Cloud solutions and Sage

by on 25/11/2011

I’ve had a number of conversations over the last couple of weeks with clients who are keen to take advantage all that the cloud has to offer. They understand the benefits that solutions such as Microsoft’s new Office 365 offering can bring, enabling them to store their email and files in the cloud rather than on their own server.

When they understand the principle, they start thinking big. Taking the move the the cloud to it’s inevitable conclusion, they want to get rid of their server completely. They want to get rid of the big noisy expensive box in the corner that is prone to random failures and see the cloud as providing that.

But what about Sage?

By chance, all of these clients run Sage and there isn’t a simple solution to moving that to the cloud, at least not at the moment.

There are 3 main options to solve the problem:

  • Move to a dedicated online accounting system, for example the excellent Xero. These systems are superb, but need to be configured, data has to be imported and there is a learning curve for users.
  • Sage has finally caught up with the rest of the computing world and introduced it’s own online product in the last few months. However, SageOne is limited in its functionality and only really appropriate for the simplest of SMEs.
  • Various companies offer full Sage products, for example Sage Line 50, as hosted services. However, users have to access these through remote desktop connections rather than the far more modern method of running software within an Internet browser. This works, but isn’t really the point of the cloud, and misses out on many of the advantages.

So there isn’t an easy right answer.

Sage is behind the curve here – they need to introduce full versions of their products that run in the cloud, and they need to do it quickly. Until that time, the most difficult part of any cloud strategy may well be what to do about the accounting system.

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