Friday, July 29, 2011

Sage MAS 90/200 Autoships - No CDs/DVDs

Just like many other software companies, Sage is looking into providing auto-shipments of new software releases via download instead of shipping out DVDs and CDs to every Sage MAS 90 / MAS 200 customer and partner on an active maintenance plan.
How will this be beneficial:
  • Faster releases -- instead of waiting until the software goes to a production company, gets replicated onto DVDs and CDs, then get shipped out to customers, Sage can give the green light and send the download links out via email. Customers can download the software immediately versus waiting for their products in the mail.
  • Better for the environment -- what happens to the prior versions of software CDs and DVDs that are no longer needed? That's right -- currently many people throw them in the garbage. The waste of these and their related packaging materials can be eliminated -- a better option for the environment.
Sage will likely offer a shippable DVD option for an extra charge, but as most companies now have broadband internet, this should be a welcome change.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Road Ahead for Sage MAS 90 and MAS 200, Part 3

At the recent Sage Summit conference in Washington DC, it was announced that the next version of MAS 90 / MAS 200 ERP will be version 5.0. Although there are few details available at this point, there are specific additions that Sage is looking to put into the software:

  • Mobile apps (such as report delivery).
  • Approval workflows.
  • Changes to key fields
  • Ability to designate a customer, vendor, or warehouse as inactive.

What would you like to see added to the software in the future? Sage looks at customer requests as they make their plans; several of the suggestions here were taken directly from the feedback site:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sage MAS 90 "In the Cloud"

SaaS, or Software as a Service, is a hot term in the software industry. Essentially, SaaS is a method of deploying software applications whereby the provider "licenses" the software to customers to use on demand. SaaS can be compared to the traditional on-premise software licensing method in the way leasing versus buying is used when obtaining a new car.

Several software vendors in the market already have SaaS offerings. However, as a company grows, and systems become more complex, customized, and integrated, they may want to transition their ERP package from a hosted solution to an on-premise one. This is often not possible for SaaS-only offerings.

Sage has a compelling offering for customers who want a SaaS solution with the MAS 90 product. A customer who subscribes to the SaaS model and later wishes to run the software on-premise has the ability to do so. The data will transfer over exactly as it was on the SaaS hosted system.

Look for more information on Sage MAS 90 "in the cloud" in future blog entries.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

FUTA Rate Changes to .6% July 1, 2011

Congress has announced that the 0.2% FUTA surcharge will not be extended before June 30, 2011

Employers have been required to pay a flat rate of 6.2% on the first $7,000.00 of each employee’s annual wages for FUTA. The 6.2% FUTA rate included a temporary 0.2% surcharge that was first added in the 1970’s. This temporary surcharge has been extended many times over the past three decades. The last extension, set to expire effective 7/1/2011, was included in The Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 signed into law on November 6, 2009.

The FUTA rate will be reduced from 6.2% to 6.0% effective July 1, 2011. Employers will still receive the 5.4% credit for paying state unemployment on time, reducing the FUTA rate to .6% on wages paid up to the annual FUTA limit of $7,000.00.

The IRS is currently revising Form 940 (Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return) to accommodate the two different FUTA rates for calendar year 2011.