Friendly Systems Newsletter February 2012

Desert Museum Tuscon by Phil McIntosh

Collaboration - Get Better Without Getting Bigger

What if there was a way to gather the best minds in your field or industry, and communicate daily about the issues you face, trading ideas and discovering what works and what doesn't? When you need to do something you haven't done before, wouldn't it be great to be able to benefit from others' mistakes without having to make them yourself?

Fortunately Sage consultants have such a thing. 90 Minds is a group of independent consultants, mostly with Sage 100 (fka MAS 90, hence the name) experience, but also other Sage products. About a year and a half ago, changes in Sage's support policy lead them to open up the group to more members, and Friendly Systems was among those who joined. Last fall, Phil McIntosh was one of five of the new members chosen to join the "inner circle".

On a daily basis, 90 Minds members use Socialcast (think of it as a private LinkedIn or Facebook) to collaborate on technical and business issues, and we generally get better answers faster from each other than from Sage support, and at all hours of the day, night and weekend. We also use this to alerts all the members to issues on new releases (ie, we are not doing any upgrades to Sage 100 version 2013 at least until the next service update comes out - the thread started by one intrepid soul is now up to about 70 comments, and while we have discovered workarounds for some of the issues, some of them will need code fixes from Sage).

Among the additional benefits of being a full member is attendance at the annual Meeting of the Minds, held this year in San Diego February 15-16. (Yes, that means a bunch of us were travelling on Valentines Day and wondering why it took so long to get a table for 15 at a restaurant. We need lives. Challenge accepted.) Several vendors made presentations, including Avalara (sales tax compliance), Altec (document management) and Debbie Hill of Sage weathering a rather merciless grilling to show us the improvements in the latest version of Sage Intelligence, the Excel-based reporting tool now included with Sage 100 and Sage 300. There were also presentations made and discussions lead by various 90 Minds members in their particular specialties, with lots of input from everyone present.

Friendly Systems Partners With DSD Business Systems

We are very pleased to announce that Friendly Systems, your Sage software service provider, and DSD Business Systems, have partnered together in order to expand our services and support to our existing Sage software customer base. Going forward, we will continue doing business as Friendly Systems, Inc. but our Sage Software and Annual Maintenance Plan billing will be under Friendly Software a division of DSD Business Systems.

With Sage pushing its "cross sell" initiative (you may have already received a call from them about Sage HRMS (fka Abra), the Sage Inventory Advisor, Sage Fixed Assets or other products), we needed a way to be able to provide you with the experienced service you've come to expect, not just on the Sage 100 and Sage 300 ERP and Sage CRM products, but on all of Sage's offerings. Being part of the DSD ecosystem allows all of us access to experts in each of these products.




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