Friday, April 15, 2011

Now's the Time to Replace your old MAS 90/200 with xTupleERP

  1. Is your company is currently using MAS 90 or MAS 200 as its business system, and it‘s not going well? 
  2. Does it may take many hours of effort to get the information you need to run the business – using spreadsheets, hand-written notes, and lots of digging? 
  3. Do you have other outside applications that aren‘t tied into your main system and it can be difficult to coordinate the two?

If your answer to the questions above is "yes", then following are some issues that you need to consider.

1. Business Intelligence - MAS 90/200 is not built on a relational database and users do not have access to advanced analysis tools. xTuple runs on PostgreSQL the leading open source relational database where all your information can be accessed through standard tools, particularly the Structured Query Language (SQL), making retrieval and analysis more flexible, open, and usable.

2. Functionality - While a product like MAS 90/200 has a reasonably comprehensive set of application modules to choose from, many of the modules lack the very specific functionality needed by companies today. Many growing companies will experience increasing functional needs around electronic banking, multi-currency, project accounting, manufacturing, field service and inter-company processing. This functionality either does not exist within the MAS 90/200 family or are only available as third-party add-ons. This features and many others, such as manufacturing planning, MRP and one of the leading open source CRM capabilities are all included in xTuple ERP.

3. Scalability - While all systems have an upper limit on the number of users and activities that can be supported at given transaction volumes, the underlying technology is the determining factor of how far a system will scale. Some versions of MAS 90, for example, are designed to support a very limited number of users with reasonable response time at which point system response times deteriorate, processes take unacceptably long to complete, and it is not uncommon for the system to 'lock‘, fail, or otherwise become unreliable.

4. Connectivity / Interoperability - Extending the applications to partners and customers, such as a customer portal to allow trading partners to view orders, shipments, schedules, and invoices is difficult at best. Reports are distributed on paper or through e-mail. Connecting to analytical and decision support facilities like Excel is mainly a copy and paste function. xTuple allows you to connect to your customers, partners and suppliers through the xTuple Web Portal. Using xTuple Connect you can seamlessly integrate email into xTuple ERP, automatically sending reports, invoices PO's and other documents via email. 

5. Productivity - MAS90/200 is designed in the traditional style with standard menus and limited ability to customize the screens that people work from every day. Because the menus are unique to MAS, users require considerable training and orientation to know where to find the functions they need. The xTuple user interface displays a graphic workflow by functions, allows for user preferences and custom hot-keys. xTuple's role-based screens are far more efficient for the user, easier to use, resulting in greater adoption of system functionality. Users can get right to the functions they use most without having to work their way through generic menus and screens.

6. Foundational Technology and Product Roadmap - Some Sage products have fallen behind the technology curve and need increased R&D investment. It is obvious from the previous points above that MAS 90/200 may not be considered examples of today‘s technology and while Sage is apparently committed to upgrading the products, this process will take quite some time and there‘s no telling how successful the company will be in its efforts. By contrast, xTuple ERP, using the open source development model is on the leading edge of available technology. Making the most of open source tools and the ability to operate on Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. xTuple has a reputation for consistently rolling out new features and functionalities; both specific ERP related functionalities (e.g. project management accounting) and integrations using the Web Portal and xTuple Connect that help you do more work with less effort.

It‘s easy to find fault with any application system – each has its own particular strengths and weaknesses. It‘s also easy to praise the strengths of any given system and down-play weaknesses. The real value of any system, however, is in how well the user company is able to use the tools to more effectively run the business.

Open source xTuple ERP is an ideal accounting solution for midsize and small business. xTuple can easily be hosted for cloud computing and clients can run on Apple Mac OS X as well as PC's.