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Spire FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

(updated Aug 25 2015)
 
  • Q: What is Spire?
    A: Spire is the new integrated accounting and inventory management software produced by Tri-Tech Information Systems of Vancouver, BC. It is based on their BVEssentials product (now known simply as Essentials). It will initially be of most interest to users of BusinessVision. All signs are pointing towards BusinessVision entering an "end-of-life" phase with product retirement on the horizon - please see The Future of BusinessVision. Spire is written using a modern programming language and methods, with a modern (fast) database engine. Compared to BusinessVision, Spire is greatly modernized and enhanced.
     

  • Q: When will Spire be available?
    A: Version 1.0 of Spire was released in March 2015. Since then various releases have rectified small issues with the software, and have gradually added additional functionality, including payroll.
     

  • Q: If Spire is new won't I have to worry about a lot of bugs?
    A: Spire is new, but also not new. It is the BVEssentials product (now known as Essentials) that has been in use by end users for many years (since 2001). All that is changing is that Spire will use a modern database engine for storing its data instead of Pervasive (which BusinessVision uses). In more technical terms, Spire is the BVEssentials product that is currently in use, but with a different database layer. Also, Tri-Tech Information Systems is very diligent about releasing service packs for their software. Reported issues are addressed quickly.
     

  • Q: Will Spire still be around in five years? After all, it is "brand new".
    A: As previously mentioned, Spire is not really brand new. Tri-Tech Information Systems has been in business for 28 years (since 1986) and has a proven track record of providing quality software while at the same time being highly responsive to end users and their product channel. The company has the financial resources to produce, maintain, and enhance the Spire product into the future.
     

  • Q: Will I be able to keep my BusinessVision data?
    A: Spire includes a complete 100% one-click data conversion from BusinessVision at no extra charge. You will not lose any data whatsoever. All your history will remain intact. No other software has this capability.
     

  • Q: Why shouldn't I just stay on BusinessVision (if it ain't broke why fix it)?
    A: In spite of what Sage is saying, BusinessVision is indeed on its last legs. It embodies components which are obsolete, two of which are no longer supported by their respective vendors (and these will not be updated). Sage is no longer adding new features to the product. Most of the BusinessVision staff at Sage, including the Product Manager, are gone. BusinessVision will sooner or later be broken by either a new version of Windows or a Windows update. And you cannot use BusinessVision past the year 2020.
    In any case, why stay behind on old, slow, quirky technology when you can have the ultra-modern and fast Spire software with essentially the same processes and methods you are used to from BusinessVision?
    For more information please see The Future of BusinessVision.
     

  • Q: What about my customized reports and forms?
    A: Most customized reports and forms can be easily converted for use with Spire. Some  may require more work.
     

  • Q: Will I have to learn a whole new software and way of doing things?
    A: Spire's processes are generally parallel to those of BusinessVision. You will find that using Spire will be very familiar to you once you adapt to the modernized screens. The same general methods to process sales, POs, etc still apply. There's no brand new methodology and terminology to learn.
     

  • Q: Will Sage sue Tri-Tech Information Systems for producing Spire and try to shut them down?
    A: Tri-Tech Information Systems has been very careful to develop BVEssentials and Spire without violating any legal requirements for developing original software. It consists of 100% original programming code, and no terminology unique to BusinessVision has been used in the product. Nor is the BusinessVision name or abbreviation being used in association with Spire. The screens are different.
     

  • Q: Will I lose any of the functionality of BusinessVision?
    A: All processes and modules that are present in BusinessVision have equivalents in Spire, with only a few small exceptions. Modules included are General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Inventory, Sales Order, Purchase Order, Customers, Vendors, Bill of Material, Job Cost, Payroll, Point of Sale, Multicurrency. BusinessVision's Custom Pack features are all supported, with the exception of Super Ticker. Workbook (called Custom Fields in Spire) is available as an add-on. All of the preceding have greatly enhanced functionality over BusinessVision.
     

