Overview of ArtsMagna® POS Business Retail Management Software
We started shipping in March 2005 the shrink wrapped versions of ArtsMagna POS Business Retail Management Software. The Lite version is outstanding and is based on the same engine as the other versions with basically no limitations for small businesses requiring a single user version. We are using this concept as a replacement for the demo version. This will allow our clients to start investing serious time in testing the product knowing that they will be able to fully utilize their work later on when upgrading the version. The overall retail cost of the DVD Pack is $99 and it includes over 2 Gb of video tutorials that would enable you to get a very good understanding of the interface and logic. ArtsMagna Lite includes a basic Chart of Accounts in the GL. Customization and data transfer can be organized at an additional fee. All of this plus more is detailed on our Product Offer and Price Lists. ArtsMagna is a complete ERP package capable of satisfying the needs of organizations requiring products like SAP, PeopleSoft, etc. and until now we had always sold it in a traditional way requiring physical presence. From this year, and after the introduction of the USM and UBM, we have decided to shrink wrap it and make it available globally in the new four versions. This is the beginning of a new chapter for ArtsMagna started in July 2003 with a move of our headquarters from Italy to Australia. We are about to finalize a brand new version of ArtsMagna, code name "RENOVATIO", radically simplified in its overall look and feel and with contextual online help on each screen! This version will be available as a free upgrade to all our registered users.
ArtsMagna is a fully integrated solution. Just one Application (a multi relational database) sitting on a server and allowing access via LAN or WAN from the Clients. Access to the various modules is restricted on a user level base. In a LAN environment requiring multi user operation (single store multi user) ArtsMagna is powered by a dedicated Server application (MacOS or Windows) publishing the data over a selection of Network Protocols (TCP/IP, IPX/SPX and/or AppleTalk). Each Client PC (MacOS, Windows or Both) connects to the Server via a dedicated Client application. There is only one data file and it is updated in real time. In a WAN environment (multi stores) we would recommend installing simple VPN through DSL connections with fixed IP addresses. These only require a DSL Modem Bridge and a VPN Router. VPN is not required but it adds a level of security. Then the remote sites will simply log in using a Remote Desktop Connection (MacOS or Windows) and run the Client connections as if they were in the main office, from a Dedicated Windows Terminal Services Server. If two separate Servers are used (Application and Terminal Services), they can backup and mirror each other which offer full redundancy. Citrix can be added to improve Network Performance or to allow the use of dial up connections. We have several installations set up this way and can provide you with all the necessary information right through to sending you all the configurations to upload in the routers and all the specifications for the servers based on your number of concurrent users. This avoids the use of synchronization of data amongst Branches and offers true Real Time performance. In the event of a major hardware or network failure from the Telecommunication carrier we provide, included in the price, single user versions of ArtsMagna Lite that can be used as a temporary measure until the WAN connection has been restored. All transactions processed in these single user versions are individually recorded (Drawer and Time Stamp) and can be Batch transferred to the Application Server once the connection has been re-established. This process can also be used to allow companies to process sales at trade shows or through agents.
ArtsMagna supports all credit card tender types in the USM. This process can be either managed separately, through the use of a Bank supplied terminal, or integrated within the USM screen, via the use of special Ingenico Terminals. In Australia, we have been certified by PC-EFTPOS and can work with most Banks. Non Australian clients are advised to contact us to discuss whether a similar offer is available from Ingenico and their Bank in their country.
The major advantages of the integrated solution are:
1) Easier End of Day balancing
2) Avoids potential collecting errors due to double entry
3) Reduced telephone cost (no phone lines required for terminal at each branch)
Central Distribution System
ArtsMagna can operate without a dedicated central distribution system; we currently have several clients in Italy and Australia doing this. Purchase Orders can be generated at a Branch or head office. Head office can still override before processing. On processing to the supplier (email or fax) the labels are printed and sent to the stores. Merchandise is then shipped from the Suppliers directly to the stores. Original invoices are forwarded back to head office weekly. This allows management of labels without a label printer at each store. Of course if a printer is present at each store they can print their own labels. However, this adds a security flaw. We use Security Seal labels that cannot be removed without breaking them and can be washed in Hot Ultrasonic Baths.
ArtsMagna is available in Single User or Client/Server Version and can be used on any flavors of Windows, MacOS or Both ! PC hardware requirements for ArtsMagna. For the Servers we recommend Windows 2000 or 2003 Server. For the Windows Clients, Windows 2000, XP or Vista. On MacOS Clients we recommend at least G3 and OS 10.4 (but it will run on anythings less including 9.2.2). Any hardware that can run these systems will be fine. However, for best performances we recommend the latest hardware. Servers need to be configured accordingly to the number of users and data load.
Additional hardware used by ArtsMagna may vary a lot. We use Electronic Scales (generally Mettler) for weight acquisition, any QuickTime compatible video camera (USB, Firewire or RCA connectors) for video/images acquisition, Bar Code Printers (Eltron, Zebra, TEC, Intermec, etc.), Bar Code scanners (any brand), Receipt Printers (we recommend Epson TM88 series but any Epson compatible will work), Card Printers (Cimage), Card Readers (Uniform), etc. If you are concerned about a particular hardware you already own please provide us with the details and we will let you know if it is supported.
