Sage Software, MAS90 / MAS200:

So everyone here knows (if you’re read anything about my opinion on MAS 90 or Sage Software) that they certainly have “challenges” to overcome.  Of course, they don’t seem to be in any big hurry to overcome them!  How might I know this you might ask?  We’ve been waiting now for at least a year or more for a new “support portal”, someone the other day said to me in a support ticket that they’re coming out with it soon.  I chuckled because I’ve been hearing that now for quite some time (maybe over a year now?).  I think even simply using email would be better than what they’ve got now it’s just that bad!  Their knowledge base is also horrible.  At least they admit it right?

MAS90 Report Formatting:

A few weeks ago I asked someone about report formatting, they haven’t modified the xml, html, etc in their report output since 2007, ouch!  As a result you get one output and if your report pours over to the next page it doesn’t look pretty.  Do you know what the answer was from Sage to “fix” the issue?

Technically it’s called “Business Insights Dashboard”, to get there you:  Explorer > Dashboard > Reporter which then generates an html report.  The temporary “workaround” they suggested was:

“While displaying the graph, press PRINT SCREEN and copy the graph to a graphics editor such as Microsoft Paint. Save it as a .JPG file and print it through Windows.

It’s kind of funny actually because that’s what I suggested doing before calling them for support on the issue and I cringed because it was a short term temporary hack just to move forward on one report but it’s by no means a solution.  They didn’t even offer to put in a feature request on my behalf which is the MOST irritating thing…they NEVER do that.  You always have to submit the change requests yourself.  UGH!  If it’s broken and you can’t fix it on behalf of your customer submit a change request to an engineer please!!!

If you’re considering an MRP system I guess one of the important things to consider are the reporting tools.  I would suggest MAS90 gets an “Epic Fail” to use a phrase in the parlance of our times for their reporting tools :P

Sage Software MAS90 / MAS200 Support:

Furthermore – one of the HUGE issues for a company like Sage is that their support closes after 7pm EST (I think it is) on the East Coast (it might be 7:30 pm?), moreover, they have “training” hours when they close early and the only way you know this is by calling; maybe they have the training time posted somewhere…who knows?  The point is – if your company has a 2nd shift or 3rd shift and your systems blows up after 7 pm EST – good luck!  You might as well close up shop and take everyone out to Dennys because it’ll be until tomorrow when you’ll get any help.  I suppose you could always call your reseller / support partner and depending on who they are you may or may not have any luck.  I think they usually pack up and go home before Sage does.

I wrote today’s blahhhhhhhg (<– That’s my way of saying a blog about negative things and it has exactly 7 h’s in it…the number of spiritual perfection because my blahhhhhhhg’s are just that great!  Humble eh?  :p) about MAS90 because I’m trying to get information on ACT and MAS90’s capability of linking.  As a side the ACT portion of Sage is usually pretty good, they seem to be ahead of the curve, they actually have real live web chat for sales and support even if their queue is LITERALLY 2 HOURS until you get someone…no joke, I waited 2 hours in their chat queue because I wanted to see if it would actually take that long.  They didn’t let me down :p.  I did suggest they hire more people for the chat queue who have fast typing ability and who know the products…hmmmm, that too might be another one in the challenge category for Sage?

So after chatting with the ACT people, ACT people saying ACT doesn’t work with MAS90 / MAS200, then me showing them a link to a reseller who’s selling a solution that uses ACT to link with MAS90 (no link because I don’t want to promote them) they then give me a phone number to call (The products department!).  I told them I didn’t wait 2 hours in the chat queue to be handed a phone number.  I’d probably be calling only to get the same person I was chatting with ha ha.  After asking him to find out and I’ll kindly wait for the answer he did tell me you can use “Act Link”…whatever that is, it’s an “add on software”.  As you may know by now you can’t buy from Sage, you have to ask their reseller middle man to sell it to you so I don’t know how much it is.

Quite frankly Sage Software North America needs to get it’s act together (pun not intended).  I’m actually afraid to link ACT with MAS90, the two divisions can’t communicate well so how could their software?  If one sends out an update I’m afraid it’ll break something in the other.

Although MAS90 is a relatively “good bargain” you get what you pay for and unfortunately that type of software is expensive.  If you’re on a budget and it’s what you can afford, MAS90 is a good deal (not MAS200…sorry if you purchased it because MAS90 is the same thing and cheaper, put it on a Windows Terminal Server and you have MAS200 CONTRARY to what Sage will tell you).  If you can live with part time support, lack luster reporting tools, people who generally don’t know what they’re talking about, and reseller vultures then you’re good to go.  You need to make SURE you have someone technically strong to support your system.  That means, choosing the right hardware to install MAS90 on (I’ve got a real “minimum” requirement on my blog somewhere search for “MAS90” and you’ll find it -> After seeings some people do the search I thought I’d find it and post the link here <-), the right networking infrastructure (any gigabit ethernet switch) and you’ll be OK with very few stability issues.  The only issues you’ll have are functionality one’s.

For the price though I think most people looking at MAS90 can live with the issues.  Every software does have issues, nobody is perfect that’s for sure but some of the afore mentioned one’s seem small to me…something someone could easily resolve (lack of product knowledge, more support personnel, better customer portal, etc, etc).  I’ve personally taken the time to actually contact Sage management about this stuff so I hope you do too ;-)

It didn’t necessarily do any good but time will tell.  Feel free to contact me if you need / want MAS90 support, I can help!

* Oh one last note:  I find it HUMERUS that I get a few queries per day from Google or other search engines on people who search for the term “MAS90 Sucks” and their various morphisms :).  I have one post (my first one on MAS90) that’s gotten great comments from lovers and haters of the product!