Categories
Trends & Technology

Upcoming IT Trends for 2015

Technology trends are becoming more strategic and are quickly developing. With continuous advancements in smart-phone technology, there is room for an increased emphasis on the needs of the mobile user within diverse environments. Instead of the focus on the device itself, smart-phones and wearable devices are becoming part of a broader computing context. User experience design is the new center of focus.

 

  • IoT – also known as the internet of things, is continuing to expand. Driven by user-oriented computing, the digital business is to be replicated within the industrial and operational context and its main focus will be the product and process within digital business.
  • 3D printing costs are decreasing and will continue over the course of the next couple of years. Due to the decrease, it is leading the market into another direction. This direction would be the rapid growth of these particular low-cost machines. Expansion within the industrial, bio medical and consumer applications are becoming the main highlights of technological trends.
  • Analytics are continuing to advance due to the internet of things and embedded devices. Structured and unstructured data within organizations will continue to generate. Every app will transform into an analytic app.
  • Another trend consists of context-rich systems that are alert and responsive to all surroundings. Context- aware security is an example of an early application trend that will emerge.
  • Mobile computing as well as cloud computing continue to lead to the growth of applications that can be delivered to any device. Cloud computing is the foundation of self-service computing for both external and internal facing applications. Jonas Premier offers an integrated construction software solution is that 100% true cloud. This includes the launch of the Jonas Premier Mobile app that is currently available for Android devices, along with an iOS version set to be released.
  • The digital business requires flexibility in order to develop methods for programming. It can range from infrastructure basics to applications. Software defined networking, data centers and security are maturing, and therefore the demand for computing to move away from static to dynamic models are continuing to rise.
  • The evolution of web-scale IT will result in companies forming their applications and infrastructure similar to Google or Facebook and even Amazon. As cloud-optimized and software-defined methods become mainstream, web-scale IT will evolve as commercial platforms embrace new models.
Categories
Accounting Industry Insight

10 Reasons to Switch from QuickBooks to Premier

When we designed Premier, we took the simplicity from QuickBooks and combined it with the power of traditional packages to create a simple, yet powerful solution on a modern user interface.

10 Reasons to switch from QuickBooks to Jonas Premier:

  1. Integration – One complete solution for accounting, detailed job costing, project & document management designed for automation and collaboration only for Construction. Using one software for all your needs can help you automate processes, save you valuable time and generate detailed financial and job cost reports.
  2. Data Security – Control what user or group can enter only versus post in key modules. Secure by company and by job. Every entry has a proper data trail which stores electronically in the document management system. This makes it easy for auditors to track so they are in and out of your office in no time.
  3. AP Batch Processing – AP Invoices for Jobs or GL can be saved individually or in a batch and routed for approval to multiple users. Easily run reports to see what is ‘pending’ and who you are waiting for approval on. When you approve or deny, you have the ability to enter in the proper allocation for each line item. This will automatically update in AP to help minimize double entry.
  4. Retainage/Holdback Processing – Designed specifically for construction, we understand the importance of tracking retainage/holdback by detailed job cost items. Premier can automatically release retainage/holdback and generate invoices.
  5. Subcontract Management – Tracks compliances and expiry dates. When approving a change order with subs, it automatically generates subcontractor change orders and updates billing. Enable the pay when paid feature and redesign your payment applications by vendor.
  6. Cheque Register – A record of cheques enables you to cancel a cheque at any date, without having to reopen a closed accounting period. You can easily deactivate and reactivate periods.
  7. Project Accounting – Jonas Premier provides up to 5 levels of detailed job costing which is useful for General Contractors working on condos, apartments, property, lots etc. Example: An AP invoice could be allocated as follows: Job 123 – Sub – Concrete Work – Building 1 – Bathroom
  8. Project Management – Manage estimates, est@completion, actual & committed costs, change orders, pending change orders, photos, RFIs, Submittals, Transmittals, Punch lists, and more.
  9. Document Management – Documents from Premier automatically store and tag to the job, customer, sub, employee etc., helping you become paperless instantly. Integrated with Word, Excel and Outlook makes it easy to tag documents. Upload any 3rd party and enable workflow approval for internal and external users such as subcontractors.
  10. Billing – Enter and manage fixed price Job Invoices, Schedule of Values, Progress Billing by %, amount, units, AIA billing and T&M Cost plus mark up with Construction Management Fees. Design your forms or easily copy from templates.
Categories
Resources Trends & Technology

