All right, we’re going to find it hard not to get a bit sentimental here. As one of the very first Sage Pro ERP partners, back when it was SBT (and ACCPAC Pro Series after that) we are permanent fans. But we recognize that all things must change, and Sage Pro ERP has, shall we say, reached the end of the road. Sage Pro ERP is no longer an officially supported Sage product.
Although Silverware no longer provides new Sage Pro ERP solutions, we give you the power of choice about how your company moves forward with or without Sage Pro ERP.
- For our legacy users, though, we continue to provide first-class support services. As of July 2015, Silverware is supporting over 50 customers running their businesses with Sage Pro ERP, including our very first customer which has been using the product since 1988. So rather than turning in the keys, let us show you how the journey continues down a new road.
- The very reasons that Sage Pro has worked so well for so many customers for so long – its inherent functionality, configurability and adaptability – are part and parcel of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Sage Intacct which is why they are our Flagship Solutions for Sage Pro ERP replacements.
Impetus for Change
Sage Pro was so popular with a wide range of manufacturing and distribution organizations because its flexibility. The source code for Sage Pro was available which meant that Sage Pro could be modified to meet the specific requirements of each individual business. Silverware is built on long-term relationships. The ability to customize and therefore to support clients over time, as business models change and evolve, is essential.
In anticipation of Sage Pro’s imminent “sunset”, Silverware selected Navision (now Microsoft Dynamics NAV) as the source code modifiable platform for our next generation of customers. Sage Pro ERP was a long a favorite accounting solution with manufacturers, distributors and service organizations. During its lifetime, Sage Pro afforded tremendous customization capabilities to companies looking to leverage unique business processes and competitive advantages to build, grow and adapt their businesses.
No current ERP solution in the Sage Software portfolio offers comparable functionality for manufacturers and distributors, or, more importantly, provides full source code availability which is vital to Silverware’s long-term approach to customer partnerships. Further, among the mid-market ERP offerings currently on the market, Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision) is the only product for which the source code is readily available. Among cloud financial applications, only Sage Intacct is built to meet your unique needs, now and in the future.
Why Source Code Matters
Although we use it judiciously, the ability to customize your business solution to work exactly how you want, is great to have “in the back pocket” as we work with companies on long-term business strategies. Source code availability drives Silverware’s business model.
- Source code enables modification, extension or development of functionality for industry specific requirements or specialized business processes
- Source code supports effective change management by giving companies control over how and when users are asked to replace the old way with a new way of doing their jobs.
- Source code (along with Web services) facilitates integrations with other cloud-based systems and on-demand web services to enable best-of-breed solutions.
- As evidenced by Silverware’s customer base, source code ensures investment security, longevity and durability.
I ♥ SBT & Sage Pro
–By Sara Silver
In 1988 I was introduced to SBT Software by a Computerland sales person (who remembers Computerland?!). He told me it was software that was going to revolutionize the accounting world and he needed someone to train users on the product. Though I knew nothing about accounting and only a little more about software I said ‘sure!’.
I quickly found myself supporting a group of customers who had SBT Software. I loved working with the users to setup the system, train on data entry and generate their reports. Little did I know that I was doing “process re-engineering” and setting up “best practices” on an “ERP” system – I don’t think these terms existed yet!
My favorite part of the job was making the system meet the specific needs of the end user. I was able to do this because SBT was source-code modifiable. This meant I could open up the software and program the changes they requested. One client needed to track project codes (before job costing was available) – no problem! One client needed to invoice an $11,000,000 item – but the price field was not big enough – no problem! Custom report – no problem! I could really make that software do anything.
As time went on, I learned that you should not modify software just because the customer asks for it. I learned to determine the ROI on the solution, and I learned to suggest alternative ways of accomplishing the same goal but within the software. Of course, at that time ERP software was not nearly as feature rich as it is today – so modifications were much more standard. I also learned there was GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and CRAP (Client Required Accounting Principles). We stayed away from the CRAP of course!
The developers at SBT continued to improve the product over time, even adding an SQL back end. The product remained easy to setup and implement, and it had some great features which we could then enhance through modification.
SBT was eventually purchased by ACCPAC, and then ACCPAC was purchased by Sage. The product we knew and loved as SBT Pro Series became ACCPAC Pro then Sage Pro. By this time, Silverware had developed a strong practice in Navision (soon to be Microsoft Dynamics NAV) – we had found another feature rich ERP solution that was also source code modifiable. Eventually Sage Pro was retired because of the discontinuation of the backend language it was written in.
Today we still have clients that are running their beloved Sage Pro – despite our warnings that they really have to move on! I understand their position – in today’s ERP market, implementing a mid-market solution with the functionality of Sage Pro is a big endeavor. The project cost and potential risks are intimidating. But, even if it “ain’t broke” sometimes you have to fix it to protect your company in the long run.
So what’s next for our Sage Pro customer base? Of course we believe in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. NAV has robust core functionality in its Standard Pack configuration plus all of the modern day ERP requirements such as workflow, Office integration, and dashboards. And, there’s the source code… When it comes to customizing your system, we will help you evaluate the value, and we will perform that change in the least intrusive way we can so you can continue to upgrade your software over time.