Thursday, March 31, 2011

C&G selected to implement ERP Solution for 2010 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Grand Award Winner

C&G Consulting was recently selected by Waukesha-based Hydro-Thermal Corporation to assist them in implementing a new ERP solution, Sage MAS 500 to replace their outdated Macola software. Key deciding factors expressed by the Hydro selection team were the level of expertise and professionalism demonstrated by the C&G team as well the tight integration between the Sage MAS 500 solution and their Sage SalesLogix CRM software. C&G has just completed phase 1 of the project- Implementation Team Capabilities Training on the financial, distribution and manufacturing modules.

Hydro-Thermal is a family owned manufacturer of steam injection heating systems. They ship their products to businesses in over 45 countries in the food and beverage, commercial laundry, paper, chemical and biofuel industries. To learn more about Hydro-Thermal and what makes them a world-class manufacturer, visit their website at

Monday, March 28, 2011

Closing Windows without using the mouse: shortcut keys

We all know Windows doesn't like to be shut down by using the power switch; it likes to have you navigate to the Start menu, then select Shut Down so it can end its work in an orderly fashion. But what do you do when your mouse malfunctions and you can't move the pointer anymore? Behold the power of keyboard shortcuts! There are many, many Windows shortcuts to choose from, but to close down your programs (and then Windows) when you have a dead mouse, hold down the ALT key and simultaneously press the F4 key. This will close down whichever window is active, and you can repeat this to close down all the open windows and then Windows itself.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Useful Microsoft Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can save time (and money) by allowing you to work more efficiently. If you find yourself looking for different ways to work "faster" on your computer, try using some keyboard shortcuts from Microsoft.

Here are some commonly used and very useful keyboard shortcuts:

Windows Key Shortcuts

- Show the Desktop: Windows Key + D
- Open My Computer: Windows Key + E
- Search for a file or folder: Windows Key + F
- Display Windows Help: Windows Key + F1
- Minimize all windows: Windows Key + M
- Restores minimized windows: Windows Key + Shift + M
- Open the Run dialog box: Windows Key + R
- Lock your computer: Windows Key + L
- Display or Hide the Start Menu: Windows Key

ALT Key Shortcuts

- Cycle through items in the order they were opened: ALT + ESC
- Switch between open items: ALT + TAB

CTRL Key Shortcuts

- Copy: CTRL + C
- Cut: CTRL + X
- Paste: CTRL + V
- Undo: CTRL + Z
- Bold: CTRL + B
- Underline: CTRL + U
- Italic: CTRL + I
- Print: CTRL + P

Outlook Keyboard Shortcuts

- Reply to a message: CTRL + R
- Send: CTRL + Enter or ALT + S

Useful Mobile Apps

Here are links to a few mobile apps I use regularly:


Written for Blackberry, Android, iPad, iPhone, and others. This application can retain snippets of web pages, type-written notes, hand-written notes, PDF files, etc. and keeps them all indexed. It's effectively a "personal Google" for the pieces of info you want to be able to find again, but don't want too have to spend time organizing. There's a free version, but the paid version for roughly $50 per year will index within PDF files, greatly enhancing the effectiveness of searching through your accumulated data, as well as increase the amount of storage you are allocated which keeps all your Evernote devices in sync with each other.

Android Agenda Widget:

Written for Android only. I replaced the giant clock on the home screen of my Android-based phone with this agenda application which simply shows me a list of my upcoming calendar items, saving me from having to open the calendar application or relying on alerts for only the next appointment.


Written for both Blackberry and Android. High quality audio player for managing and listening to audio and video podcasts.

Pulse Newsreader:

Written for both iPad and Android. A visually rich newsreader application for RSS news feeds.

Zite Newsreader:

Written for iPad only. Newsreader that asks for "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" on the articles it shows you, helping refine the automatic search it does of various content providers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quick and inexpensive web order processing

C&G Consulting recently helped Quaker Bakery Brands setup the ability to take orders via credit cards from their website for a new retail product they are introducing to the online marketplace.

Check out Quaker Bakery's new offering, an innovative hot dog and brat bun for 'on the go' without the traditional mess. C&G used Paypal to create the buttons and a simple shopping cart to collect credit card payments, allowing Quaker Bakery Brands to avoid any upfront or monthly costs until they can gauge the volume of web-based orders for the new products.  C&G will be able to assist with further automattion and integration options in the future.

Monday, March 21, 2011

quick access to remote desktop protocol

Ever get tired of navigating through the menus to start a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) session? A quicker way is to open a command prompt and type (or type in the Run dialog) the command 'mstsc /console'. This will open an RDP window for you, bypassing the need to navigate the Windows menu structure

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cloud Computing and Data Security, Business Risk

Here is an interesting article that raises several questions regarding cloud-based computing and the lack of answers that the industry is providing regarding data security and business risk. “Cloud computing” can be loosely defined as outsourced or "software as a service" computing, where software and data are kept on a vendor's system rather than a company-owned computer.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

V-Technologies Ends OEM Relationship with Sage

V-Technologies, the maker of the shipping software Starship, has decided to discontinue it's OEM relationship with Sage Software. What does this mean for Sage customers that use Starship with their ERP application?

As of March 31, 2011, Sage will no longer sell V-Technologies Starship Parcel and Starship Freight products for MAS 90, 200, or 500. Customers can purchase these products from C&G Consulting directly.

Sage will continue to support the Starship Link (a Sage product that connects MAS to Starship) for customers currently on a maintenance plan until version 4.5 is released. The Starship Link will not be included in versions 4.5 and above of MAS 90/200. V-Technologies will continue to provide support and maintenance for Starship Parcel and Freight products for customers on a maintenance plan with V-Technologies directly.

