Sage Updates EULA – Includes Provisions for subscription product offerings

Today I noticed what appears to be an updated Sage End User License Agreement (aka EULA).

I understand this may be a universal agreement across North American products and is possibly redesigned to allow for new subscription pricing sales. Reportedly Sage has started requiring subscription customers to sign off on the new EULA .

Excellent idea – and one that has set off some chatter within our 90 Minds group about the best way to collect EXISTING customer acknowledgments that they agree to any changes to EULA.

Our concerns are that customers pay a consultant to upgrade their software and the EULA acknowledgement is then shown only to the consultant during the upgrade process.

There is some confusion over whether this EULA is in effect for all Sage products  or whether it’s being rolled out for some of the Sage products which have begun receiving Sage Advisor technology which promises automatic upgrade capabilities.

I hope this EULA soon applies to all Sage products – including implementing registration codes which expire and render the software read-only unless maintenance is renewed.

Why?

Sage might be the last software company on earth to trust customers to stop using the software when their payment of maintenance ceases.

Good for Sage – but in my experience they’re losing too much money with this trust. And it’s a bad deal for customers who don’t anticipate by dropping maintenance and stopping upgrades that their next hardware and operating system upgrade might render their older unsupported (but still used) Sage product inoperable due to OS compatibility issues.

Unfortunately in many cases of Sage 100 ERP  (and some Sage products may operate differently) if a customer cancels software maintenance they can often limp along for years without paying another penny.

Sage have specifically included updated language in Section 9 under “Term and Termination”:

The software may contain technology that allows Sage to terminate your use of the program or convert your access to the program to read-only in the event you materially breach this agreement, including but not limited to, your failure to pay license fees when due. If Sage converts your access to read-only, you will continue to have access to data you entered before the conversion but will not be able to enter new data.

To be perfectly clear – Sage has been talking quietly (whispering) about expiring registration keys for many years. And as of yet there’s no official pronouncement on whether the agreement above applies to all Sage North America ERP products or only select ones.

I don’t claim this is a new idea – but in my view it’s LONG overdue. When Sage rolled out subscription pricing for their software the one item lacking on the Sage 100 ERP side was the apparent ability for Sage to remotely disable the software for subscribers who cancelled or became overdue on their subscription. Here’s hoping that this license agreement indicates an expiring unlocking key for all types of Sage 100 ERP licensing will soon be part of the software.

In my opinion this change cannot come too quickly. It’s in step with industry standards and remove the incentive for users to purchase the Sage software and immediately discontinue paying ongoing maintenance because they know the software could continue to work for many years.

I don’t have any problem with the updated EULA. Where I feel there is a potential issue is in the notification to customers. Will Sage be making this notification? Remember that most customers retain a consultant to install upgrades and patches – so the customer may never see the upgraded EULA announcement – which could potentially leave the consultant on the “hot seat” for accepting new EULA terms which the customer may not agree with.

Sage End User License and Support Agreement

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Comments

  1. Nope, I don’t agree. Where are the days when you could actually buy something where the cost was known up-front? Now, you don’t just buy the software, you have to buy a license to continually use it. Imagine if your Excel was like that – you can’t edit your spreadsheets anymore because you need to pay the yearly fee.

    I see the need for it, but I’d like to be able to buy software with a choice on how to support it. I’d like to shut my eyes, support it myself and hope for the best. I don’t forecast future change, my competition is not going to get better, the econonomy will be the same. I don’t see any need to prepare for growth, or worry about government regulations changing.

    Give me some software now, and I’ll be happy with it forever. Thanks.

    • The root of the problem is that most companies have ERP. They’re not changing regularly. And if publishers only relied on new sales they’d be out if business.

      It’s part of a changing world for ERP and many other mature industries.