Notes from Insights 2009: MAS90 and MAS200 – The Road Ahead

MAS Team was introduced by Gerald Beaulieu: 

Gerald Beaulieu, Erika Jelovsek, Roberta Vigil, Skip Hulme (MAS 500)

Marketing: Karen Hyman (MAS90 and EES), Kevin Babb (MAS 500), Tom McGee (Verticals) 

The Road Ahead session is one that recaps what is already known about upcoming releases of MAS90/200, and then offers insight into what is being planned for the future. Because we’ve been duped in the past (CRM module within MAS90 was announced in 2006, I believe, and was never mentioned again), I take all promises with a grain of salt. Also, Sage has in the past promised features that never made it to the final product, so all timelines and features are subject to change without notice. 

Erika Jelovsek took the floor. As always, she was polished and gave a great presentation.

Integrations > sDATA has been started 

Sage Data Integration – all products will talk to each other some time in the future. We’ve heard this promise before, but, perhaps with the addition of a new CTO, there will be new focus into making this happen.

MAS90 Version 4.4

  • All upgrades will be parallel migration – no more in-place upgrades
    • Migration Wizard to facilitate
  • Customer number will be increased to 20 characters. For existing users there is a check box in A/R Options to convert from seven characters, but once that setting is changed, there is no going back.
    • All new implementations will have 20 character customer numbers –  no option.
    • Division will remain as 2 characters
  • Item numbers will be increased to 30 characters. For existing users, check box in Common Information Setup Options to convert.
    • As with customer numbers, once that setting is changed, there is no going back
    • New implementations will be 30 characters, no option.
  • Inventory Quantity field will be four decimal places throughout MAS90, and all fields with decimals will have 8 places to the left of the decimal no matter how many decimal places are being used.
  • CI_Item will be the item table whether inventory items, miscellaneous items, or saved comments.
  • Crystal Reports Version 11
  • Completion of the Business Framework
    • Attendees asked about Payroll and Job Cost – Erica answered that they were not sure
    • Some discussion of replacing Job Cost with a project accounting module in the Business Framework – same thing was mentioned at the 2008 Road Ahead session
    • Erika mentioned that the problem associated with converting Payroll is the immensity of its legacy code and concerns about compliance.
  • SBE will include P/R module as an option and SPS CC module at no charge
  • New Start Page to include direct links to Sage MAS Community Forum and IdeaScope
    • IdeaScope – Hosted Feedback Solution to capture user feedback and enhancement requests
      • Match submitted request to existing requests via wizard to determine whether already submitted
      • Look for IdeaScope in MAS Community later in May
    • Allows end-users input in product planning
  • Scheduled Release Date: Q1, 2010 (originally announced as “Late 2009”)

Customizer 4.4 enhancements:

  • Exhibit the power of the Business Framework
  • New scripting functionality to MAS 90/200 events that no longer require user interactions (no buttons).
    • Look for video of Steve Malmgren’s session – lot of good stuff
  • Establish validation on detail columns for VI, BOI, and UI
  • Automatically total numeric UDF from Detail window on Header
  • Cumulative calculations on multiple UDFs – save to table/UDT on update
  • Going forward all VB scripting customizations will survive upgrades – no changes to MAS source code.
  • Ability to create customizations on laptop and export; send to customer via e-mail for import into live system

Web Services

  • Integration with MAS 90 and MAS 200
  • Real-time updates to MAS from e-commerce web site
    • .ASP storefront
    •  Sales orders and customer data real-time updates
  • Demo by Angela Goldsmith of ISM/Barsa
    • Demonstrated customer experience on-line, selecting multiple products, checking price, freight, etc.
  • Web services are business objects optimized for use with internet store-front
  • Phase One will include S/O, Contacts, Customers, Credit cards; Phase two – inventory
  • Scalability is key benefit
  • Challenges to Web Services – BOI not designed for direct communication over Internet; code must be redesigned for use in Web Services (?)

