I just sat in on a demonstration with Sage’s Sean Leonard, IIG’s Bob Sosbee and Smartlinc’s Tom Bittner. As you may have heard Sage is replacing their endorsed shipping solution (previously Starship) with one from Smartlinc.
In summary I’d say that Smartlinc, for most users, is going to be a Starship killer. One of the frustrating things about working with Starship was that upgrades and carrier rates were forced upon customers who needed to install the software to each workstation at unpredictable times as directed by V-Technologies.
What’s different with Smartlinc is all the processing and rate updates are done via the web. This means no software to load and/or maintain on any of your computers. No forced upgrades at awkward times and once you’ve configured the initial setup the future upgrades of MAS should not interfere.
Sage partner Information Integration Group has been tagged with creating the interface which works with Sage ERP 100 versions 4.5 and adheres to Sage’s N-2 strategy of supporting the current version plus two prior versions (in this case 4.4 and 4.3).
I like that nearly all the setup is performed within the standard MAS screens creating a much simpler setup experience for the end user.
The software itself is C Sharp, using Microsoft .Net Architecture. You’ll install behind the firewall and it integrates off-site with Smartlinc’s Microsoft SQL Database.
Smartlinc is a hosted solution so your upgrades are (hopefully) no effort as they all occur on the web. This is MULTI Carrier and one of the big promoted features is the ability to rate shop for the lowest carrier rate for your particular shipment.
True internet solution = runs in browser – no software Provides email alerts and tracking. Also prints packing list, labels, etc. These labels and documents can be modified with Crystal though it seems this would be an additional cost provided by Smartlinc.
Supports international shipping and carrier rates are updated in real time. No more downloads or installations.
Desktop shipping = can provide unlimited user license (unsure on whether there’s a fee for unlimited but I’d guess there may be).
Details all pass back — tracking # and costs – to Sage 100 ERP solution. Although it remains to be seen, there does not appear to be any issue with the link playing well with other third party solutions such as Avalara or EDI.
Installation included in the price.
Expect availability March 2012 – contact your Sage partner for updated pricing.