The SageSwitchGuideEight warning signs that youraccounting software may bestifling your business
Over 500 businesses have alreadyswitched from Sage to the NetSuiteBusiness Cloud. They’re alreadyrealising the benefits freedom offers.Freedom from aging business systems.Freedom from fragmented reporting.Freedom from seemingly never-endingmanagement costs.Of course, the examples shown in thisguide are just a fraction of the total –but their stories illustrate just what’spossible when you leave behind the oldto embrace something new, somethingbetter. And more are joining themevery day.These organisations have discoveredwhat it means to use a truly integratedsystem – no more redundant data entry,no more wasted time, the ability tostart anywhere. They’ve found that it’spossible to get a complete picture ofwhat’s happening in their companiesboth quickly and easily. And they’vedone it all without the IT complexitythey’ve come to hate.It doesn’t end there. Far from simplybeing freed from the limitations thathave held them back, they’ve alsodiscovered capabilities they didn’tknow were possible (or at least wereimpossible with Sage). And they’ve doneit all while reducing their total cost ofownership by up to 59% (these aren’tour figures by the way, theycome from independent analysts,the Yankee Group).There has never been a better time tomove to a better solution. One that cannot only help you manage your companymore effectively but actually transformyour business.This guide highlights the eight warningsigns we see in so many Sage customers.You’ll see how companies just like yourshave faced the same problems you’refacing right now and not just survived,but thrived in a post-Sage world.Join the revolution atnetsuite.co.uk/sage
Sage Customers: Release yourpotential. Join us in the cloud.Remain calm. Assess your situation.We’re going to make an assumption:If you’ve come this far, you suspect thatyour Sage system won’t support the wayyou want your business to grow.Know that you’re not alone. Over 500companies have switched from Sage toa cloud-powered solution from NetSuite.And IDC reports that demand for cloudcomputing solutions will grow four timesfaster than the worldwide IT market asa whole over the next four years.In fact, escaping from Sage is a much-travelled path that looks somethinglike this:The Honeymoon: Probably at somepoint a decade or two ago, you investedin Sage. It may have been your firstaccounting software. You were eagerto automate how your books weremanaged. Sage fitted the bill.You were happy.The Hangover: Things start to go souras you seek to grow your business. Youadd CRM and e-commerce applicationsthat don’t easily sync with Sage.You struggle. You’re not happy anymore.The Cure: You recognise that Sageisn’t going to work for you anymore,and start looking around for alternatives.Peers recommend a leading cloud-basedsystem, and soon you can enjoy thebenefits of an integrated solutionfrom NetSuite.Going from hangover to cureIf you’re in the midst of the hangoverphase, you want to distinguish betweenthe kinds of pains that are just part ofdoing business, and the kinds of painsthat stem from outdated software andbusiness systems like Sage.That’s what this guide is all about.We’ve combed through the stories ofcountless Sage Switchers to identify thekinds of pains that companies have shedby going for a cloud-based solution.So here’s a checklist of eight experiencesfrom former Sage users. For eachexperience, we provide some examplesand statements from other businessesthat have made the switch.We invite you to consider whetherthese situations apply to you, and –if they do – hope you’ll make theswitch too.There is an answer, and you’reclose to the cure.You will survive. Read on…The SageSwitchGuide
Too many applicationsdoing different thingswith the same informationLiberate yourself from allthose applications!Does this sound familiar? You need toraise an invoice. What should take fiveminutes takes half an hour because youneed to query three different applications– one to determine if the delivery you’reinvoicing has been fulfilled, anotherto see if the customer has made anyadditional orders and a third to createand send the invoice.For many Sage users, this is the everydaysituation. Two former Sage customersshare their experiences:“With Sage/SBT we spent a lot oftime and money customising andintegrating different modules. It wasa nightmare! It took three systemsjust to make one sale happenand there was no way we couldsystematically track each laptopthat we shipped.”Owner, LaptopSchools.com“We were using three differentproducts – Sage Line 50 foraccounting, ACT! for CRM, andExcel for stock