Sage has announced that Line 100 is being ditched, dropped, dumped, kicked into the long grass and generally written off as being of a bygone age. As of September 2012 it is, to borrow an old line, an “ex-product”.
This should not come as a great surprise to many. I mean, how many software packages can a company support before its own support people, never mind the thoroughly baffled and overworked support teams among the reseller base, cry out – “Enough is Enough”?
For their customers, no doubt we will see a stampede of discounted offerings as Sage resellers rush to fill the gap. 20% is the going discount rate to move on to another Sage product. But users should resist the temptation to simply accept the next offering (a mistake many make when renewing car insurance, for example) and should really take a long, hard look around them. The buyer should be very careful. To extend the car analogy… trading cars usually involves the customer trying to establish the net cost of his new shiny vehicle while the car salesman does his or her level best to baffle the customer by proposing a simple £x per month figure which extends 3 or 4 years into the future (and may even have a nasty big final payment). And so it will be with the Sage ‘upgrade’ paths.
So, I would be extremely surprised if the established industry players such as Microsoft, Pegasus etc don’t offer similar discount terms off their products to trade-in that old Sage system. It’s a great opportunity to poach existing Sage users into their fold.
As a Microsoft Dynamics NAV reseller, I’m obviously keen to push that product and its differentiators which, if we talk competitiveness v Sage, are many. Here are a few off the top of my head:
1/ Buy one user and you buy one of the most extensive, function-rich accounting suites available (no seperate costs for Accounts and CRM). Value for money.
2/ Add users one at a time. No requirement for 5, 10, 15 etc. Great for cashflow.
3/ Buy ‘lite’ web users for less than a 10th of the cost of a full user. Customers have to start thinking user types, not just numbers, when they buy a new system. We often have twice as many low cost web users inputting POs or time/expenses via the web as full users. Use low spec PCs and save even more money.
4/ It’s Microsoft – so it’s fantastically well integrated with Office, Windows, Sharepoint etc. Future proofing? In the computer industry? How novel!
5/ It’s Microsoft – so they’re investing massively. Software development costs exceed the combined turnovers of their UK rivals. How long will their smaller rivals last?
6/ And, we don’t demand that you sign up for three years support – it’s always baffled me that customers accept such stringent contracts from suppliers, especially those they have barely met! Trust me, I’m a software saleman?
So, think again before accepting that wonderful Sage upgrade deal. There are some rather tempting alternatives out there.
To help you decide, we have an unbiased guide to selecting a new accounting system. Just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a copy. It’s free, and it might just save you a few years sleepless nights.