Sage MAS 500 Product Roadmap Update

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The Sage ERP MAS 500 Product Update 1 download now is available. This release includes useful enhancements, some of which are being made available for both Version 7.3 and Version 7.4. Here we cover the features of Product Update 1 and preview the recently updated product roadmap for Sage ERP MAS 500.

Product Update 1 Enhancements

Credit Card Processing
Product Update 1 gives you the capability to process a Credit Card Post-Authorization in excess of the Pre-Authorized Amount. This enhancement is included in the August 2011 Product Update for both Sage ERP MAS 500 Version 7.3 and 7.4.

Typically the pre-authorization is run when an order is received to verify available credit. When the order ships, the post-authorization is processed. This enhancement enables you to set a limit on how much the post-authorization amount can exceed the pre-authorization amount. The limit can be either a percentage or a dollar amount, and can be set separately for each customer.

When a post-authorization is processed, if the amount exceeds the pre-authorization and is within the limit, the transaction goes through using the original authorization code. If the amount exceeds the pre-authorization and falls outside the limit, the transaction fails and the user is prompted to contact the customer.

ACH Remittance Advice
Another new feature, Print ACH Remittance Advice, has been added for Version 7.4 only. A new task has been added to the Accounts Payable Activities menu. Once an ACH Remittance batch is successfully generated and posted, you can use this task to print the Remittance Advice, which is essentially a voided check with the remittance details. The ACH Remittance Advice provides an audit trail or file copy for those businesses whose processes require copies of vouchers to be filed with a check copy, or to be mailed to the vendor for reference.

Product Roadmap Update

Sage keeps customers up to date on the future development of the software by publishing a Product Roadmap. It is worth noting that Sage develops products using an Agile development methodology, so any of the milestones, features, release periods or versions can change, but here is the current plan.

The current roadmap extends to the end of 2012. Product Updates are scheduled to be released on a regular basis during this period, with the next big release, Version 7.5, scheduled for Q4 2012. Between now and then, there will be two releases for Sage MAS Intelligence.

Sage MAS Intelligence
Planned for release this quarter are reporting tree, report distribution, and performance enhancements for Sage MAS Intelligence (SMI). Reporting trees will add easy-to-learn organizational reporting, and include support for multi-company consolidations. Performance improvements are planned to focus on the areas of GL data loading and general report loading. Report distribution is enhanced as well, allowing you to easily set up and fully automate report distribution to all the stakeholders in your organization. Rich text e-mail distribution is supported, as well as conditional distribution based on report content. You will be able to publish reports in multiple formats (PDF, XLS, HTML) on local and networked locations, and create convenient Windows shortcuts for any report.

Sage also is working on a utility to convert Microsoft FRx reports to SMI, with a planned release date in early 2012. The utility will convert native columns like Actual/Budget columns as well as calculated columns that involve basic arithmetic. Reporting Trees and Catalogs are planned to be converted as well. Due to limited correlation between FRx and Intelligence row formatting, manual rework will likely be required post-conversion. No conversion is planned for multicurrency calculations.

Version 7.5

Planned for Q4 2012, Sage ERP MAS 500 Version 7.5 enhancements will fall into several areas including: productivity, manufacturing, upgrades and customization, and Sage Exchange.

Productivity Enhancements
The planned productivity enhancements focus on feedback from customers. The following features are under consideration for the release:

  • Multiple e-mail recipients for document transmittals
  • Means to perform mass pricing updates
  • Reversal of Credit Memos applied to Debit Memos and Invoices
  • Hard close of sub-ledger fiscal periods
  • Track miscellaneous cash receipts in AR
  • Import pending cash receipts
  • Batch authorization for recurring credit card transactions

Manufacturing Enhancements
Sage is focused on improving workflow and usability in the manufacturing modules. Features under consideration include:

  • Batch entry of material issues
  • Add scrap factor to material step to allow for shrinkage
  • Support use of non-inventory items
  • Backflush setup hours option
  • Easily cancel work orders created in error

Customization Enhancements
Sage continues to work to ensure customizations survive upgrades. In addition, the following new customization capabilities are under consideration:

  • Base form fields available in the form chooser
  • UDF data flow from one module to another
  • Call control events within Customizer Script Editor
  • Customize grid lines in Enter Sales Order
  • Additional APIs to isolate custom work

Upgrade Enhancements
Sage has an ongoing commitment to reduce costs associated with upgrades and updates. Under consideration in this area are:

  • Smart Install of Customization Report
  • Smart Install Comparison Tool
  • Auto Update Tool

Sage Exchange
It is planned that Version 7.5 will take full advantage of the features of Sage Exchange. The Sage Exchange integrated payment solution platform provides a PA-DSS certified environment that facilitates the exchange of payment data. Sage Exchange connects to a new Sage Exchange Virtual Terminal with card swipe capability, and new best-in-class encrypted point-of-sale terminals

Support for Sage ERP MAS 500 version 7.05 and 7.2 ended September 30, 2011. If you are still using either if these versions, it is time to start planning your upgrade. Give us a call for assistance or with your questions about the product update.