How Standardised Software Could Be Inhibiting your Business Growth

EditorM2M, Sage


Just as every business is unique, the requirements of a business are too. So, when it comes to business software, it’s logical that users want more than just a standardised solution, especially since productivity levels took a nosedive in 2009 and are yet to recover.

According to Red Letter Days’ 2017 ‘Productivity in the Workplace’ report, the reduction of business productivity growth in the UK in recent years has seen employees spend more than 4.4 million days every year on ‘time wasting’ office tasks, as a result of ‘too much admin’ and ‘slow technology’.

So, what can be done to resolve this problem? Well, bespoke software can help to increase employee output significantly by minimising unnecessary admin tasks and eliminating slow systems within a workplace.

The Benefits of Bespoke Sage Software…

There are a variety of reasons why a business would choose to develop their Sage systems, so here we consider the benefits of bespoke business software, and how software development can help to achieve them:

• Speed Up your Processes

Bespoke business software is about having a software package that’s assembled to meet your individual business needs rather than potentially being made to fit afterwards. It’s like gaining a suit made by a skilled tailor who takes the time to understand your size and style, as opposed to buying one from Debenhams.
If you feel that your standardised Sage software is hindering your business growth, customised Sage software can be implemented to precisely meet your business needs and streamline your business processes, ultimately helping to enhance your return on investment.

• Achieve Greater Visibility of Information

Sage developer services ensure you gain bespoke software to help your business operate more efficiently and systematically. Software development that’s uniquely built to fit the needs of your business allows you to directly address your strategic goals, because it allows your unique business needs to be fully realised, improving visibility, as well as reporting, collaboration and automation for greater productivity and profitability.
Greater visibility will also help to ensure better departmental communication. Instant access to all business data, and automatic updates, will mean your workforce can improve collaboration within their teams. Such centralised communication also better enables employees to work from anywhere at any time.

• Integrate with Other Applications

With the right software development team, you can benefit from Sage software that strategically integrates with other applications. For instance, Line 50 and Line 100 Sage accounting packages can be integrated with sales processing and other systems. This type of integration can save considerable book-keeping time and can pay for itself within a few months.

Sage integration can be achieved by writing custom integration code using the Sage Software Development Kit (SDK). This SDK allows skilled developers to create custom programs which can directly add new entries to a Sage accounting file, for example automatically creating new customers, sales records etc.

Need Help Increasing your Business Productivity?

At M2M Technology, we provide Sage software development, helping to meet the unique requirements of your business and adding direct value. We offer in-house Sage development, where you can gain greater visibility of the development process and updates as and when you need them. If you’re interested in discovering more about Sage software custom development services, contact M2M today. We’re happy to help and recommend meeting with us to discuss how your current system can be tailored to match your requirements.

Everything You Need to Know About Sicon WAP



Established in 1996, Sicon have been developing software applications for integration with Sage for over 18 years and are now well established as one of the leading software developers in the UK and Ireland.

Today Sicon design and develop innovative, high quality and highly functional software applications solely for integration with Sage 200.

Web Authorisation (WAP) is just one of the intuitive applications that Sicon provide for Sage 200, but what does it do? Well, it’s been designed to allow easy data entry and approval processing for business documents.

How Does Sicon Web Authorisation Work?

WAP is a locally installed web-based application designed specifically for real-time integration with Sage 200. It’s designed to streamline the creation and approval of business documents such as purchase requisitions, invoices, expenses, time-sheets and holidays.

The system connects directly to your Sage system and you can log into the WAP system via your web browser, via a specific URL to access your login page.

Which WAP Modules Are Available?

WAP is the software used, however a module is always required for use with the software, and there are a range of WAP modules available, these include;

• Purchase Requisitions

• Invoice Approval

• Expense Approval

• Timesheets

• Holiday Approval

• Sales Orders

• HR

The Benefits of Sicon WAP:
1. Web-Based Application

The fact that Sicon WAP is a web-based application, means installation, upgrade and deployment can be achieved with ease for both internal and external users, making it an ideal application for multi-site or remote distributed organisations.

2. Scalable Solution

Sicon WAP is a scalable solution that can be implemented on sites with a varying number of users… from 10 to 700.

