Pat Egen’s Weblog

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I have awesome staff. Everyone took thei

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I have awesome staff. Everyone took their tests for Sage ACT re-certification & passed with flying colors. Good job gang.

Written by pregen

December 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm

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During holiday seasons remember your customers.

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During holiday seasons remember your customers – send out holiday greetings to tell them thanks for the business. Good will goes a long way.

Written by pregen

November 30, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Black holes and Boomerangs Revisited

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Back in 2009 I wrote a piece on Black Holes and Boomerangs.  It had nothing to do with science or curved wooden implements.  I almost kept a small boomerang when I came back from Australia in April because of my prior post.  I have written that as a blog article, a magazine post, and turned it into a speech.  Now I wish I had that real Aussie boomerang to hang on my wall.  Because they’re BACK.  Like THE MOVIE.  You know which movie.

I have to work on a pretty intensive project that is going to keep me busy possibly forever – no kidding aside.  So, I have embarked on pushing projects out to people on my staff. I have to.  The projects won’t get done unless I do this and trust them.  Well, there you go.  It’s the trust them part that is failing.  Because I did.  And it failed. And they are back in my court.  Boomerangs.  There are two to four black holes out there that I probably need to follow up on because they will never become boomerangs.  They will just hang and languish with the hopes that nobody notices they are missing in action.

Ring a bell with you? It should.  It happens all the time.  All over the world.  It just can’t happen in my world because too many external things are going on right now and I need people bellying up to the bar so to speak.  And not drinking.  And not turning the project back to me – which is the boomerang part – or letting the project drift off into never never land never to be heard from again – which is the black hole part.

And I am at a loss as to what to do.  I just confronted said guilty parties and got the classic “duh, dear in head lights, surely you can’t mean me, I am innocent, obviously you  are a crazed women” look. Gosh I hate that look.  I want to take paint varnish and smear it off their faces. It’s like they think I am stupid or something. My goodness, can you tell I am upset.

We are at a crossroads here.  I need people standing up and taking charge.  Instead, I am surrounded by ostriches. My task for the day will be to figure out a way to inspire these people to get the heck out of ostrich-dom and take responsibility.  Ah, but this is not an easy thing to do – especially when they are family.  Ah, family in the business.  Gee, that’s another blog article.

I have empowered them.  I have stepped away and not hovered over them.  I’ve done all the things I should do to make them responsible.  But it is not happening. Next mission is to figure out how to motivate non-motivatable people.  Is that a word? Should be.  Ah, that will be my next blog article.

So, on a less than spectacular day, I bid you adieu while I go off to Googleland to look up how to deal with deadbeats.

For those interested, here’s the link to the original blog post. By the way – the same people are involved. Sigh.  Some things never change.

https://pregen.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/black-holes-and-boomerangs/

Written by pregen

July 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm

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Is Twitter getting too big for its britches?

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Today I received some bad news.  And it has not made my day.  Basically it means I’m going to have to do more work.  Not that I mind work.  What I mind is having to redo something I already put in place to be better organized.   The post today will be my rant about what caused the bad news.

Last month Twitter announced stricter rules regarding the use of their API.  There were a lot of reasons quoted by the company for the rationale.  None of them made sense to me. And it has caused me to rethink my social media updating strategy.

Let me explain why.  I use Twitter as my tool for updating both Facebook and Linkedin.  I, like many people, have a real job and need to spend most of my day running my business.  Social media is important to my business and my marketing efforts, but it’s not the sole thing I do all day.  Therefore, I need tools and processes to make this happen.  For a couple of years now I have been writing in one place, but posting in many.  This has enabled me to be very active on the Social Media front without impacting my business.  This new ruling means that has to change.

I spend very little time out on Linkedin.  I have to say it’s because I find it too busy.  It’s hard to find information and I don’t have time to weed thru minutia.  Tweet Deck helps a bit.  This application is just what Twitter is trying to hurt.  They want everyone driving to the Twitter site and not using tools or aggregators as they are called.  Guys, that’s a sure way to make me stop using Twitter at all.  One of the rules implemented in June said developers should not use Twitter APIs to mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.  In other words, don’t make it look like Twitter.  I don’t believe Twitter patented the way their product looks.

At first, this didn’t seem like a big deal when I originally read the announcement in June.  That’s where the “bad news of the day” comes in.  The bad news is something that was going to show up in a tool I use, won’t be there.  Because of this new ruling.  When I went out to research the ruling, I found out about Linkedin and Twitter severing their ties.  Ouch.  That hurt.  That meant  my tweets couldn’t post to Linkedin.  Ok, now I’m annoyed.  Especially since I found out this ruling will affect another application I use heavily.  That application was hoping to leverage the ability to aggregate social media streams into one place and now Twitter won’t be part of that aggregation.  Grr.