control and the rest.With so many systems, things weredisjointed and all over the place.”Agam Jain, Managing Director, JayexTechnology, UKIt shouldn’t be like this.Ironically, many businesses endedup at this juncture as a result ofgrowth. Offices that have automatedtheir accounting often want to get afirmer grip on the customer lifecycle,which may mean CRM systems,opportunity management ore-commerce applications.Because their Sage system didn’t supportor integrate well with these kinds offunctions, they had to bolt on separateapplications. What emerges is anad-hoc architecture that doesn’t scalewell, inhibits growth and can introduceerrors; we’ve likened it to an application“hairball”.Sage users that have switched toNetSuite have managed to jettisonthis hairball in favour of a single,integrated system. The quickestbenefit: Deal with data once,in one place. Then move on.Sound quicker? Our customerswill tell you: It is.The SageSwitchGuide
Errors proliferate as datatravels on and off ouraccounting islandHealthy data = healthy bottom lineFormer Sage customers described theirexperience with Sage as like living onan accounting island. We’ve alreadycovered the issue of dealing with multipleapplications; another problem is simplythe frequency of errors islands ofdata create.Errors enter your business by threebasic paths:1. Data entered in another system ismis-keyed when entered in Sage2. Data entered in Sage gets corruptedwhen it leaves the island fore-commerce land (for example)3. Data is updated in one place only.Thereafter, no one can reconcilewhich data is correctAccording to PriceWaterhouseCoopersand KPMG, more than 90% of businessspreadsheets have material errors inthem. This is how they get there.Business owners know the acute pain oferror-filled data: “We were duplicating,triplicating and in some cases evenquadruplicating data entry! Worsethan that, the data wasn’t alwaysconsistent,” said the CFO of i-nexus,a Sage Switcher.i-nexus and others like them that havemoved to NetSuite’s cloud-driven solutionnote considerably less trouble and expenserelated to errors.Because data entered once online isautomatically synced across theirbusiness processes, the issue ofreconciling inconsistent data vanishesovernight. Errors no longer lead tofaulty decisions. And less time is spenton case-handling and customer serviceafter errors hit their clients.Sage Switchers would say: Don’t letyour accounting system sit on an island.A unified, cloud-based system willreduce errors, and the hangovers thaterrors create.The SageSwitchGuide
Our systems can’t keep upwith the pace of our lifeUpdating software versionsshouldn’t be your problemUsers are impervious to software updates.Even with countless reminders poppingup on the screen (“A new update isavailable!”), the average user just clicksright past it and proceeds to what he orshe was aiming to do in the first place.And that’s how it ought to be. Youopen your ERP application to producea report, not to update your software.The facts back this up: An Aberdeenreport stated that only 28% ofbusinesses are on the latest ERPrelease of their software.The version upgrade gamewould be comical, if it didn’tcarry real penalties:• Regulations change. Outdated Sageversions don’t• Some applications don’t get updated,leading to costly, painful upgrades•Outmoded versions of one applicationstop talking to updated versions ofother applicationsFormer Sage customers spent muchof their life on increasingly outdatedversions. It’s understandable; updating istime-consuming and introduces errors asdata moves over to the new version.Some of the most profound andimmediate rejoicing heard from userswho adopt a cloud-based, software-as-a-service platform concerns just this:“…from an IT point of view, thehosted software-as-a-service deliverymodel meant there was very littleto do and the costs would be muchlower. We were excited,” said oneformer Sage customer.Another cited easier Internet networking,a lighter hardware investment and nohidden costs for upgrading. You don’tneed to hire an IT specialist, buy kit ormanage data backup.You don’t want to play softwarecatch-up for eternity, and youshouldn’t have to.The SageSwitchGuide
