Sage’s New Support Policy for MAS 90, MAS 200, MAS 500 and FRx

The following information was communicated to us by Sage Software recently, and I want to pass it along to everyone.

Historically, Sage has supported the current version of MAS software, plus five versions back.  Now, they have indicated they will change their policy over the next several years, and will scale back the number of supported Sage MAS versions.  By the end of 2011, Sage will move to a new ‘N-3’ policy for Sage MAS 90 and 200, and support only the current version and 3 versions back.  Support for Version 3.71 will end on September 30, 2010. The policy for Sage MAS 500 will be ‘N-2,’ with versions 6.3 and 7.0 support ending on September 30, 2010.

Sage believes the key benefit to this approach will allow them to focus on upgrading customers to the most current releases while allocating major development and support resources to ‘solving pain points for the majority.’  At the point of product retirement, tax updates, product fixes and telephone support will end.

Another news item of interest is that Sage has announced their move to ‘product updates’ instead of service updates for Sage MAS 90 and 200, or monthly updates for Sage MAS 500.  Products updates will be scheduled every four to six months and are primarily intended to provide ongoing value to customers on maintenance between major releases.  In addition to bug fixes, product updates will also include enhancements such as new features and usability improvements.  One note from Sage:  the move to product updates as opposed to service releases does not mean they will stop fixing defects for customers as they occur.  Their answer to this is to strictly adhere to the escalation policies, thereby taking care of customers’ critical issues as they arise.

One additional item involves the FRx Report Writer.  Although Sage is committed to ensuring compatibility with FRx Desktop, Microsoft has announced an end of support date for FRx of December 31, 2012.  As a result, Sage will provide an alternative solution for Financial Reporting within the Sage MAS products.  They’ve announced a two-pronged approach for financial reporting for Sage MAS customers in the future:

  1. Sage is building an Excel-based financial reporting tool based on the existing Sage Financial Reporter module with Sage Accpac.  Sage Financial Reporter will be made compatible with Sage MAS and will provide basic financial reporting capabilities free of charge to all Sage MAS customers.
  2. Sage is also establishing an OEM relationship with a business intelligence vendor that offers advanced financial reporting, operational reporting and advanced OLAP analysis capabilities.  Sage MAS customers will be provided with one free user license for this product with the option of purchasing additional licenses.

The release timing of these two financial reporting solutions will be aligned to a future release of Sage MAS; the exact date has not yet been determined by Sage.

Please contact Amy Shaver at Aries Technology Group, (800) 990-6646 ext. 21 or if you have any questions about these issues.

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