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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Activant Introduces Automated Backup Solution (ABS) For Prophet 21

Activant Solutions Inc. introduces Automated Backup Solution (ABS) for Activant Prophet 21™. ABS provides real-time, off-site data backup storage in Activant's secure location.

"Even more than inventory, the data gathered by a distributor's enterprise software solution is the most valuable asset in their business," stresses Steve McLaughlin, senior vice president and general manager of Activant. "Inventory can be replaced, but contact information, order history, accounts receivable information, etc. is irreplaceable if lost or damaged. Backing up data should be as constant as breathing out and breathing in."

"Unfortunately, the daily backup of data can easily be forgotten among all the other things going on in a distributor's business. What is more, backup is only half the challenge; keeping those backup copies in a safe location off-site is the key to recovery when disaster strikes. That is why Activant now offers automated data backup for Prophet 21 users."

Private and Protected

Coupled with your standard backup procedures, ABS provides the first step in your business continuity plan. All you need is a supported VPN device. Activant takes care of the rest.

With ABS, every time a user enters an order or updates the general ledger, the transaction is automatically updated at Activant's secure site. There, the data remains protected and private until needed. Then it can be restored to the distributor's server or uploaded to a production site.

Data When You Need It

No one can predict when disaster will strike. Even distributors who don't live in a region where natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, or earthquakes are a regular threat, something as simple as a lightening strike to the warehouse or someone inadvertently spilling coffee on the server can cripple a business until data can be accessed again.

ABS makes it easy for distributors to keep their businesses running without missing a beat. One call to Activant's support team will get them back in touch with their data and ready to service customers.

Pricing and Availability

Activant ABS is now available. For more information, contact Activant at 1-800-776-7438, visit , or e-mail

About Activant Solutions Inc.

Activant Solutions Inc. ("Activant") is a leading technology provider of business management solutions serving retail and wholesale distribution businesses in three primary vertical markets: hardlines and lumber; wholesale distribution; and the automotive parts aftermarket. Founded in 1972, Activant provides customers with tailored proprietary software, professional services, content, supply chain connectivity, and analytics. More than 30,000 customer locations use an Activant solution to manage their day-to-day operations. Activant has operations throughout the United States and Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

For more information, please visit

Monday, February 4, 2008

Successful Business

Good Luck

What does it take to be successful in business? One thought that comes to mind is luck. Lots of people scoff at the idea. They are into planning, strategies, and MBA type learning. For some reason, they treat luck like a bad four letter word. All of those things you can learn in school do help. But, never, ever, discount the value of luck. You may not be able to plan for it, or make it happen on purpose, but when it occurs, it can be a big help in accomplishing anything.

Luck does not happen through a standard process. If it worked that way, it would no longer be called luck. We can build on an old saying. The best way to get lucky is to be ready. To do that you must have 50% perspiration, 30% preparation, and 20% perception.

Starting at the top, without perspiration, you will not be able to take advantage of any luck that comes your way. You have to be in business so someone can offer you the potential. You must know your stuff and be recognized as being good at doing whatever it is you do.

Most people do not get lucky at the start (although there are exceptions to every rule – and in this case everyone will know at least one business owner who hit the jackpot by making a lucky call the first day they are in business). If you look below the surface, even the lucky ones who get a dream contract on day one have worked hard in the past. They have a track record of success from wherever they worked before. They are known in their community and respected for their capabilities and history. That is why they got the lead or the opportunity to propose on a job. Even the luckiest have lots of perspiration in the game.

Perspiration includes spending time perfecting your craft. Work hard at it. Build on opportunities. Make sure that every assignment you accept is done at the highest levels of professional competence.

Build a long list of satisfied and loyal clients who will recommend you to their friends and associates. They may be the first to recognize a lucky opportunity. It is your hard work that leads them to pass the information on to you to do something with it.

Preparation means being ready to accept new opportunities when they present themselves. If you are always working at the limit, if you are up to your eye balls in deadlines, then no matter how good an opportunity is, you will not be able to take advantage of it.

You need to have capacity to take on an additional assignment. You must have planned for the contingency of more work than you can handle yourself. Otherwise, you can never grow, you can not take advantage of luck, and you probably will be too busy to even recognize it when it does occur.

You must also prepare by making sure people know about you. How can a lucky connection happen if no one knows what you do, how you do it, or anything else about you? Write articles, contribute to publications, do presentations, and be visible in your business community. Volunteer, help out, participate, you get the idea. Invisible people rarely get asked to be part of something new and exciting. Be seen. Be recognized. Be available.

Perception is a willingness to recognize an offer. So many of us are “heads down grinders” that we will miss an opportunity if it does not trip us up and clobber us over the head with a 2X4.

An old lesson states that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. The teachers are always out there, it is just the student is not able to perceive the value of the teacher until they are in need, or at least recognize they might have a need. Opportunities are the same. They are always out there. Most of us are too busy to ever recognize them. We spend our lives trying to keep up and miss many more opportunities than we try to accept.

Open your mind. Be willing to stretch your comfort zone. Look and listen to what is going on around you all of the time. Not every opportunity is the lucky one that will change your life forever, but if your eyes are closed, if your mind is closed, if your ears are closed, you will never know when the right idea is waiting for your to respond.

If you have developed your skill, made sure you are known by the proper communities, have an open ear to what is going on around you, then luck will take care of itself. You will find great options and opportunities. Your most important job will be to decide which ones to take advantage of.

We can all have good luck if we align our perspiration, preparation, and perception. Try it and see what comes your way.

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