3. Links Directly to Sage

Locally installed, Sicon WAP links directly to Sage, providing the following functionalities;

• Create Sage Purchase orders and use created orders and actual postings in commitment calculations (calculates actual, deferred, historical, orders placed and unapproved requests to work out commitments v’s budgets in Sage 200)
• Project accounting for each line of a requisition; the user can select a project and project item
• Users can be assigned to projects and project items
• Sage Payroll link employees and pay elements to the Timesheet module rates to enable postings back to Payroll
• Real-time nominal budget, actual and commitments are analysed

4. Easy to Use Dashboard

Users are presented with an easy-to-use dashboard containing notifications or links to items to approve. Plus, each screen has been designed for non-IT users, making them a doddle to navigate.

5. Secure User Login

You can ensure data is kept secure with user logins restricting access to system functions, and user accounts that can be configured to use Windows Password Security.

6. Approval Limits Assigned Per User

• Approval routes by nominal code, project, user and value
• From one to unlimited authorisers per approval route
• Requisitions approved when a user with sufficient authorisation is reached

7. Integration with Other Sicon Solutions

Sicon’s WAP can integrate with document management solutions to view and archive documents related to authorisation transactions.

Looking for Sophisticated Sage Add-Ons?

We have spoken about the availability of sophisticated Sage add-ons many times before, and at M2M Technology, you can trust that we have carefully selected our business partners to offer add-on software solutions that can enhance your business. So, if you’d like to learn more about Sicon WAP and how it can work for you, why not get in touch?

How M2M Technology Can Help…

We work closely with our customers and with Sicon throughout the decision making and installation process to provide our customers with a seamless integration and a first-class service. We are always happy to arrange a demonstration of Sicon Applications for Sage 200. Simply get in touch to request a demonstration.

How Sage 200 Business Cloud Helps to Overcome Business Expansion Challenges



According to PwC’s 2018 CEO Survey, 88% of respondents feel optimistic about their company’s outlook for the year ahead, demonstrating that businesses throughout the UK are feeling positive about their prospects for business growth. We’re sure you’ll agree that such positivity is key in business building, however it’s important to pinpoint common problems experienced by many up-on their journey to success.

Ambition is an important driver in any business, particularly for entrepreneurs and business build-ers alike who aspire to grow. But even with the loftiest of ambitions to broaden your business, ob-stacles can step in the way and halter your path to business growth. Whether it’s a mere bump in the road or more a hefty sinkhole, you will need to have clear strategies in place to overcome the inevitable challenges that lie ahead.

Here we discuss the challenges that linger for even the most ambitious of entrepreneurs and how using Sage 200 Business Cloud can help overcome common challenges faced by business owners looking to scale their enterprises.

• Scalability & Planning Ahead

When your business grows, your requirements alter. The good news is Sage 200 Business Cloud is all you need for taking care of your business, with scalable software that grows with your business, no matter how fast. So, for those focused on business growth, Sage helps to facilitate day-to-day activities with supercharged features and functionalities to help unlock your potential.

Sage 200 Business Cloud allows you to keep your edge with complete control of growth and cash control, it’s designed to manage your finances, customers, and business insight with in one simplis-tic solution, making it the ideal solution for fast-growing and agile businesses.

• Fast Track your Financial Management

Sage 200 Business Cloud is effectively accounting software. It removes tedious and repetitive tasks such as re-typing bank payments by connecting to Sage 200 Business Cloud with your bank ac-count.

With such fast-track functionality aids, you’re able to save yourself valuable time so you can focus on the things that really matter.

With Sage 200 Business Cloud, you’re able to respond quickly to opportunities with the necessary insight you need, on the go, enabling your business to be more efficient, increase profit and speed up growth.

• Decision Making & Problem Solving

Often, entrepreneurship is something only associated with people who embark on new business-es and who take big risks, yet the term entrepreneurship equally applies to larger, more estab-lished companies too. And not just to a single person, but also to a team of people.

Developing new ideas and making a mark in your chosen industry aren’t simply things achieved by start-ups, so it’s important to encourage entrepreneurship to develop new ideas within larger businesses too.

