Professional Computer Systems, Co.

March 2015, Newsletter Issue No. 24

IN THIS ISSUE:

RECENT NEWS:

Upcoming Webinars

Connect- Batch Processor

April 16, 2015 @ 1pm
(Click here to sign up.)

Insight- Inventory Physical Count

May 12, 2015 @ 1pm
(Click here to sign up.)

Insight- Hints & Tips

July 21, 2015 @ 1pm
(Click here to sign up.)

Click here to view the 2015 class schedule and dates


Upcoming Conferences

PCS UGM
Denison, IA
June 8-11, 2015.

 

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Phone: (888) 843-3106

Welcome to our newsletter!

PCS 28th Annual User Group Meeting

The PCS Annual User Group Meeting (UGM) will be held in Denison June 8-11th. There will be classes for both new and experienced users in all of the applications from Utilit-e Connect and Utilit-e Insight to Business Intelligence!

Insight users will want to join in the discussions and planning of Account Receivable Other and Payroll updates plus other enhancements within the Insight application. We will talk about what is new in several modules such as inventory, employee portal, time entry and Capital Credits. This is your time to be heard, so come prepared to share your ideas and see the results of your previous UGM sessions.

Connect users will get information regarding the new payment opportunities soon to be available through Payment Service Network (PSN). This announcement will have an effect on every utility. Be looking for a Press Release in the near future. Other topics will include Prepay, Audit Tracking and Utilit-e Online enhancements to name a few.

Several options for both Insight and Connect in Business Intelligence will be available throughout the week as well.

Last year, meals were offered at the conference center to make it easy and convenient for people to stay in one place and network with other utilities. PCS will offer all lunches and dinners again at Boulders this year. You can choose a couple meals or get the entire meal deal for only $90.

There will be lots of time to network with other utilities across the country during the evening events as well. Monday evening, a welcome reception will be held at the Boulders Conference Center, lower level. Tuesday evening will have a variety of options such as, painting for those aspiring artists, a bags tournament, cards and lots of other activities. Wednesday night's entertainment will be provided by comedian Buzz Sutherland.

There is something for everyone at your utility. From billing and accounting, to network security, sharing information and ideas with other PCS clients and staff, this year's UGM is one you will not want to miss.

For more information, contact Dana at (danai@pcsco.com).

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Network Upgrade: Utilit-e Central gets a boost!

Over the weekend of March 20th the PCS hosting center will be getting a burst of speed. The 1GbE network will be upgraded to a 10GbE network. What this means, is the network speed will be 10 times faster.

Currently in the hosting center the PCS applications reside on a dedicated server. This model of having one applications per server has caused a proliferation of servers in our networks. It also makes for an interesting balancing act between servers. Virtualization, decoupling the operating system image from the physical system has eliminated these scalability issues. While virtualization allows powerful multiprocessor systems to be more fully utilized as CPU resources are balanced across multiple applications.

The combination of consolidation and virtualization has driven server performance to new levels. But as system performance scales, 1GbE connections to the LAN (local area network) become a bottleneck. Utilizing multiple 1GbE links per server is an interim solution, but this introduces processing overhead and requires multiple cables and switches. With 10 times the bandwidth of a 1GbE, 10GbE is the clear answer to increasing LAN connections speeds.

PCS is making a significant investment in upgrading the virtual infrastructure backbone to all 10GbE fiber networking in an effort to provide additional bandwidth to the network demands and to keep performance at the highest levels possible, while keeping within budget and cost to our clients manageable.

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Inventory Enhancements, April Release Date!

PCS is gearing up for the deployment of the newly enhanced Inventory module. Release 7.0.50X will be available in April and has the following screen improvements:

New Inquiry Screen - This screen has the capability to view previous transactions, including issues, purchases, and staking. Also an added filtering capability to focus in on specific data, such as all issues to work orders in the past 6 months, all purchases from a specific vendor, etc.

