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Sage will phase out Sage 500 ERP in five years -- the only product for which Sage executives provided a specific end-of-life timeline. Sage will eventually migrate Sage 500 ERP customers to Sage ERP X3.
"I personally feel that Sage 500 ERP is a great product," said Joe Noll, president of RKL eSolutions, a Lancaster, Pa.-based Sage partner. It has some dated technology on the [user interface], but so does a lot of their other products including Sage ERP X3 which they are calling the flagship product.
"Sage 500 ERP has a great database and [application programming interface] architecture, a very loyal partner channel and a very extensive offering of third-party add-ons. I feel they need to keep Sage 500 ERP around to fill [the needs of] a certain group of customers that do not fit within any of their other product offerings," Noll said.
Some partners still found it hard to believe that Sage will follow through on discontinuing Sage 500 ERP.
It's been a very successful product for us," said Cherry Gray Williamson, sales director at Emerald TC, a Sage partner is Suwanee, Ga., noting that the Sage 500 ERP business makes up about 80 percent of Emerald TC's sales. The company also works with Sage 100, Sage ERP X3 and most other Sage products.
While Emerald TC works with Sage ERP X3, Williamson said it currently can't "scale down" enough to meet the needs of smaller manufacturing customers like Sage 500 ERP can. She noted that the product generates about $30 million in annual maintenance revenue for Sage. And, she pointed out that Sage is working with development partner Escape Velocity Systems to build a new .Net-based user interface for Sage 500 ERP.
All that made her question whether Sage 500 ERP really will disappear. "A lot can happen in five years," she said.