The cloud makes it possible for all employees to gain the same information and therefore the same opportunities to create and innovate. The possibility of having 24-7 access to real-time data is very much a reality thanks to the cloud.

By having such pivotal and crucial insight at the mere touch of a button, particularly with mobile access, employees can benefit from more accurate planning and forecasting, thereby encouraging ideas and decision making as a team.

• Selecting the Right Systems

All businesses produce and rely on large volumes of information, from financial records to custom-er interactions and business contacts, to employee details not to mention regulatory require-ments.

With such a wide scope of data and detail to house, and the pressure that comes with using such information effectively, there can be too much to keep track of without the right systems. But with Microsoft Office 365 connected to Sage 200 Business Cloud, your sales team can work with your service and financial teams back in the office.

Access to customer account information straight from Outlook, gives your business the insight and power to grow and expand, working anytime, anywhere and ultimately enhancing your efficiency.

• Retaining Talented Employees

A common challenge for many growing businesses is the ability to retain skilled staff. But becoming an employer of choice is based upon many different factors, from company values to flexible working hours, and benefits packages to remuneration reviews.

No-one said retaining the best employees was easy but with Microsoft Office 365 connected to Sage 200 Business Cloud, you can provide better levels of flexibility amongst your workforce by allowing employees to work from anywhere, at any time.

Each one of your employees has a different set of criteria, so what pleases one may not satisfy an-other, for instance what a 35-year-old female HR manager wants is going to vary greatly to the needs of a 22-year-old male sales executive.

This is where providing choice becomes important. Understanding what’s important to your em-ployees and providing a remuneration package tailored towards their individual needs can assist greatly in retaining each one of them.

• Compliance Control

Despite the government’s clampdown on so-called “disguised employment” and confusion over the IR35, new and existing companies continue to blossom. Keeping up with the latest legislation can prove to be an on-going challenge for many, but thanks to new software, it needn’t be.

Keeping one step ahead of global and local compliance is now easier than ever before. With Sage 200 Business Cloud, you can create a single global policy for your company, whilst remaining com-pliant with local in-country regulations at the same time.

How M2M Can Help…

Sage 200 Business Cloud will help you take care of your numbers, accounts and so much more. If you’re looking to grow your business faster, M2M can help you implement your chosen Sage soft-ware. We are always on hand to provide advice and support to our customers and happy to help as and when your business needs change.

Sage Software: 4 Futuristic Features that Will Keep you Ahead of your Competitors



These days, we are all under increasing amounts of pressure to undertake tasks more quickly, more thoroughly and more easily while using faster, less complex resources.

These same considerations become particularly apparent when considering your future business processes and how you intend to stay ahead of your competitors.

Thankfully, for well over a quarter of a century, Sage have been supporting businesses with world-class business software.

In this time, they’ve not only built up a deep understanding of the needs of all sizes and types of businesses, they have also forecasted future potential problems and how these can best be addressed using their innovative software solutions.

Here we discuss the futuristic qualities of Sage’s software solutions in more detail…

• The Power of Business Intelligence

Until recently, expense and complexity put business intelligence applications beyond the reach of many organisations. Now Sage Business Intelligence solutions help organisations in all sectors to build a significant competitive advantage.

Their business intelligence solutions enable you to extract real intelligence about the behaviors of your customers, markets, operations, suppliers, business performance and much more from data accumulated every day in the normal course of operations.

Sage can help you gain greater control over business intelligence processes by enabling you to extract meaningful, timely intelligence from your data, identify trends and pinpoint areas of inefficiency, as well as see a 360 view of your business, from sales and marketing figures, to stock and suppliers.

Draycir’s Spindle Document Capture

We’ve touched upon Draycir’s Spindle Document Capture in a previous post. So, why is it worth mentioning again?

Well, Spindle Document Capture integrates with your software (i.e. Sage 200) to handle various types of incoming documents throughout your organisation. It works by electronically storing your documents, as an alternative to having vast volumes of paper using up valuable office space.

