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Business Intelligence Trends of 2017 & Beyond

If you don’t know by now, business intelligence (BI) is the best way for your organization to stay competitive in the market. BI utilizes a variety of tools and methodologies to allow organizations to collect data, analyze it, and transform it into reports and visualizations that make analytical results available to decision makers. Business intelligence can accelerate your decision-making process, help your organization optimize processes, increase efficiency, create new revenues, and ultimately gain an advantage over your competition.

Over the last years, we’ve seen BI revamp organizations of all types and sizes, and we predict it will continue to become more and more popular. Here are the top three trends to look out for in 2017:

1. Modern BI takes the lead

Last year, many organizations began making the shift to modern BI. The capability to evaluate analytics moved from the hands of very few to the fingertips of many, as businesses transitioned away from the IT-centric reporting platforms to modern BI and analytics platforms. Organizations are empowering even non-analysts to explore data and collaborate with their findings. In 2017, we will see modern BI become a top priority for organizations of all sizes across all industries.

2. Analytics will become more accessible

Technologic advancements have made working with data feel more natural; online data is no longer a language only IT specialists understand. In 2017, advanced analytics will become the new standard for business users and will no longer be reserved for use by data scientists and experts exclusively. In the past year, we’ve already seen business users leveraging powerful analytics functions, and in 2017, they will continue to expand their analytics skill set.

3. Data literacy will become a crucial skill

As advanced analytics become more accessible to business users, data literacy will become a new necessary skill for professionals of all types. Last year, LinkedIn listed business intelligence as one of the hottest skills to get you hired and we don’t expect to see that changing anytime soon. Just as proficiency in Microsoft Office is expected of all business professionals, in 2017, competency in analytics will become fundamental in the workplace.

Now is the time to implement a business intelligence program for your business, no matter how large or small your organization may be. While business intelligence may be a new and growing industry, at NSA we have years of experience developing and implementing BI programs for organizations of all types and sizes. Let us give your business the competitive advantage in your market!


Ransomware: Is your data at risk?

NSA’s service for total data protection solutions for distribution businesses, announced enterprise-class ransomware protection for enterprise and small to mid-sized businesses, is now available. Built into NSA’s suite of services offerings, NSA’s ransomware protection and recovery automatically detects and identifies attacks, notifying administrators to immediately rollback to healthy data. The solution shortens downtime, saves money and reduces the impact to businesses, giving companies an effective and reliable alternative to paying hackers’ ransoms.

Recent research revealed that ransomware is fast becoming a ubiquitous security threat, with nearly 40% of all businesses experiencing an attack in the past year.

IT service providers report that 91% of those surveyed have seen clients victimized by ransomware. As malware advances in sophistication, the ability to rapidly identify an attack and quickly recover means a business is back up and running in minutes as opposed to days. NSA leverages our vendors’ expertise in applying its customers’ successes in rolling data back to pre-malware snapshots and developed a new arsenal against malicious encryption, which is now incorporated into NSA’s file Sync & Share offering, as well as ransomware detection within its flagship SIRIS appliances. Product enhancements support the company’s commitment to ensure business data is secure and accessible, no matter where it lives.

Ransomware is a major concern to our distribution customers. While most are deploying robust anti-virus technologies and some are also educating their teams to look out for suspicious emails, the sheer scale and pace of the phenomenon leaves most of our distribution market vulnerable. We have found that the rollback approach is the only way that NSA clients can truly effectively recover data and restore to pre-ransomware status.

With NSA’s new ransomware technology, we now offer peace of mind through a service where we can accurately detect an attack before the hackers demand any money.

With NSA’s new ransomware detection feature, available on our SIRIS appliance devices, you can easily identify a ransomware attack and roll systems back to a point in time before the attack hit. Ransomware, like most illicit software, leaves an identifiable footprint as it takes over a server, PC or laptop. NSA’s devices, combined with simultaneous cloud image replication, provides optimal protection. Recovery is then simply a matter of restoring from a previous backup.

