MAS90/200: 2011 In Review And A Look Forward To 2012
As the year comes to a close, we highlight some of the new capabilities added to Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200 in 2011, and look forward to what is coming. Sage updates and publishes the product roadmap periodically to provide you with a long-range view of the future direction of the product line. This year Sage completed all the major milestones indicated in the 2010 roadmap. The current roadmap, published September 2011, gives us an idea of what to expect for Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200 through the year 2013.
2011 In Review
2011 saw the release of Product Updates 5 and 6 for Version 4.4. In October 2011, Sage launched Version 4.5, a major release including 18 significant enhancements across the system (AR, SO, PO, PR), a Microsoft SQL Server database option, and a free SageCRM server and one user license. Also announced in the fall was Sage ERP MAS 90 Online.
Product Updates 5 and 6 included usability enhancements. Product Update 5 added company-specific background colors, a Multiple Company Aged Invoice Report in the Accounts Payable module, and new security events in the Inventory Management module. Product Update 6 added the ability to save report settings by form code and user for all reports (not just standard reports).
Inspired by customer feedback, the main functional enhancements in Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200 Version 4.5 are found in the Sales Order, Purchase Order, Accounts Receivable, and Payroll modules. Here are the highlights of each module’s enhancements.
Sales Order And Purchase Order
Pricing enhancements in Sales Order allow you to set prices by product line, by customer, and for total item quantities. You also can distribute lot and serial numbers during sales order entry. Commission splits were enhanced with the ability to set splits by customer, and by using a rate table to match salesperson, customer, and item. You also will find new and better ways to automatically create purchase orders from sales orders.
If you have customers that have many locations or divisions, National Accounts in the Accounts Receivable module will enhance your workflow greatly. It gives you the ability to establish relationships between a single national account and multiple subsidiary accounts, such as branches and retail outlets. National Accounts allows you to invoice the parent company for goods and services provided to multiple locations, each with their own unique customer account.
Payroll Module Enhancements
Customers using the Payroll module will benefit from some key features added in Version 4.5. The new functionality includes:
- Five new deduction calculation methods
- Ability to perform deduction recalculations automatically and set deductions based on earnings type
- Enhanced Visual Integrator importing of common time management software formats into Payroll Data Entry
- Ability to establish a minimum number of hours worked for benefit accruals
Extended Enterprise Suite Merged
With the release of Version 4.5 the Extended Enterprise Suite product has been merged into the core product line. Integrated SageCRM, the user-based pricing model, and the simplified installation process will be available for all three versions of Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200. Version 4.5 also is compatible with SageCRM 7.1, which delivers tools to communicate and collaborate more effectively and help you compete in today’s marketplace.
Sage ERP MAS Intelligence
In Version 4.5 Sage ERP MAS Intelligence enhancements expand its power for financial reporting—including the ability to create Reporting Trees; attach Reporting Trees to ReportDesigner Layouts; and greater flexibility in distributing and publishing reports.
Available SQL Database
If you need the performance and security benefits of a Microsoft SQL Server database with the feature set of Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200, it has arrived in Version 4.5. And you can rest assured the SQL version will stay current with ProvideX versions.
Sage ERP MAS 90 Online
The Sage ERP MAS 90 Online option, intended primarily for new customers, is now available. It offers the benefit of Web access to full-featured Sage ERP MAS 90 anytime, from anywhere. This cloud-based deployment of the software is hosted by Sage at QTS Atlanta Metro Data Center, the second largest data center in the world. This option is great for companies with a short implementation time frame and limited IT staff. There are no up-front software costs, just low per-user monthly pricing. Sage ERP Online customers can migrate to an on-premise version if their business needs change.
In the works is a utility designed to reduce the effort in migrating FRx reports to Sage MAS Intelligence. Look for this sometime in the first half of 2012, along with quarterly Product Updates for Version 4.4 and Version 4.5. Toward the end of 2012, Sage plans to release Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200 Version 5. The planned features fall into these categories:
- Enhanced SageCRM Integration: Including the ability to map multiple Sage ERP companies to a single CRM system, and simplified workflow for the quote-to-order process.
- Sage Exchange Integration: This payment platform provides a versatile PA-DSS certified environment to facilitate the exchange of payment data. Sage Exchange connects to a Virtual Terminal with card swipe capability and encrypted point-of-sale terminals.
- Auto Update: Manage software updates from your desktop, including scheduled checks for updates and a prerequisite checker for updates and fixes.
- Mobile Reports: The ability to view reports on your iPhone, Droid, and BlackBerry smartphone. Usability studies are underway that will drive requirements.
- Most Popular Feature Requests: Currently under consideration are: Accounts Payable invoice number expansion; ability to inactivate customers and vendors; and ability to show check cleared in Vendor Maintenance.
The Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200 Version 5.1 release, scheduled for 2013, may include mobile applications, payroll for SQL, and portal-based access to the software.
Periodically Sage retires support for versions of software. To assist you in planning your upgrade schedule, the scheduled end of support by version of the software is shown below: Version 3.7x SQL—September 30, 2011
Version 4.0, 4.05, and 4.1—September 30, 2011
Version 4.2—September 30, 2012
Version 4.3—September 30, 2013
Version 4.4—September 30, 2014
Version 4.45—March 30, 2012
Extended Enterprise Suite Versions 1.3 and 1.4—September 30, 2012