With the help of Document Capture solutions, you can gain a competitive advantage over other businesses, i.e. it allows you to capture, store, manage, view and deliver various types of content while also automating and extracting data, whether from digital or paper sources, providing a fast and efficient way to keep digital documents organised and safe.

• Sophisticated Sage Add-ons

In recent years, there has been a distinct focus on developing products for Sage 200. Add-on software solutions have been built to help businesses run more effectively, save time, boost productivity and provide a fully integrated solution.

From Sicon to Draycir and EQUE2 to Codeless Platforms, at M2M Technology, we have carefully selected our business partners to ensure we are able to offer add-on software solutions that can enhance your business.

From Sicon’s Audit Log and Cashflow Manager to Codeless Platform’s Report and Document Automation, such add-ons provide incredibly innovative capabilities with an aptitude to solve future problems before they have a chance to disrupt your business processes.

Sage 200 Business Cloud

There are a number of Sage software suites to choose from, but Sage 200 Business Cloud provides a variety of functionalities that other Sage suites do not.

SAGE 200 provides complete visibility of information across your business via a full Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution.

It provides exclusive functionalities including; integrated business intelligence, integrated CRM, user definable workspaces, and advanced currency processes such as spot and period exchange rates, exchange rate history, support for euro triangulation, plus many other functionalities.

Leap into the Future with Sage

With over 6.1 million Sage customers worldwide, the network of people relying on Sage systems, particularly in the UK, is growing.

Sage software provides an array of essential tools with key features for businesses which can be leveraged to support the growth and success of businesses both now and in years to come.

From each of the revolutionary features listed above, it’s apparent that Sage software can be used as a tool to help you achieve your goals.

For more information on how you can implement these features, please contact our friendly team today.

Everything You Need to Know About GDPR



Data breaches occur every day – and the EU have just increased the consequences of inadequate security… With only one month to go before General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into effect, many UK companies are still yet to achieve compliance.

GDPR is an important piece of legislation designed to make it easier for individuals to understand the data that is being held and used by businesses. Now, as the deadline emerges, it’s essential that you ask yourself… “Are there changes I need to make in order to comply?”

With the implementation date of 25th May drawing ever closer, now is the time to be proactive and protect the data you hold, encrypt it and always keep up to date with your security solutions.

So, if you’re not 100% sure whether you comply with the new GDP regulations, we’ve covered everything you need to know about GDPR, so you can get prepared, just be quick… firms who fail to comply with GDPR regulations will be subject to hefty penalties.

What is GDPR?

GDPR will replace the Data Protection Act 1998. It seeks to give people more control over how organisations use their personal data and to ensure that data protection law is almost identical across the EU.

The GDPR deems that any data which can be used to identify an individual is classed as personal data and brings a new set of “digital rights” for EU citizens to protect against the growing value of personal data in the digital economy.

What Does GDPR Consider to Be Personal Data?

The EU has expanded the definition of personal data to reflect the types of data businesses now collect about people, for example online identifiers such as IP addresses now qualify as personal data. Other data, like economic, cultural or mental health information, are also considered personally identifiable information.

Why was the GDPR drafted?

Essentially, the internet and the cloud enabled organisations to invent numerous methods to use (and misuse) people’s data, and GDPR aims to remedy this. Additionally, by making data protection law identical throughout member states, the EU trusts this will mutually save companies over 2 billion euros annually.

How Will Brexit Affect the GDPR?

With the new GDPR regulations to take affect from May 2018, potentially a year before we’re due to exit the EU, many UK based businesses believe they have nothing to worry about. The truth is however, the UK must still comply despite leaving the EU, as GDPR will take effect long before the legal consequences of the Brexit vote. Just as, if you’re handling EU resident’s data then you must comply whether you’re an Australian company, an American company, a UK company and so on.

What Happens to Companies Who Don’t Comply?

For those who do not comply to GDPR regulations, companies risk being subject to a hefty fine, particularly if they fail to provide adequate IT security to protect personal data. These tougher penalties against firms that are found to breach the rules, include a fine up to 4% of their annual turnover or 20 million Euros, whichever is the greater amount.