Since it's initial release, the Starship Freight product (for companies shipping truckload and LTL shipments needing Bill of Ladings) has used the "business object interface" component of MAS 90 / MAS 200 to link to those ERP applications and does not require the Starship Link component. Users of Starship Freight will be unaffected.

V-Technologies released Starship 10 in mid-2010 and in January 2011 released Starship 11. Both of these releases re-define Starship by adding additional features and functionality over the level 9 product. A few benefits include an alternate business objects interface to Sage MAS 90 / MAS 200, and address validation of shipping addresses prior to sending out shipments.

Starship level 9 only allowed the Starship Link to be used, which required that users begin their shipment in Shipping Data Entry, and click the Starship button to print their shipping label. The freight, weight, and tracking numbers were then returned to MAS 90 / MAS 200.

Starship level 10 and 11, with the new business object interface, switches the workflow around. Users begin their shipment in Starship, and have the option of choosing from a sales order record, or an invoice record, to base their shipment on. Additional mapping capabilities mean that user-defined fields or fields not in the standard Starship map can be passed through to the shipment and appear in Starship. Based on initial testing, we've found this flexibility to be a great step forward!  Once the shipment is processed, information is written back to MAS 90 / MAS 200. Customers using the new business objects interface will not be affected by the removal of the Starship Link option.

For those customers who prefer to use Shipping Data Entry and retain the workflow currently in use with the Starship Link product, V-Technologies is evaluating options for partnering with a Master Developer to create an enhancement for MAS 90/200 that mimics the current Starship Link functionality.  Contact us for more information.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

VMWare View Client for iPad Announced

VMWare has announced an app for the iPad which allows users of its virtual desktop technology to connect to their desktops from their iPad. This will enable the road warriors who are using their iPads to jump onto their full desktop computers back in the office while still not needing to bring along a full laptop computer.

C&G Consulting is going to test this software in conjunction with a VPN connection from the iPad to the company firewall, providing a secure and (hopefully) seamless remote connectivity experience.

The web site has a video preview of this app in action.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sage Customer Summit

C&G is looking forward to Sage Summit 2011 (July 12-15, 2011 in Washington, DC).  It is the conference for Sage customers and partners. It’s the single best event of the year for connecting with and learning from a diverse community of peers, product experts, and industry thought leaders.

Conference at a glance
Partner Days | July 10–15, 2011
The first two and a half days are dedicated to Sage business partners, consultants, and Sage Accountants Network members.

Customer Days | July 12–15, 2011
Customers arrive Day 3 of the conference for an intensive learning program. If you’re a business leader, product user, or IT staffer for a company that runs a Sage solution, you’ll find value from the moment you arrive. Business partners are invited to stay, which means more product know-how to answer your questions and more cross-pollination of ideas.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New iPad Revealed

Apple just finished their press conference re: the new iPad. Overall: Thinner, faster processor, front and back cameras, about 11% lighter. See's overview of the new model and how it compares to the original iPad.

I like the tweet I just saw from Dustin Curtis re: the Apple press conference: “Superlative superlative superlative, superlative superlative iPad 2. Superlative superlative.”

STOP! Don't click anything if you see a pop-up advertisement!

Malicious advertisements are the most common source of workstation outages among our clients. Antivirus and antispyware tools have primarily been based on "signature based scanning", the maintenance of a list of known signatures or traces of malicious software, viruses, and threats. Just like the immune system in the human body, the threat needs to be known in advance for the system to proactively prevent illness and infection. Since malicious advertisements are newly created by the thousands every day, the signature lists of security software is rarely able to keep up with the threats.

It is possible, even on major web sites, to have an automated advertisement push malicious code and pop-up advertisements to innocent web users. If you see a pop-up advertisement that looks suspicious, fight the reflexive urge to close the pop-up window. The "X" icon on that window is most likely not going to close the window, but rather will launch malicous code on your computer. DO NOT click anywhere within the pop-up window itself.

Try to close a malicious web browser session by right-clicking on the icon for your web browser in your Task Bar (the bottom bar of your screen which displays the programs you have running), then select close. If the page does not close, make sure you've saved your work in other windows and then restart your computer.

If you are at all uncertain about how to respond to a pop-up advertisement, please call your professional IT support team (C&G Consulting's Support Center is reachable at 262-522-8226) so we can try to safely restart your computer before it becomes infected.

Where is all this malware coming from?

Malware infections of Windows-based computers have become a common problem. Infected advertisements (maliciously placed) are the primary source of the problem. Some web advertising networks are being more proactive at addressing this problem than others. See this article discussing a specific analysis of Yahoo-based advertising infections.
Microsoft has tried to address malicious advertisements in their web browser with Internet Explorer 8's "SmartScreen" feature. Google's Chrome web browser and others have also attempted to build in features which help address this problem. Stay tuned to our blog for more tips in preventing malware infections on your PCs.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

C&G is MAS 200 SQL (re)certified

C&G has been Sage MAS 200 SQL certified for ages, but Sage hadn't updated the MAS 200 SQL 3.7x product for many years. Recently, Sage completely re-architected the product and we went through the certification process a second time. We had one of the first sales in the country in December.

C&G selected for ERP, CRM and infrastructure project

C&G was selected to build a scalable IT infrastructure and implement a ground-up Sage ERP and CRM system for a local start-up specialty food supplier.

Alchemex certification

Lisa Lantz, Senior Consultant for C&G Consulting, successfully completed Alchemex Certification, qualifying as an Alchemex Certified Professional Consultant.