Integration Insider

February 2012

Lessons to Learn from a Twinkie

In the business world we live in, we need to continually learn from our co-workers, managers, industry leaders, and even companies outside of our industry. And while everything may not always apply to your job or company, there is always something that we can learn to make ourselves and our companies better. So, what lessons can we learn from a Twinkie? If you haven't heard, Hostess recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Everyone thought Twinkies would survive forever and while the cake itself might just survive, the company that makes them may not. This serves as a good reminder that even though a company may have a great image it doesn't guarantee that it will be around forever. In this ever changing economy you cannot take anything for granted and you have to keep working hard at ensuring your company's future. In an article from Entrepreneur Magazine, How Your Business Can Last Longer than a Twinkie, the author highlights four tips to ensure your long term survival. Here is a small taste of those tips:

  • Don't get out of touch - you certainly don't want to have a great product that doesn't evolve or not develop an alternative product that is complementary.
  • Extend your brand - make sure you capitalize on your success by innovating.

For all of the tips read the rest of this article and take the time to ensure that your company doesn't become stale. Keeping your company fresh will help to keep the dough coming into your company in long run. (All puns intended).

So, what lesson will you learn from a Twinkie?


Michael Ciabattari


Microsoft Silver Certified  

Coffee and Donuts Can Help With Your Taxes

Homer Simpson says "Mmmmm....Donuts". Your accountant says "Mmmmm...Tax Deduction". This is not a joke! As a business you can deduct coffee and donuts. Under normal tax laws there are limits of about a 50% deduction, but in certain situations snacks and beverages can be 100% deductible. This short article, How to Deduct Coffee, Donuts as Biz Expenses, highlights this little known tax law. You can read the criteria that will explain how it works. Now you have the information you need to justify adding a snack bar in the company kitchen!

Please Note: This is not considered tax advice and you should check with your own tax professional.

The Secret Costs of Document Capture

If you think you know what you're actually paying to keep your centralized document capture solution running, your ECM vendor is keeping secrets. He knows a lot more about the real costs than you do.

Here's the truth: Capture vendors (and ECM vendors who might offer a bundled Capture product) purposefully do not want the market to shift toward Distributed Capture because it ruins their licensed revenue pricing models. Get the full blog post from CAPTURE CAPITALIST at: http://webdocumentcapture.blogspot.com/2012/02/secret-costs-of-document-capture.html

Top 10 Reasons for Choosing Microsoft Dynamics GP

Whether you're a new business or experienced, small or large, Microsoft Dynamics GP can take your company to the next level. This comprehensive business management software is affordable for any budget and has the functionality you need today with the flexibility to meet your needs far into the future. What makes this Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software great is:

  • Ease of use: Like other Microsoft products, it is easy to use - encouraging a quick return on investment. Microsoft Dynamics GP can organize finances, supply chain, manufacturing, project management, and other important business operations into a single platform.
  • Provides deep visibility: Integrating the most important elements of your business will give you greater visibility and more accurate data about finances, operational efficiencies, and profitability. With real time data, you can quickly access the information you need to make the decisions that will grow your business.
  • Improve productivity: By automating and making common daily tasks easier, you free up valuable time that can be used on other important activities - like meeting new customers and capitalizing on new opportunities.

Robust business management software, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP, will streamline business operations leading to improved productivity and profitability. Read the other top 10 reasons to consider Microsoft Dynamics GP for your business. For more information on how this solution can work for you please contact us at john.dobbins@idtconsulting.com or call us at 630.875.1100.

Convergence 2012 Is Around the Corner

Before you know it Convergence 2012 will be here. This year the convention will be held in Houston, Texas from March 18th- 21st. With over 350 sessions for attendees and a keynote being given by General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) you are sure to find something to benefit from. If you would like to find out more information about convergence you can either visit the dedicated Convergence 2012 website, which if full of great information, or get the rundown from us on what you could benefit from.

In This Issue
Coffee and Donuts Can Help With Your Taxes
The Secret Costs of Document Capture
Top 10 Reasons for Choosing Microsoft Dynamics GP
Convergence 2012 Is Around the Corner
Using Different Calendar Options in Microsoft SharePoint
If You Build It They Will Come, Maybe?
Mobile Technology Saves the Day Again
Microsoft Helps Everyone Have a Piece of the Cloud
Tips and Tricks
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Fun Facts

There have been 4 presidents with birthdays in February. They are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, William Henry Harrison, and Ronald Reagan.


If you were to have your picture taken by the first camera invented in 1827, you would have to sit still for 8 hours to allow the film to expose.


In 1886, Dr. John Pemberton created the syrup we know today as Coca-Cola. It was Dr. Pemberton's accountant, Frank Robinson, who not only came up with the name Coca-Cola, but the famous logo we still see today which was actually his own handwriting.


"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." - Abraham Lincoln

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Using Different Calendar Options in Microsoft SharePoint.

Everyone has their own preferences and needs when it comes to organizing a calendar at the office. Microsoft SharePoint offers two options for you to keep track of calendar entries, between a Calendar List and a Calendar View:

  • Calendar List - When using a Calendar List, you can create and edit entries on the list, connect with group calendars, and easily add future dates. Updates made in the List will affect the entire list or library.
  • Calendar View - The Calendar View will show future dates or events in the library or Calendar List. Updates must be made in the library in order for them to be seen on the Calendar View. Calendar Views are usually the simplest option if there is a List in place with date options.

