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Answers to the most common questions about on-demand software

SmartEdge brings value to the Web. Traditionally people have used the web to search for information. The banks introduced internet banking providing an online value service. SMARTEDGE is taking it further by offering a complete business solution online for small and medium sized businesses.

This page provides a lot of answers to different questions regarding SmartEdge, business software in general as well as the internet. If you have a question not answered here, we would be glad to help you. Click here to send us an e-mail with your question, and we will get back to you without delay.

  1. What is different about SmartEdge?
  2. Is SmartEdge the right solution for your business?
  3. Is it safe and secure?
  4. How do I try before I buy?
  5. How do I get support?
  6. What do I need to use SmartEdge?

What is different about SmartEdge?

How is SmartEdge different from software that I install?

With traditional software you have to make sure that the software is installed correctly, maintained and upgraded correctly and backed up regularly. You also need to buy the necessary hardware and supporting software to ensure that your systems work properly. This often requires expertise from IT people and it is more expensive than usually anticipated.

SmartEdge is governed by the philosophy that there is no need for small and medium sized businesses to install and operate their own business software. Small businesses shouldn't be burdened with the hassles of maintaining complex software and ensuring that backups are made meticulously. You shouldn't need to worry about the consequences for your business data if your computer is stolen, breaks down or gets infected by a virus.

With SmartEdge, your implementation requires no technical expertise. All you need to think about is how to best manage your business.

How is SmartEdge priced?

Because SmartEdge delivers software as a service, there is no up-front license fee, no upgrade fees and no installation costs. To use SmartEdge you pay a low monthly subscription fee. You only pay for what you use. There are no contract periods and you can terminate you subscription at any time.

What is the difference between a true web-based online solution and a traditional Hosted Application solution?

To create a high-performance web application you need to finely tune the balance between the client (your browser) and the web-server. Since unnecessary data requests to the server creates overhead and slow down performance they need to be kept down to a minimum when you work. A traditional application that is hosted has not been developed according to such principles, and therefore tends to be far too network intensive to be efficient. This is because traditional software systems are designed to be on a local network and doesn't need to consider how often and when it requires information from the server. Such programming design is detrimental to an online application.

In addition hosted applications run traditional user interfaces in the web browser. These user interfaces are very heavy to process for the web browser (large and slow), and since they are not primarily designed for a web browser they tend to be less stable than a true web interface.

SmartEdge is developed for the web specifically and use only a web browser as its user interface. You get the same experience as you are used to, when using web browsers.

We have used sophisticated technologies to optimise the solution for the Internet. Since it has been developed from the ground up with the web as its interface, we have used innovative web-specific technologies to ensure a reliable and high-performing solution.

To the best of our knowledge, SmartEdge is the only truly web-based online business solution available to South African businesses.

Can I install SmartEdge in-house?

Larger businesses with more than 25 users can buy a license to install and host SMARTEDGE on their own servers. For more information contact us.

Can my business get a dedicated server from SmartEdge?

SmartEdge is run on shared servers for our customers. Using shared servers for many customers enable us to offer the service at such low prices. We continuously monitor the servers for performance, and add new servers as needed.

However, larger companies with minimum 10 users can get a dedicated server hosted by SMARTEDGE or themselves. For more information contact us.

Is SmartEdge the right solution for your business?

Software as a Service

More and more businesses worldwide are seeing the huge benefits of using Software as a Service (SaaS), instead of licensing software the traditional way. It enables you to focus on business, since SMARTEDGE acts an IT department for you, taking care of the software and data maintenance tasks.

How is it better than how I do my business management today?

SmartEdge brings your business data together in one place that is accessible from anywhere and available at any time. You can save valuable data entry time, present a more professional image to your customers, view information when and where you need it, and really know where your business stands. You can answer important questions from your customers or even allow your customers to view their own information the web. You can share your data with your accountant, enabling you to work more efficiently. You'll also be able to send professional-looking statements to customers via email.

Start your free 5-day trial now and see for yourself how SmartEdge gives you more control of your business.

How much accounting do I need to know to use it?

