Sage Independent Certified Consultant Program – $ 3,650 To Join? (UPDATED)

Has Sage set too high a price for independent certified consultants?

Update 8/28/12: Looks as if the upper fee for a Sage 100 ERP Independent Consultant would only be $ 3,650 (our earlier computation of $5,650 was based upon an incorrect graphic displaying 5 separate Sage 100 ERP competencies instead of the three which Sage have updated and we’ve included above) since the Financial and Distribution are offered as a value pack when taken together.  Sage is updating their graphics to indicate that the top # of available Sage 100 ERP competencies is 3.

This program, long grumbled about as the “red headed stepchild” of Sage’s partner programs due to lack of perceived attention to consultants, would seem to be getting some clarification of fees based on this PDF application form found here.

With a stated fee of $1,000 per competency role — a fully competent Sage 100 ERP independent consultant looks as if they could initially be paying $ 5,000 $3,000 for assessments? Tack on $ 650 for the annual fee and you’re looking at $5,650 $ 3,650 in year one (subsequent renewals presumably cost only the $650 annual fee).

Sage for their part indicates that not all competencies have to be taken in order to become an Independent Certified Consultant. The only competencies needed are for those specialties that the consultant wants to work with – ex. Financials/Distribution, MFG, Technical.

Since competencies are required to obtain support – I’m still advising Independent Consultants that you test for  them all since the last thing you want to do is be on-site with a customer and find you aren’t authorized for support on a particular competency area.

Previously Sage had issued guidelines for Certified Consultants which were largely the same fee arrangements with no cost for most initial assessment tests provided they were taken by a certain date – those rules applied to consultants who work WITHIN an existing Sage Business Partner organization.

This information appears to clarify the fee arrangement for Independent Consultants (consultants who prefer to remain independent and do not work for a business partner).

Sage defines an Independent Sage Certified Consultant as:

Independent individuals who have completed at least one designated Competency Role for Sage products and are certified to provide professional services to end customers for those competencies for which they are certified.

Nowhere on the web page is there any indication what benefits accrue to such an independently competent consultant (though they do guide you to read the Sage Partner Program Guide ). It would appear that the independent consultants receive 5 support incidents per year per competency – though I’m not positive on that since the above referenced guide appears to mainly address Certified (as opposed to Independent) consultants. Update 8-28-12: Verified with Sage that the same benefits accrue to Independent Consultants as to Certified Consultants.

At what point is  it cheaper to skip becoming an independent consultant and just purchase a subscription license  and pricing(can include unlimited support depending upon configuration options) to a live version of Sage? Granted this fee advantage reverses in a future year  when the renewal cost of $650 would presumably be cheaper than initial competency fees from year one.

Sage Independent Certified Consultant Application