Inventory Item Screen - A user can add their own fields for things that are important to them. An example, someone wanted a place to record the location of the item in the warehouse without having to use the full-blown bin functionality. This would be a great use for that capability.

Physical Count Screen - Now displays the description of the item along with the item number. The screen also displays the current quantity anytime the screen is loaded. So if the physical count takes 2 weeks, you can see at a glance what the current quantity actually is.

New Warehouse Transfer screen - For utilities with multiple warehouses, this will make it much easier to record transfers between warehouses.

Other improvements:

PCS has added the ability to "reserve" inventory. This capability requires the use of the Work Order module. By entering a start date on a work order and materials used on the work order, a report can be created of materials reserved for those work orders. The reserved quantity will also display on the Inventory Inquiry Screen.

An inventory turnover report has been added that shows the average monthly usage, quantity on hand, and projected months before running out of that item.

For the RUS borrowers a new report has been added for the RUS Form 7 Part F.

March 5, 2015 a webinar presentation was held to show the above features. A recording of that webinar is available on the PCS website at www.pcsco.com.

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Marc's Monthly Re-Minders... Do You Remember...

The added functionality to the Accounts Payable module for paying a vendor by ACH with email notification (AP ACH) has been very popular! This ability was showcased at the 2014 Annual User Group Meeting. Contact the Financial Applications (Insight) team for a refresher on implementing this capability.

It's March Madness and many of you are going through your annual audit. I sent an email about a month ago explaining reasons to close December timely. Leaving the month/year open can cause bad entries to be made, accidentally posted to December instead of current month. Prior year adjustments can be made when necessary. So this is just a friendly "re-minder".

Inventory enhancements are featured in the newsletter. Next on the schedule is Capital Credits. Work will begin in April. That will leave Accounts Receivable Other and Payroll to be upgraded from the Visual Basic programming language to the newer technology of .NET. Watch the Insight Forum for discussions regarding ARO and Payroll. This is your voice for enhancements and improvements.

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Online Email Notifications

Do you have customers missing out on information?

Does your utility include newsletters or other mail stuffers when sending out statements? Do you have people on electronic billing that do not get a statement in the mail? Those customers may be missing out on important information that is contained in those bill stuffers. No need for them to miss out anymore! PCS has the ability to add a link to Utilit-e Online and/or to the statement email notification sent directly to your customers.

The process is very simple. Verbiage with an associated link can be added to the Utilit-e Online screen which in turn will redirect your customers to the primary webpage hosting your newsletters or bill stuffers. Similarly, verbiage and the link can be added directly to the email notification that is sent to your e-bill customers informing them of the additional document(s).

If you are interested in implementing this capability please contact Michele (michele.mathies@pcsco.com) or Bobbi (bobbi.nowlin@pcsco.com).

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Employee Portal Webinar Recording

If you missed the Employee Portal webinar this week, no worries the recording is on our website under the client area, www.pcsco.com The webinar was focused on those interested in learning more about Employee Portal, so it is very informative. Interest is growing, hop on the bandwagon and see what all the excitement is about! Contact Marcus today! (marcus.rihner@pcsco.com)

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Credit Cards!!!

Now that we have your attention, the buzz acronym in the recent past is EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. As new credit cards are issued the EMV Chip will be embedded in them. It is a joint effort initially conceived by Europay, MasterCard and Visa to ensure the security and global interoperability of chip-based payment cards.

Click here to get more information regarding these new cards and their implementation.

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Check out the PCS Forum

We started the PCS forum a few months ago, and we would like to remind everyone to check it out.

The purpose of this forum is to give our customers the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with each other. It is not meant to be a replacement for our support team. Our moderators review posts to ensure they are contributing to this objective and respond where appropriate. PCS reserves the right to remove posts that we feel do not contribute to the purpose of the forum. We hope the forum will be a new resource for those of you with similar issues, or for those of you with more experience, to help those new to the PCS software.

Register today, and check it out at: pcsco.supporttopics.com/

Click here for a PDF guide, to help you get started.

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