Integration products strategy for Sage software
by Ruth Stockdale, LAI Director of PSG
Putting the pieces together for your business needs
Add-ons and third-party software are not new options. We’ve had newsletter articles about them before—about the ability to expand and go beyond the functionality of your core software modules. Ledgerwood Associates partners with some third-party providers—products you will find in this newsletter and on our website.
But the number of add-on options has increased beyond that and we often get questions about those. It is not easy to decide whether an add-on will be useful, or which one to select. The marketplace is dynamic and growing, so your options change frequently.
Do your due diligence
- How long has the application’s developer been in business?
- How are they staffed to provide support?
- What other Sage users have installed and used their products?
- You don’t necessarily need to rule out newer products. The risk of trying something new may be minimal if the software is not critical, does not conflict with your core applications and is priced appropriately. Just make an informed decision.
Determine the platform type
- Many options are now operating only from a cloud-based platform and on a subscription basis.
- The same questions about integration methods, installation and support still apply.
Research installation requirements
- Make sure that the system requirements do not conflict with your server and workstation setup for your Sage applications.
- Find out who will install the new application and who will support it. Ledgerwood Associates can facilitate an installation with our partners. We have also assisted with integration to other products on request.
- Check with us. Your Sage consultant may not always be needed, but it is wise to check in case there is information the third-party vendor needs.
Consider the synchronization path
- How easily does it fit with your accounting applications? Does data need to flow from accounting to the new application and/or from the new application to accounting? Exactly how will this process work?
- Data can flow using text file imports or more direct built-in interfaces. Some methods require operator intervention to manually import or export. Some methods are automatic but still call for monitoring.
- None of the options are inherently “good” or “bad”, but it is important that you know exactly how the integration will work. Then determine if that works well for you.
- Does the module perform a function that does not require integration? This makes the selection simpler, but you still need to check on platform conflicts.
- Make sure there will not be a parallel set of data that may not match accounting. Examples would be job lists that are not in synch and estimate changes that don’t migrate to Estimating.
Let us know if we can help! It’s No Big Deal.