SmartEdge is specifically designed to be easy to learn and simple to use. If you know how to send invoices, receive payment, track bills and make payments you'll easily learn how to use SmartEdge. Simple activity oriented entry forms that you will immediately recognize make it fast and easy to get started.

And on top of that, since you share your data with your accountant you can ask them to enter any transactions that you are not confident to do yourself.

Can my accountant capture all the transaction and I just view reports?

Yes. Since your accountant can be granted free access, you can have your accountant keep your books. You can simply run reports whenever you want. With SmartEdge all the information is instantly updated, so your reports will always be up-to-date. You can tell your accountant about SmartEdge by e-mailing this page to them. Click here to do so.

Can I see a detailed list of features?

Click here to view the features included in our different Business Tools and Enterprise Suites.

Can I sign up to be notified of new features?

Yes. You should sign up to receive our newsletter. Subscribers and trial subscribers receive the newsletter automatically.

Is it safe and secure?

Why is it safe to transmit my data over the Internet?

SmartEdge uses encrypted transmissions through industry-standard Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. SSL helps ensure that your information is protected during transmission over the Internet. This is the same technology used by banks and online trading companies when transmitting data over the Internet. Click here for more about security.

What is 128-bit SSL encryption?

128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption is the highest level of encryption currently supported by commercial web browsers. This is the same type of security used by many financial institutions.

All newer versions of browsers support 128-bit encryption. If you have Windows 2000, you need to download the Windows 2000 High Encryption Pack to get 128-bit encryption for Internet Explorer 6.0.

How reliable is SmartEdge?

SmartEdge's data servers are monitored for reliability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Will SmartEdge be available 24 hours a day?

Yes. You can access your data at any time via the Internet. Occasionally, we may need to take down our servers or systems for regular maintenance. We usually do such maintenance during low traffic hours.

Do you backup my data?

Yes. SmartEdge protects your business by storing your critical financial data on firewall-protected servers. In addition we always maintain copies of your data to help ensure that a hardware failure should not affect you. Back-ups of your data are made every day so that your critical business information is protected.

How do you ensure no one else can access my data?

Your critical financial data is stored on firewall-protected servers. You have control over who accesses your data and what they can see and do. Once you sign up, only the people whom you explicitly invite can access your data. Click here for more about data protection.

Can SmartEdge see my data?

Your data belongs to you and no one at SmartEdge has access to your password. No one can see your information unless you authorize it. In case of an unforeseen failure or breakdown that requires repair or specific support issues, SmartEdge system administrators may need to view your data to make the necessary repairs. Click here to learn more about data privacy and protection.

What happens if my Internet access is down?

You need a working internet connection to access SmartEdge. If your connection goes down or disconnects while you are working, you simply reconnect and proceed as normal. If your telephone systems are down, SmartEdge cannot be accessed until you have fixed your telephone lines, or you need to find a computer with a working Internet connection.

How do I try before I buy?

How does the 5-day trial work?

Simply sign up for the trial and enjoy full access to SmartEdge just as if you were a paying subscriber. In less than five minutes the startup wizard can have you up and running, and you can start invoicing. If you decide to subscribe at the end of your trial all your data will be remembered, or you can choose to reset your data.

What happens to my trial data if I decide to sign up?

As long as you subscribe before the 5-day trial is over, you will continue using the data you have already entered. During your trial period you can at any time reset some or all of the data you have captured. If you do not subscribe, your data will be deleted after another 30 days.

Can I try SmartEdge without signing up for the trial?

Yes. If you don't want to enter your own data you can use our Play-and-Learn company to see how a fictitious company uses SmartEdge to manage its finances. You will be able to enter data, run reports, and try the complete service using data that's in place and ready to go. Click here to try SmartEdge using the fictional company.

How do I get support?

Do I have to pay extra for support?

If you need help or have a question, just click the Support link, which appears at the top of every screen, and type in your question or problem. We make sure that a Service Consultant who is knowledgeable about your issue helps you. Alternatively you can contact support by telephone or Skype. Support is charged at a reasonable rate per minute. Click here to see our services price list.

Currently support is available 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday-Friday Central African Time. If you submit a question outside these hours, our support team will usually respond the next business day.

