Sage Software today released an updated Business Partner FAQ to clarify how they’re dealing with the 56 solutions that are being incorporated into MAS 90 and MAS 200 4.4x – as well as to explain whether anyone can buy a solution at a level earlier than 4.3 (In a word – no).
What Are Sage Extended Solutions?
Sage MAS 90 and 200 Extended Solutions were originally developed by one of Sage’s leading development partners to meet the specialized needs of the Sage MAS 90 or 200 customer base. Sage acquired this library of over 1,000 titles in January 2004. Because they are so specialized, most of the individual Extended Solutions titles are currently owned by only one or two customers. The more popular titles with broader appeal, such as Paperless Office, contain features and functionality that have high market value. Those titles were evaluated and many of those features began to be incorporated into Sage MAS 90 and 200 4.3.
What is the go-forward plan for Extended Solutions?
Sage has made the decision to focus on continuing to build value into the base product, simplify our product portfolio, and begin phasing out Sage MAS 90 and 200 Extended Solutions. This phase-out process includes incorporating the main features and functionality of many of the top Extended Solution titles, adding market-driven features to the base product. All customers will receive the benefit of many new features with the new release and product updates as part of being on a current maintenance or support plan without the additional expense of each Extended Solution title. We’ll begin delivering that additional functionality over the next several releases and product updates. Those select titles will continue to be sold until the time they are included in the base product. Since the incorporation will be our focus, we will not be bringing Extended Solutions titles up to compatibility with the 4.4 release. The remaining titles will be provided to Source Code Development Partners so they can utilize their expertise to provide the specialized solutions for Sage MAS 90 and 200 customers. Combined, the above actions cover 96% of all titles and 75% of all customers. We hope you will support us by carrying through messaging that this is a great start to Sage’s goal of continuing to build value into the base product and simplifying our product portfolio
How do I know which of the Extended Solutions title(s)’ main features and functionality will be included in the core Sage MAS 90 and 200 products over the next few releases or product updates, and which will be available to customers only through me, working with Development Partners?
The main features and functionality of the titles that have broad market value, such as ACH Electronic Payment for Accounts Payable, will be incorporated into the core product over the next few releases and product updates. Please refer to the most current Extended Solutions information published on SageMAS.com to see the titles that have been selected for incorporation:
What about Extended Solutions titles that are no longer shown on the SageMAS.com Sage MAS 90 and 200 Extended Solutions Web page?
Extended Solutions titles that are no longer shown on the Extended Solutions page on SageMAS.com have been retired. You have several options that you’ll be able to use to meet specialized needs of Sage MAS 90 and 200 customers. You may determine that their needs can be met using the enhanced customization and scripting tools built into Sage MAS 90 and 200 4.4 Customizer. These tools can be used to provide customers with customizations that survive upgrades, so the customizations do not have to be reapplied to or recreated in a new release. In many cases, you’ll be able to create the modifications at your office, export them, and e-mail them to the customer to import. This will help streamline your deployment, reduce the time spent on this type of custom work, and allow you to do more with your development staff. If their needs surpass the abilities of those tools, you may decide that the best solution is to engage a Sage Development Partner, who can design product modifications outside of those parameters.
Customers not currently on version 4.3, but who have plans to upgrade, will be able to request their retired Extended Solutions 4.3 title updates through the Sage Sales Advisor team until 11/1/2010. Sage will no longer correct defects, or provide year end payroll changes for any retired Extended Solutions titles after 11/1/2010.
Listed below is the current schedule for when a solution is slated to be incorporated (at no cost) into a future release of MAS 90 or MAS 200.
Extended Solution titles are listed on the left, the part number is in the middle and on the right is the product update and estimated ship date when that solution should first appear.
If you are using a solution that isn’t slated for incorporation until 2012 — say for example SO-1530 Enhanced Sales Order Integration with Job Cost — you have the option of paying a developer to upgrade the solution earlier.
In the majority of situations customers using an Extended Solution slated for incorporation but not until 2011 or 2012 won’t have much of an option but to sit and wait for an upgrade to arrive.
Charts shown below are tentative and preliminary – as per Sage’s 3/24/2010 Extended Solution FAQ.