A recent survey found that a staggering 35% of businesses encountered ransomware in the cloud, leaving cloudbased file-sync-and-share systems just as vulnerable as local systems. With the automatic ransomware detection and recovery throughout the NSA SIRIS products, we’re giving data control back to customers and empowering them to save the day – the way it should be.


Contact NSA today because ensuring your company’s defense against ransomware can’t wait!


Supply Chain Management Trends

Supply chain management is a growing and evolving industry that may be difficult to implement, but is vital for the success of your business. If you don’t stay on top of the smartest techniques for supply chain optimization, you can hurt your bottom-line with out-of-date technology and cost-ineffective procedures.

Here are 4 supply chain trends we expect will emerge or continue to flourish in 2017:

Growth of Tracking Solutions

Tracking solutions such as sensors and other devices provide real-time data. When embedded in cargo and vehicles, the data collected will optimize supply chains based on real-time inventory snapshots. In 2017, we see shippers and carriers continuing to rely on tracking solutions for inventory management.

Predictive Analytics

Demand can be forecasted more accurately by using predictive analytics. This includes search data and location tracking. By combining this aggregate information with web-search data, you’re able to draw more accurate forecasts to plan ahead. This year, expect to see predictive analytics used more to closely monitor inventory levels and ultimately improve forecasting.

Dependence on the Cloud

Reliability within the supply chain is a must; organizations will no longer tolerate data security risks that can ground their operations for hours or even days at a time. Aside from the cost effectiveness and time efficiency benefits of the cloud, the security risks that come with on premise data systems will continue to drive supply chain businesses to embrace the cloud.

Mobile Options

As technology rapidly advances, so does mobile. Warehouses now have unlimited potential for mixing and matching their mobility options; from iPhone solutions to Android tablets to barcode scanners – everything can be done right at your fingertips. We predict user preferences such as ease-of-use and ergonomic needs will be the deciding factor in mobile solutions this year.

Evolution is key to ensuring your supply chain will survive, and thrive in today’s business world. In addition to considering adopting the strategies above, also think about incorporating more risk management tools that can minimize disruption and allow you to hit timely targets.

For help with your supply chain business, contact Brian Weaver or Patrick VanPutte at 516-240-5020. With over 30 years of experience, NSA will help implement the perfect solution for your supply chain business!


What it Means to be an Infor Partner

Last month we announced the expansion of our role in the Infor Partner Network (IPN). NSA has been an Infor Channel Partner for over 30 years, so taking the next step and advancing to an Alliance Partner is very exciting for our team.

For starters, Infor is an incredible network to be a part of. As a leading enterprise software provider offering strategic applications for specific industries, Infor has over 90,000 customers across 170 different countries. With such a vast network, there will be so many opportunities where we can assist and we’re truly looking forward to doing so.

As an Alliance Partner, NSA can consult, advise and integrate with Infor as well as other Alliance Partners. Together we will strategize to ensure that Infor products and services are providing as much value to customers as possible.

Being accepted as Alliance Partner means that Infor recognized NSA as a leader in the industry; they trust our team, our experience and capabilities and that is a huge honor for us! We look forward to working alongside Infor and other Alliance Partners and continuing to do what we do best – provide solutions to businesses in need.

Have questions about Infor and the Alliance Network? Feel free to contact us!

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Mobile and Your Distribution Business

When it comes to technology, these days it’s all about mobile. No longer just for personal use; everywhere you turn mobile devices and tablets are being used among businesses across all industries for a multitude of purposes. This holds true for distribution businesses as well.

Here are three ways mobile is transforming the distribution marketplace:


Account Management

With the proper mobile solution in place, your sales teams and account managers can easily access customer accounts. From a mobile device or tablet, they can pull up an account to quickly answer questions, check inventories and even place an order. Customers will notice the efficiency of your team and place you above the competition.


Inventory Management

By using mobile devices and tablets, inventory can be accessed from any point of the distribution process. Whether from the showroom floor, in the warehouse or on the delivery truck, your teams will know first-hand where your inventory is, what is available and what needs to be replenished. This data will undoubtedly help streamline your business.


Real Time Data 

When your business utilizes mobile, you gain access to data from anywhere, at any time. No longer is there a need to be stuck inside an office waiting by the phone or computer. Your team will be able to get delivery confirmations as they happen. You can effectively manage your team hands on, making sure they are on track with their responsibilities and being as productive as possible. With access to real time data, you’ll ensure your entire system is running efficiently.


For more information on our mobile solutions, please click here.




Top 5 Tips Advanced Inventory Management Helps You Grow Your Business

Distributors understand the business objectives behind an Advanced Inventory Management (AIM) system: you can grow your business successfully by knowing exactly what, how many, and when to ship your products. Inventory management makes it possible for distributors to accelerate the pace of profitability. To achieve these business objectives, try the following 5 tips for maximizing your inventory management – and call NSA for help optimizing your ERP solution to implement your own successful inventory management system:

1. Provide better customer service. When your customer service representatives and sales team are armed with an updated inventory list, order points, and replenishment schedule, they can provide outstanding customer service.

2. Track the product lifecycle. Use your ERP system to analyze and report results, track sales, transfers, and lost sales, and flag exceptions.

3. Get the timing right. Your inventory should arrive just in time- you don’t want it to sit on your warehouse shelves or end up with products you don’t need.

4. Track and monitor progress against targets. Monitor how much your carrying costs are in relation to freight, service, and price. Know where you stand in terms of supply volume and demand.

5. Use business intelligence to make decisions. Your ERP solution should offer a paperless, real-time control center that highlights any inventory that requires your immediate attention, allow you to sort by parameters you set, and drill down to order points, individual items, and line points.

The competition is tough. That means it’s more important than ever to offer your customers something your competitors are not- effective inventory management. This will allow you to offer better customer service and deliver orders correctly and on time, leading to happy customers and customer loyalty.

Let’s have a conversation to see what challenges you currently face and how NSA can help develop your own unique Advanced Inventory Management system.




Spring Forward with Solutions from NSA

At NSA, we understand the issues wholesalers face. As your one stop for ERP software optimizations, we’re here to help you run your business smoothly and effectively. We’ll teach you how to use your ERP software more efficiently, help you develop your own unique Advanced Inventory Management (AIM) system, and implement Business Intelligence solutions to increase profitability in your distribution center.

Here are the top 3 solutions we recommend for every business:

ERP Software

Using ERP software more effectively offers many benefits: save time, improve inventory record keeping, expedite purchasing process, enjoy mobilization, better decision making with improved business intelligence, and financial savings with the cloud.

Inventory Management

Inventory management makes it possible for distributors to accelerate the pace of profitability. Your ERP solution should help you maximize the benefits of a good inventory management system. Developing an Advanced Inventory Management system will allow for better decision making by tracking the product lifecycle and getting the timing right. It will reduce inventory costs, surplus, waste, carrying costs, and freight and replenishment costs. Effective inventory management allows you to deliver outstanding customer service and develop customer loyalty. We can help you develop an Advanced Inventory Management system unique to your company, to give you more control, less chaos, and prevent unexpected problems.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence is the key to higher profitability in your distribution center. Our Business Intelligence solutions will help you save money, eliminate bottlenecks, and use data to reach your goals. Business Intelligence reduces labor costs through automation of data collection, automation of report generation, and reduction of training time and costs for developing and maintaining reports. Our Business Intelligence solution eliminates information bottlenecks for faster access to reports in your distribution center. We do this by allowing end users to create and view reports without waiting for the IT Department or Finance Department. A key part of our Business Intelligence solution includes providing documentation of KPIs, and providing customized dashboards for each user. We improve collaboration so users can forward selected data with other users, assign targets, and responsible persons to KPIs.

Let us develop a unique Business Intelligence solution for your company to make it easier and faster to make educated decisions.

NSA’s Senior Consultants have decades of experience in wholesale distribution and Infor SX.eand can help you optimize your software investment to get the most out of your ERP software. Let us review each area of your business, teach you how to use your software more efficiently, and make recommendations for the future goals of your organization.


