Tag: Business

Generally business- and economics-related things

Gentoo ebuild for Lx-Office ERP 2.6.0 beta 1

Finally, I’ve created Gentoo ebuilds for Lx-Office ERP 2.6.0 beta 1 and its dependencies. Lx-Office is a fork of the server-based open source accounting solution SQL-Ledger and customized for the German market (and to some extent, the Swiss and Austrian markets).

A screenshot of Lx-Office ERP 2.6.0 beta 1 showing the XUL menu:

Screenshot of Lx-Office ERP 2.6.0 beta 1 using the XUL menu

And here’s a flash video of Lx-Office ERP 2.6.0 beta 1 showing the XUL menu in action.

Lx-System (the company backing Lx-Office ERP) and LINET Services host a public demo of Lx-Office ERP 2.4.3 (user: demo, password: demo).

To install Lx-Office ERP 2.6.0 beta 1 on Gentoo, follow these steps:

1) Set up a local portage overlay (e.g. at /usr/local/portage), if you haven’t done so already.

# mkdir -p /usr/local/portage

In /etc/make.conf, set

PORTDIR_OVERLAY=/usr/local/portage

2) Download lx-office-erp-2.6.0_beta_p1-r1_plus_dependencies.tgz and extract it to your local portage overlay

# cd /usr/local/portage
# tar xzvf lx-office-erp-2.6.0_beta_p1-r1_plus_dependencies.tgz

3) In /etc/portage/package.keywords, add the line

www-apps/lx-office-erp ~amd64

(or ‘www-apps/lx-office-erp ~x86‘, depending on the architecture of your machine)

4) In /etc/portage/package.use, add the line

www-apps/lx-office-erp vhosts

5) Install Lx-Office ERP on your system by executing

# emerge -av lx-office-erp

Depending on your current portage settings and installed ebuilds, you may need to unmask additional ebuilds.

6) Use webapp-config to link your Lx-Office ERP installation to a specific host, e.g. by executing

# webapp-config -I -h localhost -d lx-erp lx-office-erp 2.6.0_beta_p1-r1

7) Follow the steps displayed on the screen to setup and configure Lx-Office ERP. Some of these steps might be automated in a later release of the ebuild.

8) Have fun using Lx-Office ERP on Gentoo! :)

(These ebuilds are sponsored by my company Printscreen GmbH, dedicated to the developers of Lx-Office ERP and Gentoo and released for free use under the terms and conditions of the GNU GPLv2 license.)

“Realising Dreams – strategies for deep design” by William Gosling

One of the about 30 something new books on my bookshelf – and a truly great one I just finished reading. Gosling gives a systematic insight into the matter of design and innovation. A very inspiring and useful, yet very concise framework!

“Realising Dreams – strategies for deep design” by William Gosling

Per order vs. per volume

I like the new advertisement campaign by the Swiss bank MIGROSBANK. Among others, and that’s why I like it, it questions some of the antiquated banking practices which can hardly be “justified” in the age of e-banking, yet are still in widespread use.
For example, one of the advertisements questions why most banks charge commissions for stock market orders based on the transaction volume (or on a combination of volume and per order) instead of charging a flat fee per order.

The advertisement shows two identical pictures of someone hitting the ‘Enter’ key on the keyboard. The text below the pictures reads (IIRC, in about): “Do you see a difference? We neither. That’s why we charge the same fee for every order.”
Some people might argue that customers who potentially gain (or lose) more money (by having higher transaction volumes) should also pay more of the costs of the e-banking system. From the perspective of managerial accounting however, it makes more sense to break down these costs into costs per order rather than per volume. If no paperwork and no other per transaction costs are involved at all, it might even make sense to charge a flat rate per participating customer only (neglecting the fact however, that the software and the hardware infrastructure need to be able to absorb the peak number of transactions per time). This of course only applies to orders given using the e-banking system. For any other, more traditional services like consulting, wealth management etc. customers shall be charged for separately.

So why do most banks still charge on a per volume basis (or on a mix of per volume and per order fees)? It’s because they can. Some people might not be fully aware of  how much IT changed (and will further change) banking. And most people lose their flair for “small” numbers once they deal with “big” numbers. Besides, it’s also a question of how people value their time.

Nonetheless, I hope the above mentioned bank will be able to stir up the domestic market a bit.

IT trends and IT governance in Switzerland

An interesting study by Accenture about “IT-Trends und IT-Governance
in der Schweiz” (unfortunately in German only):

cio_survey_1104.pdf

Security awareness and IT efficiency/productivity improvements are top topics among CIOs in Switzerland for the next 12 to 24 months. The fact that most CIOs prefer standard software in the back-office and custom SW at the frontend remind a bit of the “window polishing” phenomenon known from management accounting but are in accordance with general business developments in highly developed and saturized markets (like in Switzerland). The products’s cores become more and more similar while the “wrappings” make the difference for consumers.

Contextual advertising on the web

An interesting study: Routes to success for consumer magazine websites (PDF) (Reuters)

Most sites have gained new advertisers on the web who do not advertise in the print products.
The proportion has risen from 53% in 2003 to 66% in 2005.
The web-only advertisers are attracted by a range of factors. These include the interactive
possibilities, the ability to receive sales leads or direct response, the size of the audiences
available, the new/different audiences on offer, and the measurability of the internet audience.
Speed of delivery and updating is another attractive feature.
20% of the sites offer contextual advertising – that is, relating the ads shown on-screen to the
keywords that surfers employ when using search engines.

Contextual advertising obviously gains popularity among advertisers.

(via Rogers Blog)