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IT Strategy

Sage 200, SAP and Dynamics 365 features comparison

As you commence your review process to find an alternative to Sage 50 Accounts, an ERP that is a comprehensive resource planning solution you will want to consider:

  • Will my data be upgraded during the migration process?
  • How long will it take?
  • What extra functionality will I get as standard from my new solution?
  • What will affect the cost and how much will it be?

Many Sage 50 Accounts users who need to upgrade to a more comprehensive system will consider Sage 200. This would seem like an obvious choice: same brand, bigger number, so better – right? However very few companies will only consider a single upgrade option.

Businesses should always consider at least 3 software solutions. There are a variety of options that small to medium sized businesses could look at but there are three who are compared with each other as part of a Sage 50 upgrade migration process:

  • Sage 200
  • SAP
  • Dynamics 365 Business Central

All three solutions will delivery a vast improvement if you are a manufacturer, distributor or assembler struggling on with Line 50 Accounts or Line 50 Accounts and Sage Manufacturing. There are comprehensive lists available of the features each solution delivers, and businesses can therefore take their time to compare various lists to cross reference what is key for their current and future needs and what individual solutions can deliver for them.

Most ERP solutions ‘can’ deliver all kinds of functionality – eventually.
A good solutions business partner will always be able to develop an app to add functionality to your core system.
However, development work takes not only time, but budget.

There may be pre-developed apps which are more cost effective to purchase. Microsoft for example allow businesses to research apps that have already been written that can be purchased almost as an off the shelf – to reduce the cost of any necessary functionality enhancement you need for your particular industry being written exclusively for you.

Sage 200, SAP and Dynamics 365 Business Central are available in ‘cloud’ form although SAP has developed its own HANA cloud environment in place of using Microsoft’s SQL server which is aimed to serve business with very high data levels. The HANA hosting solution is focussed at larger business with very large amounts of data.

The aim of this article is to ‘cut to the chase’ considering three, market leading candidates for a Sage 50 upgrade and migration project. The aim of the tables is not to list all the features of the ERP’s in question in their entirety but to highlight key areas of comparison.

What does ‘Out of the Box’ mean in the context of this article?

It means that required functionality is available as part of a commercial off the shelf software solution. The solution will still require the services of a knowledgeable business partner to update and migrate your Sage 50 data, implement the software to provide the best on boarding possible, train you and support you during go live and thereafter.

Comparing Sage, SAP and Dynamics 365 – Scenario 1

  • A business who manufactures, assembles or distributes
  • Who uses Sage 50 applications
  • Who needs integrated accounts, manufacturing, service desk and CRM and multiple stock locations
  • And has multiple sites
  • A business who does not want a project protracted by the need for bespoke which constrains their budget

This business is considering Sage 200 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium

"OUT OF THE BOX" FUNCTIONALITYSAGE 200SAPDynamic 365
Administration Alerts Management NoNoYes
Administration Workflows NoNoYes
Administration Document Change History by UserNoNoYes
Application Multi localisation (International Deployment) NoNoYes
(40+ Localisations) Application Multi Language (25+ Languages) ApplicationNoNoYes
Automated Dunning / Credit Chasing NoNoYes
Purchasing - A/P Purchase Request NoNoYes
Purchasing - A/P Purchase QuotationNoNoYes
Reserve Invoice / Pro FormaNoNoYes
Purchase Quotation Generation WizardNoNoYes
BarcodesNoNoPower apps add on
Customer Catalogue NumbersNoNoYes
Stock Transfer RequestNoNoYes
Pick and Pack ManagementNoNoYes
Service CallNoNoYes
Service ContractsNoNoYes
Service Solution Knowledge BaseNoNoYes
Service QueuesNoNoYes
Service Reports DashboardsNoNoYes
HR Employee Master DataNoNoYes
HR Human Resources Reports DashboardsNoNoYes
Query Generator/Manager X ✓ Reports Crystal ReportsNoNoYes (web services)
Form Settings and UI ManagementNoNoYes
General CalendarNoNoYes
General Customisable User-defined Fields & TablesNoNoYes
General Drag & Drop ReportingNoNoYes (on products)
Multiple BranchesNoNoYes
Mobility Mobile Application for iPhone & iPadNoNoYes

Comparing Sage, SAP and Dynamics 365 – Scenario 2

  • A business who manufactures, assembles or distributes
  • Who uses Sage 50 applications
  • Who needs integrated accounts, manufacturing, service desk and CRM and multiple stock locations
  • Who manufactures items that then become part of a project for a site installation.
  • And has multiple sites
  • A business who having been a time served Sage 50 user has started their upgrade review process with Sage 200 as a preferred option and is happy to purchase additional Sage 200 modules to get the functionality they need.
  • A business who wants to review three solutions: Sage 200, SAP and Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Business Central
"OUT OF THE BOX" FUNCTIONALITYSAGE 200SAPDynamic 365
Production Quantity BreaksAdditional moduleNoNo
WIP ReportingAdditional moduleNoYes
Phased Project / Milestone BillingAdditional moduleNoYes
Projects Project Stock AllocationAdditional moduleNoYes
Projects Labour Rate ChargesAdditional moduleNoYes
Projects TimesheetsAdditional moduleNoYes
MS Excel PluginAdditional moduleNoYes

Sage 50 Upgrade Migration Costs

A project cost and timeline will vary dependent on the solution, key considerations include:

  • the customisation it will require to serve your business
  • the expertise of the business partner you decide to work with to migrate your data, implement the solution and train/support you on the software.

Sage 200, SAP and Dynamics 365 Business Central software costs will be loosely comparable in the early stages of exploring prices. It is once you start adding the developments and additional modules you need that the project costs vary considerably.

Conclusion

It makes sense then to look for the most suitable and comprehensive functionality from the core, standard application of your next ERP / MRP.

This does not mean to say that you won’t develop areas to meet industry changes or business needs in the future. The solution any business chooses should be scalable, affordable, have the functionality you need ‘out of the box’ and provide a robust environment for customisations which can be supported not just by one business partner but the entire UK business partner community for that ERP solution. (No business wants to suffer the golden handcuffs sometimes associated with bespoke development and a single developer.)

No business has a crystal ball, but the starting point should be that the core solution meets as much of your known current and scoped future requirements as possible when making your ERP decision for a Sage upgrade migration project. It should be widely supported and offer a comprehensive choice of business partners for you to choose to work with.

Thought for the Day
If as a Sage 50 user your logical next step feels like Sage 200, speak to a business partner that is experienced in Sage 200 and another ERP included in your review process. Qi Ltd is experienced in Sage 50, Sage 200 and Dynamics 365 Business Central. Get in touch for an informal discussion.

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