Friday, March 15, 2013

One Big Reason and 6 Considerations for Replacing Sage BusinessVision, MAS90 or MAS200


Is your company currently using Sage BusinessVision, MAS90 or MAS200 as your business system, and is it still a struggle? Does it take too many hours of effort to get the information you need to run the business – using spreadsheets, emails, hand-written notes, and lots of digging? Do you have other outside applications like CRM or production planning that aren‘t tied into your main system, and its difficult to coordinate the two?

While many companies change ERP systems because they are dissatisfied with their current system and understand its limitations are hampering the effective, efficient operation of the business,many others have resigned themselves to using their current system - with all the aggravation, duplicated work, lost productivity and work arounds simply baked into the way things are done. If the later describes your company, then there is one compelling reason for you to consider a switch - your business is at risk from an application that is no longer supported and has no clear path forward.

The 1 Big Reason

It’s likely that with Y2K approaching, you were one of those businesses that went out and installed an application for the first time or switched to, what was then, state of the art enterprise technology. Then time marched on. Like many companies you partnered with an IT firm that supported your system, but since then the landscape has significantly changed. ERP solution providers consolidated, applications have been dropped or no longer enhanced, the technology has certainly changed - and your outdated system is now at risk of failing, causing serious disruptions in your business and the supporting eco-system is gone.

Replacing a system is a strategic investment in your business. Its hard work, but with the right approach, not only will your investment eliminate the risk your business is facing, but will enable you to more effectively manage your business - which results in happier customers, smother operations and an improved bottom line.

BusinessVision, MAS90 and MAS200 are applications that have simply fallen behind the technology curve and will need to be replaced.

6 Specific Considerations for Replacing Sage with xTuple

1. Broad Integrated Functionality - While a product like BusinessVision/MAS90/200 has a reasonably comprehensive set of applications modules to choose from, many of the modules lack the very specific functionality needed by companies today. Extra work is then required to make up for missing functionality and to 'work around' missing or inadequate functionality. As the company grows, the business might become a lot more complex with multiple locations, more products and services, and broader aspects of the business beyond simple accounting, such as:
increasing functional needs around CRM
mobile workforce
multi-currency
project accounting
manufacturing
field service
job costing
inter-company processing

These either do not exist within the BV/MAS90/200 family or are only available as third-party add-ons. These features and many others, such as manufacturing planning, MRP and one of the leading open source CRM capabilities are included in xTuple ERP.

2. Current Technology with a Focused Product Roadmap - Some Sage products have fallen behind the technology curve and will need increased R&D investment. It is obvious from the previous points above that BusinessVision and MAS90/200 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. Further it is not at all clear whether the BusinessVision product will be eliminated all together. 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), integrations using the Web Portal and xTuple Connect, and mobile web client functionality for the connect workforce - advances that help you do more work with less effort.

3. Ability to Grow - 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 BusinesVision/ MAS90, 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. xTuple works hand in hand with enterprise class PostgreSQL to deliver a secure, multi-user environment - capable of handling all the parts, transactions and growth for your future.

4. Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools - BusinessVision/MAS90/200 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. xTuple includes an integrated report writer and options for advanced data mining tools.

5. Connect, Expand and Connect - 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 with Sage BusinessVision. 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 send reports, invoices PO's and other documents via email.

6. User Experience - BusinessVision, MAS90/200 is designed in the traditional style with standard menus and limited ability to customize the screens that people work from every day. And because they are unique to BusinessVision, 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.

For more information on xTuple or to schedule a technical review of your existing management system – please contact OpenSurge.

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