Notes from Insights 2009: Extended Enterprise Suite Updates

Here are my notes from the What’s Ahead for Sage MAS90 & MAS200 Extended Enterprise Suite, given at the Sage Insights conference on May 13, 2009.

Erica Jelovsek, Product Manager for MAS90, MAS200, and Extended Enterprise Suite, moderated the session. EES Version 1.3 continues to work toward increasing efficiencies with unified sales, operations, and financial workflows, and will be available in the summer, 2009, with the following features:

  • Compliance with recently passed legislation for asset tracking
    • Addresses the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
    • includes tax credits and extensions of section 179 increases and the 168 allowance.
  • Ability to create an order in CRM without an existing Opportunity: On-the-fly creation of Opportunity during Order/Quote entry
  • Ability to copy a previous order or quote within the same company/account
  • Enhanced Salesperson Mapping: User management for alignment of salespeople
    • Link CRM User Login with the MAS90 Login
  • Terminal Services support for CRM
    • Remote Desktop to log into CRM server
    • Ability to open Internet Explorer from server
    • Support for Applianz
  • MAS90 Customer information now embedded in CRM Company record allows salespeople access to customer financial information stored in the MAS90 Customer Masterfile
    • Including Salesperson, Sales Tax, Terms, etc.
    • Exposed, but not search-able, in CRM
  • Improved Outlook synchronization with SageCRM
    • Synchronization will be customizable as to what details are added to Tasks and Appointments
  • Mass E-mail capability for Accounts – users will be able to set up and send mass e-mails for their Accounts using lists, groups, saved searches, and more.
    • Account document template and views available for campaigns
    • All communications can be associated with Accounts for incoming and outgoing e-mails
    • Provides salespersons a more streamlined workflow, especially when dealing with Accounts for whom Contact names are unavailable
  • New Fixed Assets Dashboard – snapshot of assets will display Asset Listing, Active Assets by Type, and Comparison Charts in graphical interface
    • Provides graphical charts and statistics for all assets
    • Allows user to view current status of assets, recent activity, quarterly summary, remaining life, and depreciation comparisons
    • Appear each time a company is opened
    • Can be accessed at any time from the Fixed Assets Reports menu

In addition, version 1.3 builds on the customer-value enhancements of MAS90 version 4.3, adding Paperless Office capability, usability improvements, and additional BI capabilities in the updated Business Insights Explorer. The Sales process will be streamlined as Salespeople can now create Opportunities “on the fly” when dealing with customers who know immediately what they want to order. The Sales force will also be able to copy previous orders and quotes for their customers who repeat purchases.

The Enhanced Salesperson Mapping changes how the CRM user is mapped to MAS90. In the original EES, the CRM user was mapped to a MAS9o Salesperson. Beginning in version 1.3, the CRM user will be mapped directly to a MAS user login. Each MAS Salesperson will have an unlimited number of MAS-user to CRM-user links that can be made.

Erika was understandably excited about the enhancements and improvements in version 1.3, as was I. And then, she gave her now famous “But wait . . . there’s more!” proclamation as a prelude to giving us a taste of Extended Enterprise Suite 2.0. And based upon what I heard, EES 2.0 may be the true CRM to Backoffice integration suite that we’ve been waiting for lo these many years! You’ve gotta like this:

  • Currently, when you open any MAS90 window such as Customer or Sales Order Entry in SageCRM, the resulting window opens in a popup. Opening many windows at any one time is not only confusing for the user to manage, but also increases the computer resources being used by the application. In version 2.0 Extended Enterprise Suite, the MAS90 popups are being eliminated!
    • All CRM screens integrated with MAS90 will now be written in JAVx, a JAVA-ProvideX hybrid programming language (as I understand it). No more popups – screens will open within the CRM application, and will contain all fields that exist in the MAS90 application – including UDFs! These are actually MAS90 windows, but embedded in the CRM application with the CRM look and feel. This is as close to real-time integration between MAS90 and any CRM application that I have seen since I began working with the programs.
  • A new CRM landing page will be customizable by the user. Each user will be able to modify the page to the way he or she works using drag & drop layout. There will be new sort capability and new content types to select from.

Most people who know me know my preference for a CRM system is Sage SalesLogix. Having worked with SalesLogix, MS-CRM (Microsoft Dynamics CRM, now), ACT!, NetSuite, and now SageCRM, I can firmly aver that SalesLogix is the most complete and easiest-to-use of any of these products, and provides double or triple the functionality of all of them. However, as Extended Enterprise Suite continues to evolve, the enhancements being made to the SageCRM application seem, to me at least, to be bringing it in alignment with the functionality offered by SalesLogix.

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