Wednesday, March 16, 2011

V-Technologies Ends OEM Relationship with Sage

V-Technologies, the maker of the shipping software Starship, has decided to discontinue it's OEM relationship with Sage Software. What does this mean for Sage customers that use Starship with their ERP application?

As of March 31, 2011, Sage will no longer sell V-Technologies Starship Parcel and Starship Freight products for MAS 90, 200, or 500. Customers can purchase these products from C&G Consulting directly.

Sage will continue to support the Starship Link (a Sage product that connects MAS to Starship) for customers currently on a maintenance plan until version 4.5 is released. The Starship Link will not be included in versions 4.5 and above of MAS 90/200. V-Technologies will continue to provide support and maintenance for Starship Parcel and Freight products for customers on a maintenance plan with V-Technologies directly.

Since it's initial release, the Starship Freight product (for companies shipping truckload and LTL shipments needing Bill of Ladings) has used the "business object interface" component of MAS 90 / MAS 200 to link to those ERP applications and does not require the Starship Link component. Users of Starship Freight will be unaffected.

V-Technologies released Starship 10 in mid-2010 and in January 2011 released Starship 11. Both of these releases re-define Starship by adding additional features and functionality over the level 9 product. A few benefits include an alternate business objects interface to Sage MAS 90 / MAS 200, and address validation of shipping addresses prior to sending out shipments.

Starship level 9 only allowed the Starship Link to be used, which required that users begin their shipment in Shipping Data Entry, and click the Starship button to print their shipping label. The freight, weight, and tracking numbers were then returned to MAS 90 / MAS 200.

Starship level 10 and 11, with the new business object interface, switches the workflow around. Users begin their shipment in Starship, and have the option of choosing from a sales order record, or an invoice record, to base their shipment on. Additional mapping capabilities mean that user-defined fields or fields not in the standard Starship map can be passed through to the shipment and appear in Starship. Based on initial testing, we've found this flexibility to be a great step forward!  Once the shipment is processed, information is written back to MAS 90 / MAS 200. Customers using the new business objects interface will not be affected by the removal of the Starship Link option.

For those customers who prefer to use Shipping Data Entry and retain the workflow currently in use with the Starship Link product, V-Technologies is evaluating options for partnering with a Master Developer to create an enhancement for MAS 90/200 that mimics the current Starship Link functionality.  Contact us for more information.

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