Confessions of a Sage 100 Consultant – Moving to Cloud Hosting
One of the great joys of ERP consulting is something we call “GO LIVE”, that is, the launch of a new system. Usually this is on a new server and migrated from an inadequate, unsupported, or antiquated system. This occasion is the result of months of planning, workflow documentation, business process re-engineering, data scrubbing, software installation, device configuration, training, testing, more testing, and then flipping the switch. If all goes well, what follows will be a brief period of troubleshooting, refinement, and filling of any “gaps” that are revealed with full-time operations on the new system. When this transition is accomplished by moving a system from the client’s server to cloud hosting, the project is that much more interesting.
Such was the case recently in what was my first experience with moving a new client from an old Syspro on-premise system to Sage 100 2015 in the cloud on MyHostedDSD. In addition to all the normal tasks associated with a system implementation, the timeframe between initial consultation and GO LIVE was compressed to less than 2 months.
I met Karen (not her real name) in 1994 in one of my first MAS 90 (now known as Sage 100) sales. She was the Accounting Manager for a personal computer manufacturer and the primary user of the system, learning the financial and manufacturing modules. Over the years, her career included positions where her skills and talents were rewarded with increased responsibility. She had just accepted a Controller position with a tech company in the consumer device space and in late April 2015 called with an urgent need. The company had an old version of Syspro and she had neither time nor inclination to learn it. Its configuration no longer suited their needs. Further, the company did not want to invest in new servers. We talked about needs, timing, and options. Certain of the solution she needed, she asked, “can you get me live on Sage 100 in the cloud by July 1st.”
I was well aware of MyHostedDSD and had heard positive reviews from implementations at our Denver office. But I’m a hands-on guy, and I hadn’t done it myself. I called Robert Eppele, General Manager of MyHostedDSD, who immediately helped me with process, pricing, and due diligence. He called Karen and connected with her outsourced IT consultant to ensure their environment and intended usage were suitable for a successful implementation. With that assurance, a demonstration was quickly arranged and performed to show the ease of use of cloud computing. Karen was especially relieved to observe how easily she could connect anywhere, anytime, allowing her to adjust her commute to avoid freeway traffic, or telecommute from home. She was also impressed with the system performance and seamless interface on her computer desktop. The product and price was right. Karen said, “let’s do this”.
Without delay, George Khairallah, CTO of MyHostedDSD, began provisioning the production site, and simultaneously provided me a fully functional sandbox to begin building their Sage 100 system and migrating data. Within a short time, the companies users had been established, desktops configured, and applications installed. By early June, the sandbox, now fully configured and populated with Karen’s data, was ready for user training and testing. While Karen and her staff continued their testing, George worked with me on their production environment to configure and test e-mail connectivity, quick and easy methods of data transfer, and a few other minor details that were immediately and effectively resolved.
So far, so good.
GO LIVE day was quickly approaching. Everything was ready. Karen provided me updated data files in the morning of July 1st. Because we had used the sandbox to build the import templates and tested them with live data, importing them into the production environment was quickly accomplished. By early afternoon, GO LIVE happened smoothly and without incident. Over the next few days, expected fine tuning occurred with no disruption or consternation. Karen is already planning on SageCRM, sales tax automation, and several new projects.
During the entire process, I was able to work on Karen’s system in the cloud on MyHostedDSD from my office, home, and a hotel while on a brief out of town trip by simply opening up a browser and logging in. Both Karen and I are convinced that Sage 100 in the cloud is a great solution for her company and the time is right for ERP cloud computing on MyHostedDSD.
Written by Bob Pfahnl, General Manager at DSD San Jose