Hi, I’m Wayne Schulz, a Sage 100 ERP consultant who has been working with Sage 100 since the early 1990s. You may actually remember the software as MAS 90.
I also run a Sage 100 email newsletter – Schulz Says – that I’ve been sending to 1300 people every Thursday for the past 10 years. The newsletter covers all sorts of topics on Sage 100 accounting software, best practices, tips, tricks, news, upcoming releases and that type of stuff.
Gary and I sat down during the Meeting of the Minds conference in Newport Beach, CA and talked briefly about the process that his company – Summit Hosting – takes to ease the transition for Sage 100 users from on-premises to cloud hosted accounting.
I’ve known Gary for over 15 years and he was one of the first consultants to work with Sage to host what was then known as MAS 90 in a cloud environment.
Over the last few years hosting has greatly expanded in availability. Summit Hosting now offers hosting for not only Sage 100 but Sage 50 ( formerly Peachtree), Sage 100 Contractor, Sage 300, Sage 300 CRE ( formerly Timberline ), Sage 500, Sage Enterprise Management ( X3 ), Sage BusinessWorks, Sage CRM, Sage Fixed Assets and Sage HRMS.
One important distinction is that Sage doesn’t directly host most of their applications.
Instead, they rely on a network of consulting firms with experience in cloud hosting to provide the hosting for not only the accounting applications but also third-party applications such as Office 365, etc.
Meet My Cloud Guru: Gary Feldman
Gary is the cloud evangelist at Summit Hosting. He’s been working with sage 100 Since the 80s and hosting sage 100 since 1999. His company, Summit Hosting, provides a Secure Workspace to offer Sage 100 cloud hosting.
Tip: While you can run Sage 100 on many different platforms – including AWS, Azure, Partner Cloud, and Remote Desktop ( RDP ) – you’ll want whichever way you chose to access Sage 100 remotely to be secure from unauthorized access.
How Tough Is It To Move Sage 100 To The Cloud?
One question I’m asked quite a bit which may be of interest to you is – how exactly do we move Sage 100 from my on-premises server to the cloud. Can I move to the cloud if I have third-party integrations? What limitations would I face moving to the cloud?
To that I end I asked Gary Feldman to elaborate on how many of these types of Sage 100 to Cloud migrations he has done in his career?
Gary’s reponse – around 500 migrations of Sage 100 on-premises to cloud hosted.
Okay, what obviously, it’s 100 customer, and I’ve got 15 users, right? That’s probably pretty difficult. I’ve got wholesale distribution, I’ve got some of the warehouse management stuff, I’ve got shipping, I come to you and I say, hey, look, I want to go on prem, I’m tired of managing my own servers, I want to go to the cloud, Reader’s Digest version. What’s that process like?
Migrating Sage 100 to Cloud: The Details
Well, the first thing is the contracting. Once you get the contract, and that usually is very quickly, we can spin up a server in a day.
Not everyone moves as quickly as a day. However, for purposes of conversation, the migration of your Sage 100 from an existing on premises server to a cloud host should be closer to a day than a month.
In detail, typically, what happens is you zip up ( compress ) your MAS90 or Sage 100 folder. Then you send it securely to us, usually via a file transfer system we have set up to make it fast.
And then we we install the Sage 100 version specific to your company. A lot of people use the cloud migration as an upgrade opportunity.
However, we’ve had to deal with some emergency situations such as the company was hacked on Friday, they had a backup, they send it to us, we get them up and running, they’re running on Monday.
Typically, what I would suggest to people is that, especially if they have the third party applications, that they do some testing, you know, and usually it’s, it’s no more than a day’s worth of testing to and through those major processes that you do.
Even things like content chat, you know, a check is is subject to the printer driver, right? If you go from a laptop to a server, it’s a different operating system, the printer driver might not work. But typically you zip it up, you send it up there. And in a couple of days, it works.
If you have a really large environment,let’s say a SQL Sage 100 Premium environment and you have a lot of users, we frequently recommend you do a stress test.
Sage 100 on SQL ( Premium ) Without Setup Hassles
Okay, so here’s a good question. Because I think premium is the best version of Sage 100.