TUG Connects 2017 is Over…But It’s Just Another Beginning for NSA

We’ve just returned from Orlando from another successful TUG Connects! As always, the event was jam packed with hundreds of informative sessions, enlightening roundtable conversations and ample opportunity to network with industry thought leaders. We always leave TUG Connects feeling well-informed, inspired, and motivated to take on the year!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the NSA booth! It was great to catch up and discuss the latest in distribution solutions. The massages at our booth were certainly a big hit, we hope everyone enjoyed those!

We’d also like to take a moment to thank all who attended our content sessions and buffet roundtables. Our team covered topics like ransomware, data backup and disaster recovery, SX.e GUI operator setup and security, prioritizing cloud and managed service needs and much more. We appreciate everyone’s participation! If you missed our sessions and would like more information or if you have any follow up questions for our team, please do not hesitate to reach out. If you’d like to receive our presentations via email, please text NSApros to 44222.

Here are a few photos from the event. If you have any photos, we’d love to see them! Please tag us on social @NSAComputerExchangeCorp on Facebook and @NSAComputerExch on Twitter.

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Stay up to date with all NSA events by following along Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+!


Cloud Storage Trends for 2017

With the new year comes advances and trends in technology. In this day and age, cloud storage is a must for any business to ensure their data is secure and easily accessible. We’ve gathered the three trends on our radar for cloud storage this year:


Increased Security

With the need for big business and enterprises to utilize cloud infrastructure, security will remain at the forefront of importance. Expect to see security options take precedence within cloud infrastructure.


Ease of Transition

One of the biggest reasons businesses hold back from making the move to cloud infrastructure is fear of difficulty and loss of data. In 2017, business owners can expect migration tools to make the cloud storage transition easy, seamless, and secure.


Public Cloud Adoption

As the rate of cloud storage adoption increases, so does the need to utilize the open cloud. Enterprises are finding storage on their private clouds to be limiting and expensive. Expect to see these businesses embrace the open cloud and make extensive use of cloud storage for long-term data retention. It will not only be safe and accessible, but will allow for significant cost savings.


Questions about cloud storage? NSA is here to help. Feel free to contact us.




Meet the NSA Speakers for TUG Connects

If you’ve been following along with us, you’ll know that our team is gearing up for TUG CONNECTS 2017! With only a few weeks to go, we wanted to introduce you to our team that will be presenting at the event:


Brian-P.-Weaver-2017Brian Weaver, VP of Sales

Joining NSA in 2015, Brian has been laser focused, leveraging his over 10 years of prior experience in Cloud & Managed Services. Building from a history of ERP experiences spanning back to 1995, working with software developers and resellers alike, Brian most notably helped to build the Ingram Micro Cloud business unit from 4 to over 200 associates. Brian’s extraordinary proficiency and expertise in online backup and disaster recovery benefits NSA’s clients at an unparalleled, world-class level.


Kathy-Lundquist-2017Kathy Lundquist, VP of Professional Services

Kathy joined NSA as a business consultant in 1998 and has managed implementations and upgrades for multiple companies ranging from family owned and operated business to publicly held corporations. Her passion is helping businesses leverage their system knowledge for strategic planning, compliance and best practices. Prior to joining NSA, Kathy was controller for Husky Injection Molding Systems, and adjunct professor for Cornell University Industrial Labor Relations.


1480432159Linda Gavin, Senior Business Consultant

Linda joined the NSA Team as a Senior Business Consultant in 2011. She has been involved in leading and supporting implementations, upgrades, and operational reviews. Linda thrives on helping businesses analyze their processes to ensure they are making effective use of their software investment. Preceding NSA, Linda was a Senior Business Consultant with Infor and has prior experience as a System Administrator, Implementation Specialist, and Training and Help Desk Coordinator.


We hope to see you there and look forward to your questions and feedback at our presentations! Don’t forget to stop by the NSA booth as we will have FREE chair massages! Let us relieve your physical stresses as well as your distribution business stresses.