We pay too many people torekey data, and nothing elseHow you handle data shouldn’thave anything to do with handsBusiness owners and finance managersknow, perhaps better than anyone,that time is priceless, which is why thisexperience is so important.There are three fundamental ways timeand energy is lost working with Sage:1. People whose only, or main, functionin the company is to re-enter data2. People who spend far too long tofind the right information, and3. People who have to get other peopleto help them (because they can’t getsomething themselves - self-service)We’re not just talking about someonespending too much time during theday entering data. For some formerSage customers, it was a questionof employing people – one, two,many – only to transfer data fromone silo to another.2Pure UK Ltd. estimated that staffwon 25% more time to focus on salesafter dropping Sage and the need tomanually transfer data from applicationto application.If you’re a Sage user, no matter howmuch time you spend entering data,it’s probably more than it should be,and more than necessary. Add to thisthe amount of time other peoplespend looking for “lost” data.Customers that have made the switchwould unanimously argue that thecloud increases productivity. A reportfrom Nucleus Research summed uptheir experiences:“Businesses that run NetSuite areable to dramatically reduce manualprocesses by integrating order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes,eliminating time spent rekeying dataacross these processes by 90-100%.”Emarket.com can corroborate. CEOSuraj Sharma said: “NetSuite not onlyreplaced Sage, it has revolutionisedthe way we do business, resulting inefficiency gains of 20%.”More reasons to cloud up.The SageSwitchGuide
Four examples of the samecustomer live in our IT systemsEnter that customer once,and only once!For each of your customers, there is onetrue state of the relationship. But manyformer Sage users knew a time whenthere were three or more versions ofthe business truth.One used a bespoke customer databaseon a server in its head office inWarwick. None of its information couldbe shared. “This caused massiveproblems. Things tended to drop offthe radar and we had no idea whowe were reaching from a customerperspective,” said the Client ServicesDirector at AbilityNet.Typically, customers are multi-dimensional,with many different processes goingon at the same time, and multiple rolesinvolved on both sides.This means the window for errorand miscommunication is large.With everyone updating disparatesystems simultaneously, oversight is lost.The outcomes aren’t pretty. FormerSage customers report a number ofissues arising from multiple instancesof customers on in-house systems:• Billing, fulfilment and customerservice errors• Delays in resolving issues andquestions, and• Decaying customer satisfaction and,ultimately, retentionWarmup Plc was one UK company thatfelt these kinds of Sage pains.“Now I can produce much morecomprehensive sales analysis byarea, by customer, by product, withrelevant YOY comparisons forpresentation to the board; previously,I had to ask accounts for informationfrom Sage”. Tony Barry, UK SalesDirector, Warmup Plc.With a CRM system that ties intothe full accounting back-end andtransactional history, one customerremains… one customer. That’s arevelation for many Sage customersthat have made the switch.The SageSwitchGuide
We know less than competitorsbecause our reporting is slowCreate reports yourself – don’t rely on ITKnowledge is power – that’s a given.But for many Sage users, reporting(the route to knowledge) can be apainful experience.Listen to this former Sage customer:“We used ACT! for contactmanagement, Gemini for problemmanagement, Excel for customerquotations and Sage Line 50 for theaccounts. We really struggled toproduce any accurate and relevantbusiness analysis information, andin many cases we stopped botheringto ask for it.”Another company explained how, in anaverage month, 1.5 percent of turnoverwas overdue. Yet, without fast andreliable reporting, they struggled toaccount for the shortcomings andchase them down accordingly.Again, the culprit for most of theseproblems is growth. The ad-hoc, finger-on-the-pulse kind of reporting thatworked when Sage was installed, nolonger seems to work well in a rapidlygrowing firm.Customers that have switched saythat moving to a cloud-based systemimproves reporting in a few key ways:• Reporting is self-service; you can build custom reports without calling in the IT artillery• Reports are in real-time; you don’t needto build in a cushion of error• Reporting spans the entire business;you don’t have to look at the pictureone application silo at a timeLightspeed sped up after makingthe switch.“NetSuite gives us a single view ofthe customer, rather than havingcustomer data all over the place.We have strengthened customersupport and customer relations, andwe’ve been able to speed up orderprocessing while improving systemavailability at the same time,” saidCarl Cox, VP of Operations and CFO.There it is: speed, and power.Thanks to the cloud.The SageSwitchGuide