Benefits of Sage 100 Premium ( SQL )
- Data security controlled by SQL
- Migrates your existing Sage 100 data automatically
- Integrates to almost all third-party solutions that Sage 100 works with
- Faster external access to and reporting on SQL tables
- Generally easier for external IT teams to access data files in a familiar SQL environment
- Sage no longer charges extra for Premium provided you active on subscription
Note: For more details on the pros/cons of Sage 100 Premium review my free Sage 100 Premium FAQ ( Google Doc – NO REGISTRATION ). I keep this as a Google Doc so that as I continue to make updates you’ll always have the latest version at the link above.
Hosting your Sage 100 in a cloud environment will rarely involve giving up access to third-party solutions. Popular integrations like Starship, ScanForce, DataSelf, Scanco, MAPADOC will all work in both an on-premises and cloud based environment. And upgrades are actually easier in the cloud because you have control over all the workstations during the upgrade – so no more running workstation to workstation having to run wksetup repeatedly.
Premium is Sage 100 running on a SQL database. That means the tables are secured by SQL security which larger companies almost always insist on for keeping data private and secure.
In my experience Sage 100 on SQL equals less corruption. However, one issue with SQL setup and configuration is many customers don’t know how to set up or maintain Microsoft SQL.
It can be much simpler to offload MS SQL setup, configuration, maintenance and licensing to a third-party cloud host.
Predictable Monthly Cost
And with cloud hosting that’s all done for you through monthly subscription pricing.
SQL also creates so many more opportunities, not just from a reporting perspective. But for people who are, if you’ve got a partner who has a good development partner, you can do so much with triggers or with with stored procedures with other stuff to make more automation within your software as well. So it’s just it’s just a better database.
And the nice thing with Sage 100, in almost all cases the third-party integrations which are working with on-premises Sage 100 Standard or Advances work just fine with Sage 100 Premium in the cloud using SQL.
In additon to better security you’ll have better tools for backups. If you are high volume transaction processor in SQL, you can do backups during the day. So you don’t have a recovery point of yesterday, you can have recovery points during the day as well.
How To You Setup Your Sage 100 Users In The Cloud?
At Summit Hosting we take a spreadsheet of all your users, load that into Microsoft Active Directory, and then the users receive an email with instructions on how to login and setup their desktops. Depending on the situation we might have a remote training session or two as well.
To keep all your remote users secure we have this new tool called True Grid which creates like a VPN tunnel. It also allows for multi factor authentication, which is another great security feature so that you and only you can log into it.
With multi-factor authentication we are sending you a code onto your smartphone. And what’s even better about that is that everybody doesn’t have to have it. Because you know, you have different people with different levels, even though I would highly, highly, highly recommend multi-factor ( aka MFA ). That’s the way of the future. If you do any online banking, you have to do this stuff all the time anyway. But that’s how you can also get administrative rights on the server.
We have a frequently asked questions pages, all that kind of information available for you including detailed instructions along with step by step with pictures and a whole lot of customers,
Bad Internet Connections Typically Not A Factor
One of the objections to access your Sage 100 remotely in the cloud is that one or more of your people have a bad internet or internet goes down. In reality we’ve found that most Internet is pretty table so it’s not much of a factor anymore.
The way you connect using Terminal Server consumes such a small amount of data. You’re not sending all of your data over the Internet, you’re just sending keystrokes and mouse clicks, and we’re just sending you pictures of the screen. So there isn’t significant amounts of data going over the internet, which is also why it’s secure.
We’ve seen people try to roll their own cloud solution. In most cases it makes the most amount of sense to go with somebody who has done 500 of them. It makes things a lot easier. And in my view, the future of Sage 100 is remote connections to the cloud. Especially since Sage 100 runs just like it would on an on premise just a lot easier to set up configure insecure, and support.
Support. We have 24 by seven support 365 and the partners can get in anytime they need to do
The above is a transcript of a conversion with Gary Feldman from the May 2022 90 Minds Meeting. Portion have been edited for clarity. For more information about cloud hosting please reach out to Summit Hosting directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.