The Benefits of GDPR; Your rights
  • Under the aim of giving people more control over their information, GDPR ensures people can ask to access their data at “reasonable intervals”, with controllers having a month to comply with these requests
  • Both controllers and processors must be transparent about how they collect people’s information, what purposes they use it for, and the ways in which they process the data
  • People have the right to access any information a company holds on them, and the right to know why that data is being processed, how long it’s stored for, and who gets to see it
  • You can also ask for this data, if incorrect or incomplete, to be rectified
  • You have the right to have this data deleted if it’s no longer necessary to the purpose for which it was collected
  • You have the right to have ‘the right to be forgotten’ and any data held to be erased
  • Should you wish for data to be transferred elsewhere, a company must provide this information
M2M and your Data…

M2M have undertaken a ‘systems review’ and are in the process of implementing procedures which ensure that personal data is only stored where permission has been granted and directly relate to the nature of the business we have with our customers.

At M2M Technology, we will only use your data – where permission is granted – to help us advise you of key business news. In doing so, we will utilise robust and secure data processing procedures to protect your privacy

We won’t ever sell your data to third parties, store your data unnecessarily or bombard you with unnecessary communications. Should you have any questions about GDPR, or you wish for further information, please get in touch.

What Can Sage Business Cloud Financials Do for You?



Choose the right accounting software package and you will save time and money, make fewer mistakes, and gain a better understanding of your business finances. But, what are you hoping to gain from your new accounting software, and how will you know when you’ve found the right one?

Considering both your needs and your accounting skills is a good start in finding the right software and completing a wish list can help. Your accountancy wish list could include a vast variety of considerations, from ‘heightening productivity amongst staff’, (which can be easily achieved through task automation) to other less-generic expectations such as ‘wanting access to other business apps’ for a more collaborative overview of your business.

Choosing the Right Accountancy Software

Selecting the right accountancy software can make many tasks easier, for starters, book-keeping is simplified and automated. But what about growing businesses looking for collaborative software, and searching for a single connected office on the cloud?

For businesses seeking accounting software that ticks all the boxes, you may have looked at Sage in the past, but perhaps decided against it because it’s too costly, or you weren’t 100% sure of its functionalities, or how it would benefit your business.

But, what about Sage Business Cloud Financials… have you considered what this flexible business software can do for you?

The Benefits of Sage Business Cloud Financials

Sage Financials is a completely agile business solution, ideal for managing all your business processes in one package. Built on the world’s number one Salesforce platform Sage Financials delivers an integrated system which connects seamlessly in real-time, providing up-to-date core financials and accounting data at a touch of a button, as well as much more.

For those of you looking to move away from your current software or perhaps having difficulty migrating your desktop software to the Cloud, we’ve put together a list of the advantages to be gained from Sage Business Cloud Financials below…

• The Latest Technology to Drive Growth

With the right accounting software, you can take care of manual financial processes automatically and help your business run smoothly using your laptop or mobile.

• Unified Data and Real-Time Insights

Transform your accounting into forward-looking forecasts with unified data and real-time insights to enable you to stay ahead.

• A Connected Eco System

Encourage alliances using a unified data set that allows you to get real-time business insights whether you’re in the office, working from home or on the road. And connect with your team and colleagues from any device.

• Significant Savings to be Made

Cover all of your accounting needs via suitable monthly subscription plans. This ensures a cost-effective solution, providing you with the potential to make significant savings.

• Enterprise Capabilities without the Complexity

Benefit from the multi-dimensional capabilities that Sage Financials brings. For example, you can look at your business in new and insightful ways across geographies, products, business units and more.

• In-Depth Reporting and a Scalable Platform

Enhance productivity in your workplace by discovering new insights that allow you to ask meaningful questions and answer them with the aid of real-time reports and dashboards. Then customise and configure changes so you can easily scale your business.

Thinking of Investing in Cloud Accounting Software?

At M2M, we consider Sage Financials to be a scalable and flexible solution tailored to provide a 360-degree view of your business. For more information about how it can help your organisation to grow, call us on 01245 494847, or email us.

Please note: Sage Live is now called Sage Financials, so why the change of name? Well, under a new name, Sage Business Cloud Financials gives you real-time insights and access to thousands of business apps through Salesforce. Find out more here.