If you are reading this post, you probably use Sage 100 ERP (the software formerly known as Sage MAS 90 and 200) to run your business. With the latest release, Sage has modified the naming convention both in the product branding (Sage 100 ERP) and the version numbering: the latest release is Sage 100 ERP 2013, while the prior release was Sage 100 ERP version 4.50. Now, the $64,000 dollar question: Which version are you using?
If you are on version 4.2 or lower, your system is no longer supported by Sage; this means that neither you nor your Sage Business Partner can get technical support for your version directly from the Sage Support Team. If you are current on your Sage BusinessCare Plan, you still have access to the Sage Knowledgebase, but if you run into an issue that is not documented, you may be left to your own devices to resolve the issue. Of course, if you are current on your Sage BusinessCare Plan, why are you still on version 4.20? There have been so many enhancements to Sage 100 ERP in later releases that you could be taking advantage of, it is almost foolish not to upgrade.
Sage will be discontinuing support for version 4.30 on September 30, 2013. After that date, there will be no further hot fixes or updates for this version. Tax Table Updates released for Q2 2013 and later are also not compatible with version 4.3. Support for version 4.40 will be discontinued a year later, in September 2014, with the last payroll update for that version available in December 2013. (Note: Tax Year 2013 is the last year that Sage will maintain and support tax forms within the standard Accounts Payable, Payroll and Electronic Reporting modules. Filings for Tax Years 2014 and later will only be available with the Sage 100 ERP integration to Federal and State eFiling and Reporting, powered by Aatrix, which is available on the Payroll and Accounts Payable Period End menus.)
So the questions are: Should you upgrade to the latest version of Sage 100 ERP, and why should you upgrade? The answer to question 1 is simple: Emphatically Yes! No question about it! As for question 2, here are 10 reasons why you should upgrade:
- As mentioned earlier in this article, Sage no longer supports versions 4.2 and below, and version 4.3 will be discontinued in three months. As a Sage Business Partner, we will continue to support our clients on older versions, but the cost of supporting those versions increases as our resources for those versions dwindle.
- Updated file structure for the Inventory, Bill of Materials, and Purchase Order modules. Version 4.40 completed the move to the Business Framework with the rewrite of these modules, meaning that future upgrades will be less invasive for our distribution and manufacturing clients.
- Compatibility with new technology: You can no longer purchase a new computer with Windows XP or Windows 7 operating systems, and if you need MS Office, you can only buy Office 2013. Sage must continually update the Sage 100 ERP programs to stay compatible with the new technology, and many of the updates required are included only in the newest version.
- Continuing with new technology, most new computers offer 64-bit processing, which allows greater processing power, better allocation of more RAM, and heightened security. Only versions 4.50 and above are fully compatible with the 64-bit operating system, and the 64-bit ODBC driver is available only with Sage 100 ERP 2013.
- Paperless Office: Versions 4.3 and above include the Paperless Office module, with electronic delivery of forms and reports. Most users underestimate the cost savings associated with the ability to go paperless. Version 2013 now allows electronic delivery on public mail servers such as Google mail, Yahoo, AT&T, and others with secure SMTP authentication.
- Visual Process Flows in version 2013 offer a graphical process-oriented interface for common workflows, making it easy to move about the system and streamline processes. New employees will learn the system quicker and increase productivity faster.
- Business Intelligence: the Sage Intelligence reporting tool offers complex reporting capabilities using Microsoft Excel. The newly enhanced Report Designer provides drag-and-drop Excel financial formulas and greatly enhanced flexibility. Easily design Financial Reports, as well as reports from other modules using the same reporting tool.
- If you accept credit card payments at your business, then you know the importance of security and PCI-DSS compliance. Sage 100 ERP 2013 is the most secure and most compliant version yet, utilizing the Sage Exchange Portal. Credit information is securely stored in the Cloud, whether or not you utilize the Sage Payment Solutions add-in.
- Sage CRM integration with Sage 100 ERP allows your sales team to have access to all customer information in the ERP system, and coordinates the exchange of data between the systems. Quick Order Entry functionality allows the sales team to enter quotes or orders within the CRM system and have the information instantaneously integrated with Sage 100 ERP. Best yet, Sage provides a FREE Sage CRM Server license with all Sage 100 ERP systems, along with one FREE CRM User license.
- It just makes sense to stay up to date with your software. If you are paying the annual maintenance and support fees, but not updating your software, you are wasting money and working with an obsolete product. Is that any way to run a business?
The reasons to upgrade your software are many, and all of them point to increased production and productivity. You have made a significant investment in your ERP system; why not take advantage of the added features and functionality?
A final word: Here are Sage’s Top Ten Reasons to upgrade, version by version: