How you implement Sage 200 is just as important as the implementation process itself. Generally, there are two paths you can take: a Sage Business Partner, or a Vendor.
These two things may seem similar, but there are important differences. The choice you make will affect how well Sage 200 works for your business.
In this post, we’ll compare both approaches, including their benefits and drawbacks, to help you decide which one is best for your business.
What is a Sage Business Partner (BP)?
A Sage Business Partner is a specialised company that’s responsible for looking after your Sage software. They will be formally registered with Sage UK, and support every aspect of a system’s lifecycle. This includes day-to-day helpdesk support and upgrading current software.
What are the Benefits of Choosing a Sage Business Partner?
In-Depth Product Knowledge
Sage Business Partners only work with Sage products. They have extensive knowledge of the software options and can advise which ones are suitable for your company. They also have similar knowledge when it comes to customisations of the product and can suggest add-ons that you may not have considered, but that could help you to bring Sage 200 into more areas of your business.
This was something that was key when we were working with Dalrod to implement both Sage 200 and Excel Data Bridge.
As with any new software, no one expects you to become a Sage expert overnight. After you install it, you’ll likely need support and advice. That’s where a Sage Business Partner comes in handy. An expert is always available to help you – keeping your software working for you even after installation.
Both of the above points build into this third benefit. Despite their specialisms, Business Partners can build long-lasting relationships with companies. They can support you, not only during the software implementation period, but also for a long time afterwards. This means they have a unique perspective on your business and can help it grow consistently.
What are the drawbacks of choosing a Sage Business Partner?
If you’re looking for a quick implementation, a Sage Business Partner’s in-depth approach might not be right for you.
This detailed approach can lead to higher costs, meaning a Sage Business Partner won’t be the cheapest option.
What is a Sage Vendor?
A Sage Vendor sells and distributes Sage software products, like Sage 200, to customers. Unlike a Sage Business Partner, the solutions they offer are more standardised.
What are the Benefits of Choosing a Sage Vendor?
Sage Vendors prioritise efficiency, so software implementations can be faster compared to Business Partners.
As a result of implementing more standardised solutions, costs with vendors tend to be lower.
What are the drawbacks of choosing a Sage Vendor?
Lack of Customisation
Although Sage Vendors are fast, their standardised approach may not fully meet your business needs. At best, this may require you to make repeated changes in order to get the software to work the way you want it to. At worst, the Sage software itself may become unworkable – not ideal if you’re trying to simplify processes by switching to Sage. Plus, these changes may add up to make the originally cheaper option more expensive in the long term.
Support Isn’t Personalised
When it comes to support, software vendors are often victims of their own success. Being so large means they can deal with more customers. However, their size also restricts the level of support they can provide. This creates the obvious challenge of vendors not being able to provide tailored support that is bespoke to your business. In most cases, their support will only be available while the implementation is ongoing. So, if there are additional tasks that you need assistance with post-implementation, it is difficult to re-join the process and receive support.
|Sage Business Partner||Sage Vendor|
|In-depth expertise in Sage 200||Less in-depth expertise|
|Higher initial implementation costs, higher ROI||Lower initial implementation costs, lower ROI|
|Better understanding of specific business needs||Standardised support; less personalised for your business|
|Long-term relationship||More transactional relationship|
As you can see from the above, there isn’t a simple answer to which is better out of Sage Vendors or Sage Business Partners because both options have their strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, you should make a decision based on what you want your business to achieve from a Sage software implementation.
If you’re thinking about using a Sage Business Partner for your implementation, why not try PKF Smith Cooper Systems? We’ve been awarded Sage Business Partner of the Year in the Midlands for the last 6 years, and have helped hundreds of businesses across the UK install and support Sage solutions.
Contact us on 01332 959008.
Interested to know more about our Sage solutions?
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