many Macola and e-Synergy announcements at the conference.  A new version of Macola ES, Release 372, will be released around June 1, 2007.  This will be a significant release in several ways.  New functionality includes use of Crystal Reports as a forms generator so that you do not need to print and post the Macola form first and will include the following business documents: OE Invoice, Purchase Orders, Pick Ticket, Packing List, and BOL for in-transit shipments.  There will be a new Crystal based Order Booking report by salesperson as well as a new Detailed Trial Balance report in the general ledger.  Functionality was improved in OE to PO creation; cycle counting; feature option configurator; and the ability to call external applications using the ES menu builder.

     One of the highlights of the show was ĎEBAí which stands for Exact Business Analytics.  EBA is a sophisticated analysis and reporting tool that allows you to drill into the data in your Macola database and slice and dice data many ways.  It is somewhat similar to using pivot tables in Excel but more powerful.  Exact has four predefined analytics for Macola which include Sales, Inventory / Purchase Order, Manufacturing, and Financials.  Within each, there are many different report and graph formats available.

     The big news is that EBA is going to be embedded in Macola ES Release 372.  All ES sites will get, at no charge, the RDIS engine for one company database, all four analytics previously mentioned, and one Express User license for each named ES user they own.  An Express User can access the analytics, refresh cubes, specify selection criteria in content filters, but cannot slice and dice the data by moving the columns around.  For that you will need the Professional User.  Power Users can do even more such as modify layouts and underlying views.  Still, this represents a savings of between $13,000 to $17,000 dollars over previous pricing.  Letís hear it for Exact Software!

     Next yearís conference will be held in Las Vegas.  From personal observation, we can say that many of the attendees enjoyed themselves more than they thought they were going to.  Please consider working it into your schedule if at all possible.



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