News from Sage Summit 2012: Sage 100 ERP version 2013 is coming

Our week in Nashville at the Sage Summit 2012 conference began with a day-long preview of the Sage 100 ERP 2013 release, which will be available to the public in December. (FYI – Sage 100 ERP is the Software Formerly Known As Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200). Here is what we can expect from the 2013 release:

  • Accounts Payable invoice numbers will be increased to 20 characters, and all reporting will be modified to accommodate the increased size
  • Ability to deactivate (Sage used the word inactivate) customers and vendors, with user-defined Reason Codes to explain the change. Inactive customers and vendors can optionally be excluded from ALE lookup in data entry screens.
    • New Status field will be added to Customer and Vendor Maintenance and Inquiry screens. Available Status codes will be Active, Inactive, or Temp.
    • Cannot use an inactive customer or vendor in data entry; however, a new Security Event will allow for Cash Receipt or Payment of open invoices from or to an inactive customer or vendor.
  • Ability to view whether a check has been cleared in Bank Reconciliation from Vendor Maintenance or Inquiry. A new column will indicate whether or not the check has cleared, along with the cleared date.
  • Ability to post A/P ACH payments to the Bank Reconciliation module in detail; currently ACH payment post in summary only.
  • In Inventory Item Maintenance and Item Inquiry, warehouse quantities will be shown on the Main tab once again.

There is also a lot of change in the background – items that end-users won’t notice at first but that are designed to help Sage 100 ERP improve in future releases and add more functionality.

  • Crystal Reports version 2011 will be the new reporting driver, and a 64-bit ODBC driver is included.
  • Paperless Office Electronic Delivery will now be supported for SMTP encryption so Google Mail, Yahoo, and Hotmail will all be supported.
  • Customer credit card data will no longer be stored in the Sage 100 ERP database; all customer credit card data will be stored in the Sage Exchange Vault. This is the start of what Sage is referring to as a Hybrid Cloud strategy. Here’s what this means to the end-user:
    • PCI-DSS compliance is no longer an issue
    • An active internet connection is required to access customer credit card information during data entry. All credit card information is encrypted and secure.
    • Credit card information will be stored in the Sage Exchange Vault even if the end-user is not using Sage Payment Solutions as their credit card processor; there will be no extra charge for this service – however, PCCharge will not work in version 2013. PCCharge will be retired December 31, 2012, and will no longer be supported by Sage. Users not subscribing with Sage Payment Solutions will have to authorize credit cards manually (call their processor for authorization).
      • End-users processing in version 4.x will still be able to use PCCharge, but it will not be supported by Sage.
    • Data conversion during the upgrade to version 2013 will take longer while the credit card numbers are transferred from the Sage 100 data files to the Sage Exchange Vault. The amount of time required will be dependant upon the number of credit cards to be transferred and the speed of the internet connection. Sage recommends purging old credit card data prior to upgrading to lessen the time required for migration and conversion.
  • The new Sage Advisor will provide end-users with information regarding updates to the software.
  • Sage Payment Solutions will support card swipes at a reduced swipe rate; a card swipe reader will be available shortly.
  • SDATA platform will enable integration of Sage products across multiple platforms
    • mobile apps, web publishing, etc. all supported
    • supports customization and builds on Customizer and Visual Integrator modules
  • Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 will be supported.
  • SageCRM will support multiple company codes on a one-to-one basis (one CRM database = one Sage 100 company code)
  • Tasks launched from SageCRM (Sales Order Entry, Customer Maintenance, etc.) will no longer use a Sage 100 license.

We saw the future of Sage 100 ERP at the conference. Mobile apps are being developed that will support mobile sales teams and allow business owners access to their data from almost anywhere. We saw the apps demonstrated on the Apple iPad and on smartphones. Finally, the SDATA platform that I heard about almost 3 years ago is being applied to the Sage 100 product line, and the possibilities are endless.

Of course, with the good news there is usually some Debbie Downer news to dampen our spirits. The main “Boo Hoo” point that came out during this session is that users will no longer be able to export a Crystal Report directly into an application (Adobe or Excel, for example). They will be able to export to that file type, but will have to open the application after the export to view the report. Sage is currently working with SAP Crystal Reports to rectify this, but it is doubtful that a solution will be available upon release of Sage 100 ERP 2013.

So that’s a recap of our first day at Sage Summit 2012. There’s more coming, though; improvements in Sage Business Intelligence Reporting (formerly Sage MAS Intelligence) were shown, Sage Alerts and Workflow by KnowledgeSync will be the logical replacement for the now retired Sage Business Alerts, and much more.

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