Outgrown MAS 90, but Microsoft can’t really say why.
Below is a review from Paul Ziliak of the Microsoft Web Seminar titled “Outgrowing MAS 90/200 and What to Do About It”.
Paul is a Sage Business Partner and has agreed to allow us to re-post his review of the above seminar. Obviously neither Paul or myself are independent with respect to these opinions as we both represent Sage Software as Business Partners. Therefore use the below feedback in combination with your own research to draw the appropriate conclusion that is right for your company situation. We recommend consulting with a competent business advisor prior to making any decisions on accounting software purchase or implementation.
Paul’s posting is below:
I thought his insights were interesting because I’d received several reports that Microsoft is sponsoring “independent” web seminar that claim to give information on what to do when you outgrow MAS 90 or MAS 200.
I attended a webcast today called “How to Know Your Customers Have Outgrown MAS 90/200 and What to Do About It” presented by The CPA Technology Advisor.
I didn’t see anything in this presentation to suggest that Microsoft GP offers any more than MAS 90 / 200 in terms of functionality, reporting, or technology unless your IT department will accept Microsoft and only Microsoft, or if your system needs to scale to hundreds of users.
Almost nothing was offered telling me ‘How to Know’ and the primary thing I learned about ‘What to do’ is that Microsoft is planning an aggressive pricing promotion in the next 90 to 120 days geared toward moving MAS 90 users. Fair enough. But a lot can be gained by offering a substantial list of identifiers as to whether you’ve outgrown MAS 90. I’ll suggest a few:
* Others in your industry have advantages over you because of technology
* Your users have more technology sophistication than the software can deliver.
* Specifically identifiable functionality does not exist in your system. This gap should be verified inside and outside your organization. The cost of the gap should be measurable.
The webcast’s main presenter was Darren Root of Root & Associates, LLC. He was accompanied by Randy Johnston of K2 Enterprises. The premise of the presentation (which qualified for CPE credit) was that the venerable Sage MAS 90/MAS 200 product lines may have fallen behind Microsoft GP in areas of Functionality, Reporting and BI, Scalability, Limited Ability to Integrate, Low Employee Productivity, and Outdated Technology Due to Limited Research and Development.
I did not record the webcast, but I do not recall any mention of ‘Low Employee Productivity’ beyond its appearance in an early slide. Interestingly, for most of the general examples of software capabilities Mr. Root described the Sage and Microsoft offerings as being comparable.
The webcast offered almost not one specific functional shortfall of MAS 90/MAS 200. And one technology-specific deficiency – the lack of a MAS 90/200 SQL version – was refuted by the presenter himself who acknowledged the forthcoming release (presumed with version 4.40).
Nearly 50% of the audience responded as having zero MAS customers (the webcast was geared toward CPAs with MAS customers), so the audience was perfect for Microsoft to have a webcast dismissing MAS 90/200 without objection.
I note that despite being billed as an educational event there was no Q&A before, during or after the event in spite of the presence of a ‘Type Questions for Moderator’ box during the entire hour long event.
The event offered early access to a white paper at http://www.accountingsoftwareworld.com/whitepaperGP.pdf but my attempts to obtain the whitepaper bombed out Adobe, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.
While extolling the power of SQL server technology as one of the identifiable differentiators between MAS 90/ 200 and Microsoft GP, Mr. Root did not mention the perhaps the best path that Sage users could take – to Sage MAS 500. This is especially notable considering Mr. Root’s 5 star (out of 5 possible) review of Sage MAS 500 in the December 2007 article in none other than the CPA Technology Advisor. You can find that review here.
No one is buying systems just to have the technology. Companies are making changes to support strategic initiatives within their organizations. Sage MAS 90 / 200 users who have identified new system needs SHOULD consider what Microsoft has to offer, but don’t overlook what your Sage partner may be able to do to enhance your MAS 90 / 200 solution, or migrate you to MAS 500.
The above post is courtesy Paul Ziliak President, Chicago Office of MicroAccounting Solutions.
Paul is responsible for the Chicago operations. A CPA, Paul has been helping Chicago companies maximize their MAS 90, MAS 200 and MAS 500 systems since 1992. Paul spent a number of years directing the IT consulting practice for BDO Seidman, LP.Paul’s firm represents the Sage product line. Reprinted here by permission of the author.
Corrections, clarifications or any additional information should be left in the comments section.