Years ago, when software manufacturers would telephone our clients trying to sell them something they had not originally purchased, or a new item that had just been produced, we would tell clients, “Just ignore the man behind the curtain and call us if you have questions. We know how your system is configured better than anyone else, so please call us and just ignore the man behind the curtain.” (You know, The Wizard of Oz - in which the man behind the curtain was pulling all kinds of levers and pretending to be something else - someone much more knowledgable - than he actually was?)
We were recently notified that Sage Software will be directly calling our clients who have not yet converted from Sage 100 to Sage 100cloud, letting them know that Sage 100cloud is a “superior” product and has many features that Sage 100 does not.
And so again we say to you: “Just ignore the man behind the curtain.”
As we've been pointing out for almost a year now, Sage 100cloud is built on the exact same technology as Sage 100: It is written in Providex, a Sage owned language derived from Business Basic (meaning it can’t be a “superior” product if they’re both programmed the same way). Yes, Sage 100cloud does have some additional features that third party vendors have added to it, but for the most part they’re merely aesthetic (spell check, for example) and typically very limited in use. If you like a feature (AP Check Automation, for example) you still have to purchase the third party product to really be able to use it.
So what is the difference between Sage 100 and Sage 100cloud? Well, if you believe the name, then obviously “cloud” is the difference. But Sage 100cloud is not a true cloud product. Like Sage 100, it still resides on either your own servers or on a server in a hosted facility. If it is hosted, most likely you can connect to it using an RDP session, but that doesn’t make it a true Cloud product. A true Cloud product can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, using an internet browser (like the Human Capital Management product we offer). That’s not Sage 100cloud. Either you have to have a server in your facility, or you can have it hosted in a facility – but it still resides on either a server you own or one you rent. The cost of a Sage 100cloud subscription does not include the cost of the hardware to store your data.
“Just ignore the man behind the curtain.”
Additionally, Sage 100cloud is a subscription-based product. If you always renew your annual maintenance, then that’s probably not a big deal. Yet it's worth bearing in mind that Sage 100cloud, as a subscription-based product, will switch into a read-only mode if the annual subscription is not paid. You won’t be able to enter any information into it and will only be able to view existing data through it. Sage 100, on the other hand, is not a subscription based product (i.e. you own it), which means you could still use your software even if your annual maintenance expires.
Some of our clients have converted to Sage 100cloud, not so much for the built-in but limited third party features which are in that edition, but because the annual maintenance to have the latest and greatest features is less expensive than the annual maintenance for Sage 100 – and they’ve always renewed their maintenance annually. However, just this past week, we looked at pricing for a Sage 100 client whose annual maintenance is currently $2,500, while a Sage 100cloud subscription plan would run them $3,700 per year. Yes, Sage is willing to convert clients whose maintenance expires at least 60 days in the future at a zero dollar cost for the first year. But for subsequent years, clients might be paying more for their software than they would have to if they continued to use Sage 100.
We really want to do the right thing for clients – it’s why we’ve been in business for 30 years and why we can sleep at night with a clear conscience. Please give us a ring if you receive a call urging you to move to Sage 100cloud, and let us help you understand all of the pros and cons that may result from your decision. Moving to Sage 100cloud is absolutely is the right thing to do for some clients, but for others, you’ll want to “just ignore the man behind the curtain.”