  • Q: What about third-party add-on products for BusinessVision? Will those vendors be supporting Spire?
    A: Yes, absolutely! All major third party vendors who have add-ons to BusinessVision will be supporting Spire. Quite frankly, it would be a bad business decision not to, given the intense interest in Spire.
     

  • Q: Will Spire be faster than BusinessVision?  Will there be fewer missed postings and data issues?
    A: YES!! Spire runs on a modern database (PostgreSQL) with "transaction processing" built in. This is a technical term that simply means it will ensure that ALL parts of a transaction will update ALL parts of the system it is meant to.
    As for speed, in a test case a BusinessVision client with 600,000 inventory items (that is not a typo) converted their data for use with Spire. Their inventory screen in Spire loaded ALL 600,000 items in TWO seconds!
     

  • Q: What enhancements and features will be coming in future versions of Spire?
    A: Once the first release of Spire is "out the door" and bug-free, future Spire versions will include a US version, multilingual versions, a database overhaul, versions for Mac and Linux/Unix. And an integrated CRM. Plus many various program feature enhancements. Spire has a long list of new user-requested features to add to the software.
     

  • Q: Do I need to know Excel to get reports from Spire?
    A: No, absolutely not. Spire has the capability of exporting just about any and all of your data to Excel. The data comes out properly formatted and ready for pivot table analysis. However, you don't have to use any of this functionality if you don't wish to. You can add just about any number of custom reports to Spire, just as in BusinessVision.
     

  • Q: What is PostgreSQL?
    A: Spire is written in a modern programming language and uses PostgreSQL as its database. PostgreSQL is a modern open source database in wide use worldwide since 1989. PostgreSQL can run on many platforms, including WIndows, Mac, and Linix/Unix. PostgreSQL is in wide use on the Internet and therefore there will be many opportunities for Internet functionality in Spire. PostgreSQL is also free. For more information, please visit the PostgreSQL website and Wikipedia.
     

  • Q: What will be the price for Spire?
    A: If you already own BusinessVision, there is special upgrade pricing in place - please contact Wildwood Canada for information. Alternatively, if you purchase BVEssentials now, you will get a free upgrade to Spire when it is released to the public. If you are buying Spire brand new, the pricing will be in the same neighbourhood as current BusinessVision pricing. The database PostgreSQL is an open source product and is therefore free of charge.
     

  • Q: Will you still be my consultant (ie Walter Muma, Wildwood Canada)?
    A: Yes! Most BusinessVision consultants are looking forward to adopting Spire as their system of choice to recommend to their clients.
     

  • Q: Where can I buy Spire and upgrade my BusinessVision?
    A: Spire is only available through authorized and trained Spire Partners. Please contact Walter Muma at Wildwood Canada.
     

  • Q: Where can I view an online demo of Spire?
    A: Please visit the Spire Youtube channel.
     

  • Q: Why should I adopt Spire? Aren't there other comparable products out there?
    A: Actually there's very little available that's in the same market niche and price level as BusinessVision and Spire. BusinessVision users who don't adopt Spire are faced with a significant downgrade to Simply Accounting (now known as Sage 50) and will lose a lot of the more advanced features of BusinessVision, or to Quickbooks which has very poor multiuser capabilities and no secure audit trail. These two packages are best suited for very small businesses. Alternatively, businesses that use BusinessVision would otherwise have to spend a significant amount of money to move to Sage 300 (formerly known as Accpac), which has its own set of significant disadvantages.
    In ALL of these cases there is NO one-click 100% data conversion from BusinessVision! Quotes from other vendors for converting BusinessVision data to Sage 300 have been as high as $15,000! Data conversion is FREE when you migrate to Spire. And when switching to other software, users would face a steep learning curve.
    Because of the current hype about cloud-based solutions, some businesses may be tempted to go that route. However, the many significant drawbacks of cloud-based systems make this a poor choice (please read The "Cloud").
    For BusinessVision users, the only choice that make any real sense and is cost effective is to migrate to Spire.
     

  • Q: Where can I get more information?
    A: Please contact Wildwood Canada for more information.
     


 
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