Secrets of Construction Software – Cloud vs Traditional ERP

Construction Software has become more powerful and there are many more options available in the market today. How do you decide what is best for you and how can you hedge your risk? Well, it’s not that easy! It’s important to educate yourself on which questions are crucial to ask so that you can easily differentiate the old from the new and identify software that adds real value to your organization.

 

The main challenge is finding an integrated accounting and job costing software that is robust, powerful, and easy to install and use.  With the introduction of cloud, software companies are challenged to move from traditional ERP to SaaS based models. To build software that is true cloud requires a significant investment. Most construction software companies do not have the development resources and required investment to compete in the cloud market so they take shortcuts such as using a third party hosting provider to host their software in the cloud. This is not a true cloud solution but rather dated technology camouflaged in a new technology framework.

 

Traditional ERP software contracts are structured in a way that locks customers in and increases the risk for businesses. It’s important to review the contract in detail so you don’t invest your hard earned dollars in software that is dated, comprehensive and can take several months to install. Also, traditional ERP software packages specialize in customizations and target multiple verticals. This results in numerous flags which lead to lengthy and time consuming installs.

 

Additionally, traditional ERP software solutions charge a high upfront license fee and lock you into a contract that is very difficult to terminate. In hindsight, they have very little incentive to provide a quality product and exceptional customer service. Under the new model – SaaS, there is no contract which significantly mitigates the risk for your business. It also holds the software vendors accountable to deliver what was promised during the sales demo – a quality product and exceptional customer support.

 

The differences between true cloud and traditional hosted ERP solutions quickly become apparent when you calculate the cost savings. Traditional ERP software vendors try to compete in the cloud market by hosting their software using a third party provider. There is an associated hosting fee and Citrix/VPN are required to run the software application. Not only is this costly but it is very time consuming, slow and usually there are connection issues and delays. Also, servers must be upgraded, maintained and require in house I.T support for back-ups, storage, corruption etc.

 

True cloud does not require a server or hosting fees and all back-ups and upgrades are included.

 

Most importantly, SaaS based companies have shifted their focus on customer satisfaction by taking the time to learn about construction businesses.  Establishing a meaningful partnership drastically positively impacts development and advances the software.  Most traditional ERP solutions set a lower budget for the number of training hours required for an implementation in order to make the quote appear more favorable. It is important to gain clarification around this to ensure an accurate number of hours is quoted. Most vendors charge for additional training whereas most SaaS based vendors are rolling out unlimited training models to ensure high adoption and satisfaction rates among customers. Typically users of SaaS based systems are using over 80% of the software’s capability whereas users of traditional models are left to train themselves and end up using less than 50%.

 

As you can see, the two solutions – true cloud versus traditional ERP – are drastically different. It’s important to take into consideration more than just the purchase price. If you make the wrong decision, it can disrupt your work environment, deter employees from change and end up costing you time and a significant lost investment. Choosing the right software is critical to a company’s success. If chosen correctly, it can increase productivity, centralize your team, provide meaningful reports and help you grow your business with less resources.

Categories
Mobile Trends & Technology

Jonas Premier Announces the Launch of their New Mobile Application

Jonas Premier, a division of Jonas Construction Software, has announced the launch of their new mobile application, which was officially released on March 1st, 2015 for Android devices. The application will later be available in the Google Play store at a one-time app cost of $14.99 and a monthly fee of $25/user with Jonas Premier.

