Vol 6, No 1 Summer, 1995


Well, it's out! And it's a hit!

Microsoft has survived the long gestation period necessary for Windows 95, their latest Windows product, and the market seems to be thrilled.

What does it mean to "mainstream" computer users in business? It may be too early to make any predictions, but we would be surprised if within the next few years, the mouse did not become standard equipment for every computer user, and Windows 95 the standard operating environment. AMSI has announced their Star System, which utilizes Microsoft programming tools, and will work seamlessly within the Windows 95 environment. By using Microsoft programming tools, AMSI is assured that their software will keep pace with future enhancements in the Microsoft line.

When we first became familiar with AMSI software in 1985, IBM dominated the multi-user market for property management applications with its System/36 mid-range computers. Today, IBM is only one of many players that are hitching their future to Microsoft.

IREM Conference - Taking the Lead -

San Francisco --October 10, 1995

The Institute of Real Estate Management is holding its annual Taking the Lead Conference and Exposition at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel on October 10, 1994. For information and registration, contact IREM at 800/840-IREM.

This is the second of what is turning out to be the major conference of its type in the area. We will be representing AMSI at the Exposition and will have many of our training and support associates there. We look forward to seeing you.

Northern California AMSI Users Group Meeting
Walnut Creek October 18, 1995

The next meeting of the Northern California AMSI Users Group has been set for Wednesday, October 18th, 1995, in Walnut Creek. Dean Schmidt, Operations Manager of Geac's Property Management Division, will be hosting the meeting. The meetings will provide an additional opportunity for AMSI users to meet and speak with other AMSI users, as well as communicate their ideas to Dean Schmidt, for consideration in AMSI's plans for future enhancements.

The meetings begin at 10 am and continue until 1:30. Lunch will be provided by AMSI at the conclusion of the conference. Please call Andy Leong at our office (415/666-0699 ext 5) for exact location and registration information. Hope to see you there.

The next meeting of the Northern California AMSI Users Group will be in early December. Please call Andy Leong if you are interested in attending.


AMSI's Windows software, to be released over the next twelve months has been dubbed the "Star System", to fit within Geac's "Constellation System". StarSite and StarSite/HO are currently being completed, with final Beta testing to occur in February, 1996; the software is due to be released in the spring of 1996. We have a prototype of the software and are very pleased with the software design. AMSI has very successfully brought the essence of their software functionality into a GUI (Windows) environment.

Market pressures this past year have forced all software publishers to make plans to migrate their software to Windows; the challenge for each of them is to be able to withstand those pressures long enough to complete development of their Windows software without major defects before release.


AMSI has announced StarBooks, their financial accounting for Windows to be released in December 1995. StarBooks is currently in Beta testing and promises to be a significant enhancement, even for AMSI, whose financial accounting software (GLS, APS and FNS) has enjoyed a superb reputation over a long period as the premier vehicle for financial reporting in the property management industry.

AMSI users who want to move to StarBooks and StarSite will be offered an upgrade path that will convert their AMSI GLS and APS data files to the new format.

Seminars: Computerizing a Property Management Office

Our series of property management and accounting seminars will continue in the fall/winter of '95. We will be utilizing an all day format: Residential and commercial property management issues, as well as maintenance and work order tracking, and purchase order and budgeting will be included in the morning.

The afternoon session will include financial accounting and reporting and accounts payable. The balance of the afternoon session will include more in-depth discussions relating to computerizing a property management environment. We will also discuss other areas of concern to those in real estate management. Dates have not been finalized, but tentatively they are scheduled as follows:

  1. October 12, 1995 San Ramon
  2. November 9, 1995 San Jose
  3. November 14, 1995 San Francisco

AMSI Competitive Upgrade Pricing

AMSI is offering special pricing for conversions from "competitors" property management programs, through 12/31/95. If you would like to convert to AMSI, please contact us, and we can provide you with the details.

Concord Management Systems


StarBuilder, part of Geac's Constellation family of products, is a fully graphical user interface and client/server system. StarBuilder's Project, Employee, Vendor, Customer, Information, Equipment, and Inventory Management modules are engineered to meet the special needs of the contractor.

With StarBuilder you will: know cash flow on every job, manage change orders profitably, track each job's committed costs, understand what types of work are the most profitable and know which employees are the most productive.

With Geac's acquisition of AMSI we are in the position to assist our clients with a wider range of software. Please contact us for further information on Concord's StarBuilder or any other Geac software.