When you look at all the companies, particularly in the CRM space, that have been busy buying up social media applications so they could provide social media interfaces and aggregation of posts, you have to ask yourself what was Twitter thinking.  Or were they thinking at all?  Has Twitter gotten too big for their britches?  Or are they just trying to lure people to Twitter sites so they can spam us?  My gut feeling is this is the case and from what I’m reading, that’s what others believe as well.  It’s all a corporate game and we the end users are the chess pieces.  Gosh, I hate being a pawn.

To say this has made me grumpy today is an understatement.  Now I have to rethink my updating strategy.  As if I didn’t have a million other things to do.  Enough ranting.  Got to get back to work.  More on this topic later.

Written by pregen

July 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Posted in CRM, Marketing, Uncategorized

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Summer time Pork Ribs

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Today is going to be a scorcher of a day. So of course I am going to barbecue.  Well, when your son is visiting from out of town and requests ribs, you make ribs. And that’s what I’m going to do.

Today’s ribs are regular pork ribs, not baby backs.  I never parboil the ribs before cooking even though that makes them fall of the bone. The reason the meat falls off is because it’s lost texture and flavor.  Rib purists tell you to not steam or parboil the ribs.  My father never did so I don’t.  And my father made awesome ribs.

He learned how to make ribs in the poorer parts of town in Miami.  Every Friday evening homemade barbecue pits were smoking away on street corners,  My father was a police detective and was often called into those neighborhoods for all the wrong reasons but he stuck around for all the right reasons.  He got to know the people and along the way their barbecue.

Their secret was low and slow.  You stood around the pit and talked. And you didn’t play with the food.  Once in a while near the end of the process, you took the meat swab (which was a old style dish washing mop), soaked in the wet sauce and lathered it over the ribs.  You made sure the ribs weren’t over too hot a fire so the sauce didn’t blacken.  You wanted the flavor and moisture but not too hard a bark.

The charcoal has to be white hot and mixed with chunks of hardwood.  Here’s where my recipe differs from my fathers.  I add in apple wood from the tree in my front yard.  And I throw in whole heads of garlic.  It’s pretty much the same method I use to make pulled pork butt.  You can also make a dry rub for the ribs and cover them with the rub overnight, but that’s optional.  Sometimes, I just want to taste the pork, the smoke and the wet vinegary sauce.  Since I forgot to do the rub last night, that’s what will happen today.  As a friend of mine used to say, serendipity happens. 

Figure about 3 to 5 hours smoking over indirect heat.  If the ribs are large and fat, it will be the 5 hour mark. I just make sure they have reached an internal temperature of 160 so they are safe.  I will take them off to let them rest, make some corn bread and beans and share them with the son I only get to see once in a while now that he lives 2000 miles away.  That in itself is a blog about making sure you enjoy every moment of watching your kids grow up.  They leave too soon.  And then have wonderful kids of their own – who are too far away. Sigh.

So, it’s off to the fridge to prep the meat and get the coals started.  Hope you are having a wonderful summer.  Stay cool. 

Ciao y’all.

Written by pregen

June 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm

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Sage ACT! Expiration Approaching

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Currently, customers on any prior version of Sage ACT! are eligible to purchase Sage ACT! at upgrade pricing. Sage’s new Upgrade Pricing Obsolescence Policy is to honor upgrade pricing for customers with the current release and two prior releases of a product.

Beginning 6/1, this policy will be in place.  That means anyone on versions of ACT 2009 or earlier will pay full pricing for new versions of Sage ACT!

If you are on an earlier version of ACT! you have until May 31 2012 to buy it at upgrade (and greatly reduced) pricing.  You can call us for details and price quotes.  We can also give you a demo of the current release and explain the enhanced features.

Depending on what version you are running, there are lots of changes that have been put into the product.  One big one for several of our customers is support for Office 2007 and 2010 and Windows Vista and 7.  Older versions of ACT prior to 2005 will not work on the new environments.

Call today for pricing and a demo.  423-875-2652

 

Written by pregen

May 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Sage Upgrade Policy Changing

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In June 2012, Sage will be changing their upgrade policy for their product lines.  For us, what this means, is our customers running versions of ACT prior to 2009 need to upgrade before June to realize better upgrade pricing.  After June, it could run about $200 more per seat for new licenses.  If you are running a version of ACT that is older than 2010, you may want to reach out to your favorite consultant (or us, we won’t mind) to upgrade to the newest version, 2012.

Why would you want to upgrade?  Well, for one, support for Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 for starters.  The newer versions have improved performance, bug fixes, better memory management (especially with 2012 and SQL 2008).  There is true Outlook integration, Gmail integration, automated Smart Tasks, Universal search which searches even attachments (my personal favorite), over 35 custom reports, and an improved user interface.  All in all, there are a lot of reasons to upgrade, especially if you are on versions earlier than 2005.  It’s not your father’s ACT anymore.

Our offices are offering demos of the product for our customers.  And you can go to ACT.com for demos there as well.  We are offering our Platinum reseller pricing to help make the transition a little less painful on the pocketbook.

Hope you found this information useful.  And thanks for stopping by to read my blog.

Pat Egen

Written by pregen

March 28, 2012 at 8:05 pm

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