 

The goal in releasing their mobile app is to allow for easier access for field technicians to perform their job autonomously while improving communication with the office. The Jonas Premier mobile application will act as a ‘daily job log’ where technicians can input all aspects of the job within one clean and simple to use application. Currently, Jonas Premier has launched the mobile preview program with a few select clients and has received positive feedback thus far. The app is developed in-house and provides real-time information. Most importantly, it is specifically designed for Project Managers, keeping it simple to use, incorporating large, easy to read icons, making the app very intuitive and easy to learn. With Jonas Premier being a leader in construction cloud software, all actions performed within the app are integrated back into the Jonas system to update payroll and the daily job logs.

 

The Jonas Premier field mobile application has three major components. The first component is the daily job log, which allows technicians to enter hours directly from the field for themselves, or for an entire crew, and is automatically linked to a specific job or cost item in real-time. The second component is the daily job log information. This feature allows for job descriptions to be entered, how many subcontractors were on a specific job as well as how many hours they worked, what material was used or purchased, what equipment was used or rented, any safety issues that occurred, and any weather delays experienced. This component also has a custom field section, whereby any additional information, customized to any business, can be entered. This information can be in the form of an open text field, date, and numeric or drop down field. The third component provides users with the ability to take pictures directly from the job site. When a picture is taken, the image is automatically saved and integrated into the Jonas document management system and is tagged to that specific job.

 

Karoline Lapko, Vice President of Jonas Premier, is excited for the release of their mobile app, “At Premier, we are committed to empowering people and organizations to achieve more. Today’s mobile app release is another step on our journey to re-inventing the mobile and cloud world in the construction industry. Real-time daily job logs and time entry are now just a tap away. We expect a tremendous response, and customer feedback is critical to ensure high quality and to help us refine and improve the app. We’ve only scratched the surface of what is possible as we intend to re-image new ways to build out the product to help with automation, collaboration and integration. Stay Tuned!”

 

While the Jonas Premier mobile application has numerous components and features already, there is still room for growth. The next phase of the app will allow for RFIs (request for information) for quick photo capture and ability to create a new RFI directly from the mobile decide. The app will also be able create a deficiency or punch list. With the application currently available for Android devices, an iOS version is set to be released within Q2 of this year

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Read the official Press Release HERE.

 

Categories
Industry Insight Trends & Technology

Document Management – What to Consider

Picture this – endless piles of paper taking over your office and desk space. Sounds familiar?

If so, then it’s probably time to consider looking at an e-document management system. At a time when there are so many tools available to share and organize data there is huge value in deploying a system that ensures your information is accessible, secure, and easy to find for all its stakeholders.

The way you consume information is a personal preference. To many people, reading from a physical document is much more natural, comfortable and convenient than reading from a screen. To others, reading from the screen is more preferential.

Jonas Premier gives you the opportunity to go completely paperless by storing and transferring all your data digitally. We also make it easy to email and print reports. Part of what makes this possible is the integration with various Microsoft office programs:

Outlook – Automate your emails and send reports directly through Premier for quick and easy communication.

Excel – Generate spreadsheets on a platform that you’re already comfortable with, and see information the way you want to see it. Print, save, or email it.

A centralized, easily accessible location for all of your information will enable your entire team to collaborate on projects and reduce the time it takes to perform tasks. No more searching for missing information or sorting through outdated unorganized data. Companies that don’t require a hard copy of their documents are also at a significant cost advantage. There is less time spent on printing and filing which gives your administrative staff more time to accomplish other important tasks.

Premier’s document management system enables your team quick and easy access to the most current versions of their documents while also keeping an accurate historical audit trail. This reduces the risk of looking at stale information. Premier also designates which revision you are currently looking at as well as when it was created.

Although improving your document management system might not be your top priority, it is fairly easy to do and offers great rewards down the road. Go electronic with your documents and make sure your company is operating at its fullest potential!

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