For additional tips and links to help you take advantage of this Microsoft SharePoint feature visit this GetThePoint blog post where they explain the calendar option that is the easiest to create and update for you and your co-workers.

If You Build It They Will Come, Maybe?

Getting users to use that Microsoft SharePoint site that you took the time to plan and build can be a challenge. If you tell a co-worker how to do their job easier or more efficiently, you'll likely get a cross look and maybe an invitation to meet with HR. While you may be the SharePoint expert, you still need the buy-in from the rest of the office when developing SharePoint-based website launches. Telling people how to do their jobs won't get you very far, but asking them how you can make their jobs easier might.

Set up a kick-off meeting with the key end-users to demonstrate the site you built and ask them for their feedback on what site features will make their jobs easier, what concerns they have when using the site, and how to make the transition easier for them. Explain why using the site is important to ensure better quality of information. Finally, provide training, support, and communication with your key users. If a colleague is struggling or doesn't know how to use the SharePoint site, catch them early and help them often. Working together with end-user input, you can create a tool that will make their jobs easier and will encourage adoption at launch and for months afterwards.

Mobile Technology Saves the Day Again

In a HealthBlog post from January 2012, Bill Crounse, MD, Microsoft's worldwide health senior director, recounted how being snowed in and unable to leave the house or get to the office didn't stop him from collaborating with colleagues and customers, setting up appointments, and even holding meetings. With Microsoft Lync, anyone can stay connected at meetings and conferences using mobile technology and integrated software. Microsoft Exchange, Office, and SharePoint work seamlessly with many Smartphones and tablets so that when you can't be in the office, you can still be in touch with co-workers and customers.

This technology is particularly applicable to the healthcare industry which revolves around information sharing, communication with colleagues and patients, and participating in continuing education or sharing information with the community. When healthcare professionals are at conferences or in classes, they can remain involved with patients and colleagues.

When you can't make it to the office and don't have time to lose, keep business rolling no matter what the weather brings with the use of Microsoft Lync and mobile technology.

Microsoft Helps Everyone Have a Piece of the Cloud

In an online broadcast in January, Satya Nadella, President of Microsoft Server and Tools Business indicated that System Center 2012, a single integrated private cloud management solution was open for business. Microsoft has been committed to making private cloud computing easier to obtain and more affordable, and they have delivered on that promise. System Center 2012 includes eight component products in a single solution that takes mere hours to deploy. The limited number of product versions for customers to choose from makes deployment simpler. Two companies, Lufthansa Systems and Unilever are already using System Center 2012 and the Microsoft private cloud. Unilever anticipates that the private cloud will help them double business without increasing their environmental footprint.

Microsoft's System Center 2012 is yet another option for businesses to consider when migrating into cloud computing. Whether you have a public or private cloud, or work in a hybrid cloud, there are options for businesses of all types and sizes, and all budgets. Contact john.dobbins@idtconsulting.com or call us at 630.875.1100 for details on what cloud options are available to you today.

Tips and Tricks

Travel Expenses Made Easy with this App

Mobile phone apps have put a lot of our daily functions at our finger tips. The Travel Pocket app is no exception. This app will help you track and organize your travel spending according to time, location and category. Traveling to another country? No problem! Travel Pocket also has a currency exchange feature. Now, if that wasn't cool enough, you can also convert your spending history to a spreadsheet so you can submit your expenses. You can learn more about Travel Pocket on their website or from searching for it on your phone. It is currently available for Android, iPhone and iPad. (Costs: free for Android users, $1.99 for iOS users or there is a Travel Pocket Lite version for iOS users that is free.)

You're Only As Good As Your Online Reputation

With day to day life involving more online interactions it is more important than ever to be aware of your digital reputation. By now many people are aware of identity theft attempts online but another real problem is incorrect or inappropriate information online about you. Microsoft recently shared some tips for keeping a good online reputation.

  • Stay vigilant and conduct your own "reputation report" from time to time.
  • Consider separating your professional and personal profiles.
  • Adjust your privacy settings.
  • Think before you share.
  • Be a good digital citizen.

Click here to read the full press release which contains more information on protecting yourself.

7 Tips for Using Windows Live SkyDrive for Easy Collaboration

Sometime you may have need for ad-hoc collaboration with someone when working on a project. Using Windows Live SkyDrive allows you to easily setup a secure online collaboration portal for you and your team.

  • Add Skydrive.com to your desktop for quick access to your online files.
  • Create a SkyDrive group for simplified access for your team to share information.
  • Using Microsoft Office 2010 you can easily access files from the programs you are familiar with.

For more tips and detailed explanation of how to use them you can visit this Windows Team Blog.

The companies of IDT (Integrated Document Technologies, Inc.) support small, mid-market and enterprise firms in achieving maximum efficiency by offering fully integrated ECM, ERP and CRM solutions.


Founded in 1992, IDT's initial focus was helping companies effectively apply automated enterprise content management solutions to eliminate paper and better manage every business transaction. With the inception of IDT Consulting in 2001, the company offers ERP and CRM solutions and in-depth knowledge of how financial systems work and how to streamline the accounting process. Today, IDT Consulting is a Silver Certified Microsoft Partner specializing in Dynamics GP, Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft SharePoint. Visit our website at www.idtconsulting.com.