Applianz – Sage Endorsed Solution 

  • Remote access solution for MAS90 and MAS200, and any other applications run with MAS (FAS, FRx, CRM, ACT!)
  • Automatic backup – on-site and off-site
  • Up to 30 users (according to rep from Applianz, can now handle up to 40 users for MAS 200)
  • Extended Enterprise Suite supported with version 1.3 (later this year)
  • Can be used on PC or MAC – thin-client architecture, workstation connects to applianz via web
  • Easy setup – plug into network and go
  • Remote access by reseller with admin rights 

AccuPOS – new Sage Endorsed POS solution – Is Hightower out of the loop?  

FRx Update 

  • Discontinued as of version 6.7.10
  • OEM distribution ends 12/2010
  • Support from MS ends 12/2011
  • Will continue to work with MAS90 and MAS200
  • Goals for replacement:
    • Minimize disruption to installed base
    • Enhance BI
    • Focus on financials
    • Customer Survey – 99% responded that Excel was system of choice
  • No Decision has been made by Sage; I confirmed during the Trade Show that F9 is in talks with Sage to replace FRx. F9 Version 5 looks really powerful, with instant pivot charts and graphics, but only runs on MS Excel 2007. Version 4.5 will be supported for users using MS Excel versions below 2007. 

PA-DSS Compliance 

  • Government rules: Payment Application Data Security Standards – require credit numbers to be stored only in encrypted form
  • Designed to protect consumers from CC fraud
  • All companies that touch credit info must be certified
  • Sage working toward certification 

IFRS – International Financial Reporting Standards – Sage looking into whether our customers are affected. Look on Forum for more discussion.

MAS90 & MAS200 Extended Enterprise Suite

Version 1.3 (Summer 2009)

  • Salesperson-User mapping to set up salespeople working in multiple MAS90 Divisions
  • One CRM user can be mapped to MAS90 User
  • MAS90 user designated to different salespersons in MAS90 A/R Salesperson Maintenance
  • On-the-fly Opportunities in Sage CRM – create Opportunity directly from Order Entry
  • Copy Sales Order in CRM for selected company/account
  • Fixed Asset Snapshot
  • Fixed Asset update to reflect American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Terminal Services support for SageCRM
  • Based on MAS 4.3 code

Version 2.0 (Spring 2010)

  • MAS information in CRM User Interface – MAS90 windows in CRM interface using JAVx programming
    •           S/O Entry
    •           Customer Maintenance
    •           Will support UDF’s and customizations to MAS90 windows
    •           All MAS buttons (Print, Preview, etc.) in CRM Interface
    •           Will use MAS90 Crystal forms (Order, Quote)
  • On the Fly Opportunities from MAS90 (2-way communication between SageCRM and MAS90 A/R and S/O modules?)
  • Copy orders to/from any customer/account
  • Fixed Assets version 2010.1
  • Role-based landing page in CRM – modifiable by user
  • Based on MAS v4.4 code
  • CRM for IE8

After EES 2.0?

  • Mobile solutions (iPhone, Blackberry)
  • Multiple company support in CRM – no longer need separate license for each company in MAS90
  • Additional CRM Roles (Purchasing, Customer Service)
  • What’s after Version 4.4?

  • Requests from customer surveys – Electronic Payments and Bank Reconciliation, One-click journal reversal
  • Sales History for Drop Shipments (I think I recall this being promised at last year’s Insights as being delivered in 4.4)
  • Multi-Bin?
  • Expand more fields (Vendor ID, PO number?)
  • Positive Pay
  • Include Extended Solutions where appropriate
  • SQL Backend for MAS200 – only for Business Framework modules. Users who use a legacy module such as Payroll, Job Cost, etc. will not be able to take advantage of the SQL databaseNotes:
  • I was somewhat distressed that no mention was made of the future of Extended Solutions other than the possible inclusion of solutions into the MAS90 product. I was hoping to hear some news regarding the recent layoffs and imminent demise of the ES group, and what that means to customers who are the sole users of some solutions.

    SQL Beta – summer 2010?

    No answer from Erika Jelovsek regarding Job Cost or Payroll moving to BF other than “Don’t know.” She also implied that it doesn’t mean it won’t happen, just that it will be extremely difficult.

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