More Sage Mobile Apps thoughts:
Sat in on the Sage Mobile Partner webcast yesterday.
1. Sage Billing and Payments (essentially click to pay delivery of invoices)
2. Sage Mobile Sales
3. Sage Mobile Service
Here’s where I think the opportunity lies.
In my view – based only on the webinar coupled with prior experience – I think only one application will likely be attractive to the ERP customer (Sage 100, Sage 300).
That app will likely be the Sage Billing and Payments – essentially a link to allow for Sage’s accounting system to email invoices which then can be paid via Sage Payment Services. I do not believe any other payment processor is supported.
What follows is my personal thoughts after viewing the webinar. I may change my thoughts after the applications launch on February 6, 2014.
I do not see Sage devoting many resources to continuing to build the Mobile Sales or Mobile Service. Those two applications may find some Sage 50 or Sage One buyers but I can’t see Sage 100/300 ERP customers being able to adopt what appears to be a cookie cutter set of sales / service apps.
Sage Mobile Service — can only invoice special items. No inventory.
Issue #1: How many Sage 100 ERP customers are still using Job Cost? That poor module has been neglected. It’s not at framework. I just had one customer migrate to Timberline (Sage 300 Construction) and another advising me that they’re looking at better Job Cost solutions. Unfortunately I cannot come up with a reason for them to stay (aside from pointing out the pain of switching and migrating data). Job Cost is not Sage 100’s market.
I also found the Winchester House analogy odd because throughout the entire presentation you’re looking at web apps which bear no resemblance to the app the customer is used to working within. I suppose the Sage Data Cloud (yet another bolt on that you have to keep running and updated) takes care of synchronizing all the core info – hopefully Sage is more skilled at SDC sync than they are at CRM sync (I’m not trying to be a wise ass either when I say that — if Sage can’t get CRM sync right what makes us think this will be any better?).
So let’s see – on a standard non-complex Sage 100 I now have:
Sage Integration Engine
Sage Data Cloud
That’s a lot of spinning plates to keep in the air over time. Maybe Sage with their superior technical skills (now I am being a wise ass) will be able to keep them all maintenance free but I would not bet on it.
So ultimately we will have customers “clicking to buy” these apps. Then I suspect Sage is going to turn them back to use when the questions get too difficult — or as a 90 Minder recently coined – the effort to solve a support issue is TME (Too Much Effort).
I’ll be working to educate customers on a support plan with me that the above integrations — as well as any other third party integrations — not part of our basic Sage 100 support but optional extras. The last thing I think we want is for our support to morph into being the unpaid complaint department for Sage. Even if you’re sitting back thinking “well we bill hourly so we won’t have Wayne’s problem” — -that might be true but I think you’ll find if a customer “clicks to buy” the Sage solution and it does not work as they expect that they will balk at paying Sage or you for anything. You’re just not going to find this out until you go to bill them.
90 Minds Members view the slide deck here