AMSI Training Seminars

We are continuing our series of half-day seminars for users of AMSI software, to enable you to learn features and functions of the software in a classroom setting, away from your office. Dates have not been finalized, but tentatively they are scheduled as follows:

  1. PowerSite (2 sessions) 10/13&10/16/95
  2. Final NumbersTM (2 sessions) 12/15&12/18/95
  3. A/P, BCL, MICR check printing 12/22/95
  4. G/L, Final CopyTM, S/S Interface 11/17/95
  5. CMS: Advanced Escalations 1/10/96
  6. Report Writers 1/19/96
  7. M/WO & Comparative Shopping 10/20//95
  8. PowerSite (2 sessions) 1/12 & 1/15/96

These seminars are not designed to replace our traditional On Site training at your office; rather, they provide a method of obtaining an overview of certain programs, without the intensity of in-depth training. Enrollment is limited to no more than 6 per class. Half day programs are $75 per person. The two session programs (PowerSite and Final NumbersTM) enrollment fee is $150. Priority Status Clients will be given priority in registration. Those not yet licensed to use AMSI software are welcome, but their registration will be confirmed 72 hours prior to the class, and fees will be 50% greater than those for currently licensed users. Because of the limited enrollment, payment is due one week prior to the session, and there will be no refunds. If you are interested in attending any of these seminars, or have suggestions as to additional topics, please call Andy Leong at our office.


By Ray Scarabosio, Jackson Group, San Francisco

The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), is the single family and small plex specific management association. NARPM offers education for the residential property manager, as well as professional designations: Residential Property Manger (RPM), Master Property Manager (MPM), and Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC).

For information about NARPM contact Betty Taisch 415/821-9895.

Why buy a clone?

Over the past few years we have strongly discouraged purchase of computers that were not from a "name brand". Significant reductions in component pricing as well as other market conditions have significantly reduced the savings from purchasing a "clone". In addition, virtually all of the major manufacturers now offer warranties of longer than one year (typically 3 years), with the initial year providing on-site service at no additional charge.

Our experience with our IBM Thinkpad (their notebook PC) last spring reinforced this. Shortly after the one year warranty expired, the unit would not start. Turned out to be a "power" problem, but since the power was an integral part of the motherboard, the entire unit had to be replaced at a cost of over $1,400.00! As the local authorized service center was unable to repair the unit under warranty, we contacted IBM Customer Service. A few phone calls and letters later, IBM indicated that the problem was evident during their period of warranty, and they repaired it within a few days.


AMSI continues to be a popular system for REIT's; we understand that 15 of the top 20 REIT's are using AMSI software. Among reasons are the stability of the product over many years, as well as a great deal of flexibility and functionality, including the ability for the REIT to customize the user's security environment. AMSI's leadership in financial processing and reporting, and the high level of accounting and audit controls add to the reasons that REIT's are frequently requiring use of AMSI at the properties they own.

Need a new car?

The San Francisco Chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors' 1995 Fashion Show and Benefit will include a raffle for a brand new Lexus and a trip to Hawaii! The event will be held on Saturday, October 21st, at the Grand Hyatt, Union Square, and include a gourmet dinner and dancing to live music. Proceeds will benefit Breast Cancer Action, Project Survive, and the WCR Educational Fund.

For information contact Betty Taisch, 1995 WCR SF Chapter President at 415/821-9895.

Concord Management Systems

StarViewer, part of Geac's Constellation family of products, is a Windows based, mouse-driven information system. It is a read-only tool that focuses, filters, and organizes information so you can effectively manage your jobs. By using information more effectively and more strategically, your company can ultimately increase profits. Future versions of StarViewer will be available for AMSI users.

Payroll for AMSI

AMSI has joined a long list of software publishers to integrate the payroll of Best Software's Abra Cadabra payroll. Abra's software runs in both a DOS and a "native" Windows environment, and creates a journal entry from the payroll transactions that can be directly imported by AMSI's General Ledger System. In addition to the payroll features, Abra also has modules that provide Human Resource capabilities.

AMSI current Releases

By Andy Leong, Support Associate

The following are current release versions for AMSI's single user PC and LAN software:

Module Name/Patch Code Current Ver

Accounts Payable System/ APS 7.5.05

Association Management/AMS 5.0.30

Budget Control Ledger/BCL 2.0.20

BCL w/Check Writing 1.3.41

Commercial Management System 5.0.33

Comparative Shopping/SHO 4.2.03

FinalNumbers/FNS 5.3.14

General Ledger System/GLS 7.5.04

IRS Reporting System/ IRS 2.1.02

Letter Writer/ ALW 4.0.00

Local Connectivity System/LOC 5.3.15

Maintenance/Work Order/WOR 5.4.07

Multi-Database Reporting/MDR 1.0.04

Partnership Accounting 5.0.04

PowerCentral Reporting 1.0.00

PowerCheck/MCR 1.3.02

PowerCheck Interface/LMC 7.4.11

PowerLine/ PLN 1.0.06

PowerSite - Residential/PSR 6.1.20

PowerSite/HO - Residential/PSRHO 6.1.20

PowerSuite/Commercial Management/CMS 5.0.24

Remote Connectivity System/REM 5.3.04

Residential Management/RMS 5.3.28 or 5.4.08

Recycle your old computers

By Andy Leong, Support Associate

If you are like many of us, you are starting to "collect" old computer; computers and equipment that are no longer used in your business, but still "work". What to do. Especially now, with Windows 95, and its requirements for more contemporary computers to run effectively, a 286 or even a 386 will not be useful for most things we might want to do.

There are several non-profit groups that will take your old computers off your hands: 386- and 286- based pc's, and even older IBM-XT, or pre-Macintosh Apples. These organizations will typically clean and test the computers, and then upgrade components (hard drives, etc); the resulting computers are often then donated to schools. And the cleaning and upgrading process provides vocational training, as well as a source of pc's for the recycling centers.

For those in the Bay Area, we know of several options:

Detwiler Foundation 619/456-9045

40 drop-off points in CA

HMR USA, 415/647-6071

690 - 24th St, San Francisco

Computer Recycling Center 415/428-3700

1245 Terra Bella Avenue, Mt View

Marin Computer Recycling Center 415/454-4227

757 Lincoln Ave, Unit #19

Client corner

Readers of INTERFACE have noticed contributions of articles from many outside our organization, as well as contributions from our clients. We believe that the best understanding of software for our readers comes from our readers. Consequently, we would encourage you to let us know your experience with software you have used, whether you like it or not, and whether it relates directly or indirectly to property management. And of course, other articles that would be of interest to our readers are welcome.

Software Shop Systems, Inc.

Geac has acquired Software Shop Systems, Inc. Software Shop is a major supplier of computer system solutions for the Construction Industry with its accounting and estimating software, and has an active base of over 4,500 customers

Software Shop adds to the capability that Geac offers in the construction industry, including the Concord system.


By Betsy Rahm, CogniTech Corporation

Few things are more important to the success of businesses and the achievement of personal goals than building long lasting and profitable relationships with customers, clients and other business associates. Harvey Mackay, author of New York Times #1 Best-Seller, Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive has proven this approach time and time again.

Sharkware Professional is a powerful contact and activity management system that was developed by CogniTech Corporation, in partnership with Harvey Mackay. It has quickly become the popular choice for sales people, professionals and small business owners alike. Over 70,000 people currently use Sharkware to manage a wide variety of information, effectively track results, strengthen customer relationships and close more business. It is unique from other offerings in a number of important areas:

It's not just contact management, it's relationship management. Harvey Mackay has helped hundreds of thousands of people be more successful by teaching them how to do the little things that can create profitable, long lasting relationships. Sharkware Professional was designed to help people follow Harvey's principals for success and even includes his famous Mackay 66 Profile.

It's the first truly affordable client/server solution. While sales force automation has been rapidly evolving over the past decade, the cost and complexity of implementing large scale systems is still significant. Sharkware Professional was designed as a powerful contact and activity management system that is easy to use, flexible, inexpensive to introduce and maintain.

It conforms closely to leading technology standards. For network users, Sharkware Professional offers the first affordable client/server product that conforms to ODBC standards enabling the use of a variety of relational databases. Its' open architecture also makes possible to effectively share information with other applications without dealing with proprietary interfaces

It's flexible enough to adapt to different data needs. People have benefited from Sharkware Professional's unmatched capacity to record, store and utilize vast amounts of information. Business information like records of meetings, phone calls, contact history, account information, likes and dislikes can all be easily managed within Sharkware Professional's flexible framework.

Sharkware is one of several excellent Contact Management programs running in the Windows environment. We had been using Sharkware Professional's DOS predecessor, Exsell for nearly a decade and so naturally were interested in migrating to their Windows software last year. Exsell had provided the functionality we required, and their technical support line was there to provide the assistance we required over the years. We invited Sharkware to provide the above information, and welcome similar articles regarding other software that may be of interest to our readers.

New Phone System

Over the next few weeks we will be implementing a new phone system. The good news is that our phone numbers will not change, and you will receive faster and more flexible options in reaching our personnel. Your comments over the years (both favorable and unfavorable) regarding our current system provided the basis for requirements in the new one. Please let us know what you think about out new system.

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