What do I need to use SmartEdge?

How do I start?

It's easy to get started. A quick 5-minute startup wizard will customize your preferences based on your unique business. The startup wizard is a series of questions about your business. As you complete the wizard, SmartEdge sets up a specific chart of accounts , configures financial periods and VAT settings for your unique business. After the free trial period you simply activate your account. You can add additional users at any time. Ready to go? Sign up now!

Why don't I need to install any software?

SmartEdge works in principle like your other software, but instead of installing it on your computer, you access it as a service from any Internet connection.

You do not need to worry about maintaining or networking any software, or losing valuable data due to computer or human error since your data is backed up automatically. Your business information is safe even if your computer gets stolen or breaks down.

New features are added automatically so you never have to purchase or install additional software.

What type of computer do I need?

There are no particular requirements for the computer you use. Your computer can run on any operating system (i.e. Windows, Macintosh, Linux). However, you need to have a "modern" browser. Click here from more about browsers.

If you are using a Macintosh you need to use the Firefox browser for Macintosh. Internet Explorer for Mac does not support all the necessary functionality. Neither does Safari for Macintosh.

Why do I need a "modern" browser?

Internet technologies develop rapidly. SmartEdge utilises several sophisticated technologies that were not available a few years back. Older browsers do not support these newer technologies, thus important functionality in SmartEdge will not work properly with older browsers.

What do I do if my browser is too old?

All browsers can generally be upgraded for free. Simply go to the browser page and click the link to upgrade your preferred browser.

What type of Internet connection do I need?

SmartEdge will work with any type of Internet connection. However, a high-speed (ADSL/broadband) connection is recommended for performance and lower costs.

Telkom is rapidly deploying ADSL throughout South Africa, and ADSL prices are going down dramatically. Click here to view Telkom's ADSL page for businesses. Sentech and iburst are providers of wireless broadband access. Mobile networks are also offering 3G services, which gives high-speed data access through your mobile network. For more information about 3G services from the different mobile providers, go to MTN, Vodacom or Cell C. You can also contact your Internet Service Provider for more information about broadband access. They will advice you on what is the best solution for your internet access.

What are the general benefits of a broadband connection?

With a broadband internet connection all your Internet use becomes much faster. Your price for using the internet, sending and receiving emails, and internet telephony (Voice over IP or VOIP) is fixed. You only pay a monthly fee no matter how much you use the internet.

How does wherever you are, whenever you want work?

Wherever you are, whenever you want means you can work on your accounting and financial management from anywhere with an Internet connection.

You can work from a hotel room while travelling, a customer site, or in your home office after hours. With a 3G mobile connection you can even work from your laptop in your car. Your business finances are always updated and at your fingertips.

Can my accountant or off-site employees access business data?

Yes. Using the power of the Internet, SmartEdge allows you to grant access rights to other users to access your information. Imagine the time you could save when your accountant can just view information right from his or her office, or your sales consultants can enter sales orders and check stock availability from the field or customer locations. You have complete control over what level of information they access. And everyone works off the same set of updated information.

And, your accountant can use SmartEdge without counting toward your total number of users.

What is included in the subscription?

A SmartEdge subscription includes:

  1. Full use of the products/features you need
  2. Automatic upgrades at no extra cost
  3. Automatic data backup
  4. Free access for one business advisor (normally your accountant)

How many users can I sign up?

You can sign up as many users as you want. See the product section for a breakdown of costs per user. You may add new users and products/features at any time. You can click here to create your own quote.

Can I use SmartEdge for more than one business?

Yes. There is no limit to how many companies you can track using SmartEdge. If more companies are required, you can add them at a low monthly fee for each additional company. You can click here to create your own quote.

Can I import data from traditional accounting systems?

Yes, SmartEdge has functionality to import customers, suppliers and items from other software systems. You need to export the data from your current system and the upload this data into SmartEdge. It also provides a straight-forward wizard to enter your take-on balance.

Can I export my data?

Yes, all reports you run can be exported to a format that desktop applications, such as spreadsheets and word processing software, can read. The data can subsequently be saved in TAB or comma-separated files for imports into other systems.

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