Our systems, and expenses, weregrowing as fast as our businessWith the cloud, you can serve more,with lessSuffering from growing pains? Manycompanies that have made the switchcan empathise with you.Rococo Chocolates is one. After earninga great reputation at its flagship Londonstore, Rococo was rapidly growingthrough prestigious retail chains, but at acost: “I was getting tired of the [SageLine 50] constant support thing, withadd-ons and upgrades that didn’tdeliver what we needed,”said Financial Controller Gerry Kerins.“Since we implemented NetSuite,sales have shot up 25%.”Basically all Sage software requires youto manage the hardware, servers anddatabases, in addition to upgrading,troubleshooting and maintaining theapplications. These things carry ahidden cost.A study by the Yankee Group directlycompared the total cost of ownershipof NetSuite and a combination of Sageproducts. The study concluded thatthe NetSuite cloud-based serviceprovided cost savings compared toSage of 24 – 59%.At the sharp end of a small- tomedium-sized business, losingmoney while you grow feelsparticularly painful. You want tobe able to direct that hard-won profitback into the business and expand,instead of patching IT systems thataren’t keeping up.Businesses across industries havereduced their IT spend from 3% ofrevenue to 0.1% of revenue, savedover £150,000 annually and slashedERP costs by 80+%, by moving fromtraditional on-premise systems to moderncloud-based business management.Growth shouldn’t have to hurt. FormerSage customers used to spend time andmoney on IT system work-arounds whengrowth came along. Now they don’t.The SageSwitchGuide
Everything had to go throughone guy, slowing it all downEveryone should be able to do whatthey need to do, anywhere!You and whoever else runs yourbusiness’s books shouldn’t feel likea bottleneck. Yet, that’s how manySage users end up feeling.“Outside my office, there werequeues of people wanting accessto business critical data. It was mymachine that accessed the data soeverything from buying a bottle ofmilk with petty cash to customerqueries and order managementcaused constant interruptions to myday – it seemed like everything camethrough me,” said the finance managerof one former Sage customer.There are two interrelated issues here:1. Access: The ability to get at neededbusiness data, wherever and wheneverit’s needed, and2. Permissions: The authority to accessinformation crucial to your roleFormer Sage customers found that,even if Sage gave other users permissionto access data, they were accessing aversion of data that they suspected to beold or incorrect. That’s the same as notgiving them permission. They needed toask someone else for information.One of the key advantages of a cloud-based solution like NetSuite is persistentself-service. Anyone can see what they’resupposed to see, anywhere,at any time.“Being completely online and withinthe cloud allows staff to work just aseffectively from home - enabling aflexibility and work ethic that manybusinesses can’t afford,” said anotherSage customer that made the switch.In this day and age, business shouldn’tbe limited by access to one specificcomputer or database. That’s the coreidea behind the cloud.The SageSwitchGuide
Switch from Sageto Cloud NetSuite.You’ll never look back.If this guide has shown you anything,it’s that there is life beyond Sage.Over 500 companies have alreadysuccessfully made the switch to theNetSuite Business Cloud. Not only havethey found a better way to managetheir companies, they have seen theirbusinesses thrive.Let’s take a moment to revisitsome of them:Rococo Chocolates has seen salesrise by 25% (in a down market).2Pure has increased its turnover30% year-on-year.i-nexus grew its revenue by 800%.Emarket.com increased the efficiency ofits operations, logistics and finance teamsby 20%.And that’s just the beginning. Isn’t it timeyou switched too?netsuite.co.uk/sageNetSuite has been recognised by Gartneras the UK’s fastest growing top 10financial management solution vendorfor three consecutive years, and wasalso recently named the winner of theprestigious 2011 CODiE Award for BestFinancial Management Solution.ENDTAKE YOUR FIRST STEPS TO FREEDOMSwitching from Sage to NetSuite is easier than you think.Learn more at netsuite.co.uk/sageCall us now on 01628 774400 to discuss how you toocan break free.Download one of our white papers to discover whatNetSuite can do for your business:The Benefits of Running Your Business Software in the Cloud:Strategies for Success Why Cloud Computing Matters to Finance The TCO of Cloud Computing in the SMB and Mid-MarketEnterprises The SageSwitchGuide
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