Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Trivia Challenge!

In the spirit of the holidays, we have put together a fun little Thanksgiving trivia game. Think you know a lot about the origins of Thanksgiving? Try the Thanksgiving trivia challenge and find out. Who knows, you might actually learn something new.

From all of us here at mrc, we wish you safe travels and a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

m-Power gains UDF Capabilities

Recently, we enhanced m-Power with new User Defined Function (UDF) capabilities. From a technical standpoint, this means m-Power users can take advantage of the power that UDFs offer.

From a practical standpoint, UDFs enhance m-Power with many new capabilities. For an example of some of the ways you might use UDFs, or to simply read more about this exciting enhancement click here.>>

Monday, November 24, 2008

10 Great Free Blackberry Apps

Blackberry smartphones are known for their functionality, and maybe more importantly, the ability to run external applications. Plenty of great, and sometimes free, applications exist for Blackberrys. For example, I recently ran across a great list of 10 free Blackberry apps on, which can be found here.>>

With the increased use of smartphones, I can’t stress enough the importance of proper security measures. We need to treat our smartphones with the same level of care that we treat our laptops. Things like password protection and remote data wiping are important, but sometimes even those aren’t good enough.

Here’s a great example of a company that took mobile security seriously. They wanted to enable their mobile workforce, but didn’t want to store confidential information on their PDAs. Find out what they did here.>>

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Spreadsheet Problem

Every day, employees across the globe spend a large amount of time pulling essential business data into spreadsheet programs like Excel, then they analyze the data, and then email their results to colleagues. This wastes a lot of time, is insecure, inefficient, and can lead to inaccuracies and multiple document versions that only add to the confusion.

This can create huge problems for a company, but many remain unaware of the potential dangers. This presentation explains the risks associated with this problem, as well as a great way to fix it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Future-Proof Your Business Applications

When purchasing software solutions for your business, a little planning will save you from plenty of future problems and expenses. No one can see the future, but there are steps you can take to minimize costs and frustrations down the road.

First and foremost, avoid proprietary software. Proprietary software ties you to one vendor, causing a number of potential problems. What if they go out of business? You're out of luck. What if they decide to drastically raise maintenance fees? You either have to pay or find a different solution. These are just a few important issues to consider before purchasing proprietary software.

My advice: Choose software that uses an open-source language, and you won't even have to worry about these problems. Read this forum post to learn more about the benefits of open-source solutions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

20 Most Sought-After IT Skills

In a difficult economy, it is always important for an IT professional to keep their skills and certifications up to date. However, it’s not always easy to figure out which skills and certifications will help you the most.

Maybe this will help: I ran across an article on that lists the 20 most sought after IT skills today. They also report that while IT skills continue to increase in value, certifications are becoming less important. But don’t worry, it also lists the top certifications most likely to make an impact on your salary.

But having IT skills isn’t good enough these days. Computerworld just published an article stating that IT executives place the most importance on ethics and morals when looking to hire new staff. You can read the entire article here.>>

Friday, November 14, 2008

Website problems

There was an internet problem last week, which resulted in our website being inaccessible for parts of Tuesday through Thursday. From what we heard, our communications company’s central box went down and we (and many others in the area) lost our T1 service for a couple days. So, if you tried unsuccessfully to access our website last week, that was the problem.

The good news is the problem has been remedied, and we do not expect to see any more such outages in the future. We've left the posts from last week on the blog in case there were any you wanted to visit. Just scroll down the page to find them.

We apologize for any inconvenience this outage may have caused.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Web Architecture meets the dashboard-

Flexibility and re-useability are two cornerstones to a solid web architecture. Take this Business Dashboard example, for instance.

Some users (like me), prefer a minimalist, all business approach like this one. Others prefer more control and a lot more information like this iGoogle example. (To sign on to this iGoogle dashboard, use account and password mrc-demo.)

With the right web architecture, the same business applications (in this case, servlets) can serve all desires. If you'd like to see how we published our servlets as google gadgets, check out this forum post.

If you'd like more information on how to easily create an executive dashboard custom to your business needs, just fill out this form and we'll show you how we do it. And remember, we don't just supply the software to help you get it done, we supply the training to make you successful, and the manpower to supplement your staff when you need something done quickly.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The 2009 IT Salary Guide

The Robert Half Technology company recently published the 2009 IT Salary Guide, which estimates the average salary per title and which skills are in highest demand. Overall, the projections for 2009 are encouraging.

I always find it interesting to see which skills are in highest demand these days. Just think: 5-10 years ago, many of these now “in-demand” skills were unheard of. It’s a good reminder how important it is for IT professionals to keep their skills up to date.

You can read the entire study here.>>

Friday, November 07, 2008

4 Benefits of Web-Based Reporting

When asked about his decision to move from character-based to web-based reporting, one of our clients recently said, “The bottom line is this: The world is going to the web.” He understood the benefits of web-based reporting, and the positive impact it would make on business. What are those benefits? Here are just a few:

Security: Password-protection, and a secure validation process, limits viewing and downloading to only your authorized staff - ensuring privacy and security.

Accuracy: Web-based reports run in real-time. There are no outdated copies of data-bases or spreadsheets floating around, guaranteeing that your reports will be current.

Time savings: Do you have staff that spends countless hours and days formatting, printing, faxing, and mailing daily, weekly, or monthly reports? Web reports allow your staff to focus on more mission-critical tasks.

Convenience: Web-based reports run from anywhere, and at anytime.

Want to see a live example of a web-based report? This example lets you request data for downloading via the Internet, have it run and e-mailed automatically to you. Feel free to test it for yourself.

If you like what you see, just fill out this short form and tell us what your interested in. We'll be happy to build a "proof of concept" web report for you.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sneaky Fees: 7 new ways you’re paying more

Have you ever been quoted a nice low price for a product, only to realize that the price is far higher once all the fees have been added? It’s an unfortunate practice, but many companies try to make a quick buck with these sneaky fees.

How do companies try to sneak fees onto your bill? recently published an article that lists 7 methods they might try. Besides their list, watch out for things like setup fees, activation fees, convenience fees, etc…

In the software world, be on the look-out for "free" software give-aways, that require an annual maintenance fee, training fees, and often consulting fees.

My advice to you: Ask the vendor/company to write down the final price, with all fees factored in. Make sure you know their pricing structure, and if necessary, what monthly charges to expect. This will help you avoid surprise and/or anger when it’s time to buy.

Monday, November 03, 2008

m-Power upgrade for mrc-Productivity Series Users

Just a reminder to all current mrc-Productivity Series users: Make sure you take advantage of your free m-Power upgrade.

If you are a current mrc-Productivity Series user on maintenance and warranty, you should have received a letter detailing this free upgrade and what you need to do. If you did not receive the letter, or if you have any questions about the upgrade, please give us a call at (630) 916-0662.

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