Further Enhancement Options
Data transfer: Integration of data from previously used software.
Videoconference: Because of its great use of videos, and the hardware required to run them, it would be quite simple and inexpensive to integrate video conferencing capability in a Client / Server installation both in a LAN environment as well as in a WAN using Internet Protocol.
Telephone Service Integration: Another easy to setup feature with ARTSMAGNA® is the ability to make it interact with software that can inquire to the data and return info to a customer on the phone. For example it could be used to let customers dial in and find out about the state of a repair, or the balance of an account, or the expected time of arrival of ordered goods, etc. Basically the potential of applications would be infinite !
Security System: We are currently working on a system that would allow for the Security Alarm System of the premises to be directly controlled from a specifically easy to use console within ArtsMagna.
Stock Imaging, Weighing and Bar Coding: We have several installations where ARTSMAGNA® is running on PC connected to a Video camera, an Electronic Scale and a Bar Code Printer, inputting Stock Items with their relative image, weight and printed Bar Code is as simple as pressing "once" a button (N.B.: Live Video Input is available on all Macs but it requires special hardware on PCs).
English: ARTSMAGNA®` s fully supports English through a simple setup choice. Moreover, having been developed in Australia, it does also support currencies with decimals (Euro can easily be managed) and Sales Tax or GST (VAT, IVA) legislation.
Italian: ARTSMAGNA®` s fully supports Italian through a simple setup choice. Moreover, having been thoroughly tested and used in Italy, it does also support currencies with no decimals and Multi % IVA (VAT, GST) Tax legislation.
Chinese: ARTSMAGNA®` is currently been translated and will support Standard Mandarin in the near future!
ArtsMagna supports a dual GST/VAT or Sales Tax System. Moreover ArtsMagna's Accounting and VAT/GST logic was developed to satisfy the complex needs of the Italian Taxation System where VAT/GST has been around for more than 30 years and currently it is based on multiple %. ArtsMagna's Accounting is based on the standard double entry system and supports multi tax environments. Our web site provides you with some general information. If there are any particular issues of concern to you, please let us know so as we can detail it further.
Web & Reporting
As far as the web is concerned we also have developed a Store Front application (i-amWeb) that integrates with ArtsMagna via simple Tab Separated text files. The way it works is we have in both applications an Automatic Scheduler that can be programmed to run at predetermined time intervals to either export or import these text files. In this way the user can update the Store Front application with the data from the main system every minute, hour or day etc. and vice versa. The info we exchange touches a variety of Tables: Stock (including bill of materials, departments and components etc.), Clients, Vendors, Laybys, Interest Free, Accounts, A/P, A/R, Repairs (After Sales), Valuation, Agents and Orders. Of course other tables could be added if required as well as other fields for the existing tables. I can send you some sample text files. If required, we would be very happy to modify these routines to help you integrate ArtsMagna with your own web application. When we developed i-amWeb we considered the easier option of developing it inside ArtsMagna but we soon realized that by keeping it a separate product we could maximize its use as both products can now be easily integrated with other software. As far as the reporting is concerned, ArtsMagna comes with a comprehensive suite of reports and also has a very powerful reporting engine that allows the user to build his own with ease (drag and dropping of fields including your own formulas). Reports can be built with any Fields from any Table including cross tab reporting. The info can then be Printed, Charted or Exported to various file formats.
Graphical User Interface
Let us show you ArtsMagna’s interface. There are several ways to do this:
1) If you have at least a DSL web connection, we could set up an online meeting where we take you through ArtsMagna’s revolutionary interface. Whether you use Windows or MacOS we use Skype and VNC which are available on both platforms. I am confident that you will find our GUI simple yet very powerful. We could have a longer meeting or a few shorter ones. Unfortunately there is no “short” way of demonstrating ArtsMagna’s wide array of features and functionality. You could organize a prioritized list of the areas of interest and we could set up a time table based on your preferred number of meetings and their length. We really believe this is a very effective way for you to analyze this product and it will also provide you with a good understanding of our capability to support the product remotely, something we do on a regular basis. We should also have a quick preliminary meeting to fine tune software and hardware over the web. Once this is done you can then set up a time for you and whoever else you would like to be involved to participate. If you have a projector, you could use it as well.
2) You can access the tutorial files so that you can get the feel of how the system works. This will speed the process of understanding the interface and will answer most of your basic questions. In order to view these videos you need to install the QuickTime Codec. There is a MacOS9, MacOSX and a Windows version of the Codec. Then you can access the Tutorials.
Just a reminder that these tutorials are based on the current version of ArtsMagna and not the soon to be released next version "RENOVATIO".
3) Join one of our Purchase Plan and for a small monthly fee you can experiment until you are satisfied.
Please contact us in order to receive an up to date Price List. We are confident that the soon to be released new version of ArtsMagna will be arguably the best value for money product of its kind available for Windows and MacOS X. Our Price List will help you understand our price structure. There is a surcharge for the multi store operation. If the Administration does not require POS functionality then it is not considered a Store. If the owners require access from their own homes or offices and do not require POS functionality then no additional licenses are required. You just need to decide on the number of simultaneous connections to the application server.