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Hi

We are a firm of accountants based in East London.

We have a modest IT system with 12 work stations.

We are now on to the 3rd IT support company. Each time they are OK with dealing with routine issues over Windows, etc. However, they have all floundered when it came to dealing with SAGE programmes. As a firm, we have SAGE payroll; Line 50; Corporation tax and Personal tax. It is, therefore, essential that we have confidence that the IT support company can handle any issues over the software.In the past, we have had significant down time which has been extremely expensive as well as frustrating.

Can anyone recommend a company that would fit the bill?

Many thanks

Replies (21)

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By merlyn
10th Oct 2014 13:58

Line 50

I spent 20 years+ in IT support with the past 8 of those being a large accountancy practice so have a very good work knowledge of all Sage products, but sadly even I wouldn't offer to support them.

Whilst the Sage products themselves are pretty easy to setup and configure they are so badly written that when used in a multi-user environment they often suffer from data corruption with the only fix being to send the data file back to Sage for repair.  Which isn't an IT support but an application issue, so no support company will be able to help.

Sorry but personally I would look at moving from Sage or going for their cloud solution as that way it's all on them when things don't work.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By johndon68
11th Oct 2014 23:23

Sage Data Fixing

merlyn wrote:
Whilst the Sage products themselves are pretty easy to setup and configure they are so badly written that when used in a multi-user environment they often suffer from data corruption with the only fix being to send the data file back to Sage for repair.  Which isn't an IT support but an application issue, so no support company will be able to help.

Absolutely no need to rely on Sage to correct corrupt, there are a small band (3 that I know of) of Sage Developers who offer data fixing services that are the equal of Sage's service but quicker and, in the vast majority of cases, cheaper than Sage...

John

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
James Reeves
By James Reeves
11th Oct 2014 23:34

Corruption

johndon68 wrote:

there are a small band (3 that I know of) of Sage Developers who offer data fixing services

What a shame they didn't just develop the software not to cause the errors in the first place...

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By johndon68
11th Oct 2014 23:39

Corruption

James Reeves wrote:

What a shame they didn't just develop the software not to cause the errors in the first place...

Whilst I'd certainly not argue, there are somethings outside of Sage's control that can cause corruption.  SMB2 on Windows 7 is a big cause of corruption - there is even an MS Knowledgebase article that states, if switched on, it can corrupt files where multiple user access is required which, of course, is exactly what Sage does.

The new data service in v2015 is designed to stop this sort of thing happening but it's a bit too early to tell if it has made much of a difference...

John

 

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By merlyn
11th Oct 2014 23:43

software

James Reeves wrote:

johndon68 wrote:

there are a small band (3 that I know of) of Sage Developers who offer data fixing services

What a shame they didn't just develop the software not to cause the errors in the first place...

Line 50 was developed a lot of years ago and whilst it tends to work fine for a single user with it locally installed it's when you go multiuser across a network the problems start.

Sage really should address this but then people wouldn't feel the need to upgrade to their more network friendly Line 200 which uses a proper database as it's back end.

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Replying to Tingle140:
Euan's picture
By Euan MacLennan
12th Oct 2014 10:49

TAS Books

merlyn wrote:
Line 50 was developed a lot of years ago and whilst it tends to work fine for a single user with it locally installed it's when you go multiuser across a network the problems start. Sage really should address this but then people wouldn't feel the need to upgrade to their more network friendly Line 200 which uses a proper database as it's back end.

What I don't understand is why Sage, which bought TAS Books several year ago and still maintains it as a separate product, does not abandon its archaic Sage 50 product and base its SME book-keeping software on TAS Books's relational database.

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Replying to Wilson Philips:
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By merlyn
12th Oct 2014 12:40

Sql

Euan MacLennan wrote:

merlyn wrote:
Line 50 was developed a lot of years ago and whilst it tends to work fine for a single user with it locally installed it's when you go multiuser across a network the problems start. Sage really should address this but then people wouldn't feel the need to upgrade to their more network friendly Line 200 which uses a proper database as it's back end.

What I don't understand is why Sage, which bought TAS Books several year ago and still maintains it as a separate product, does not abandon its archaic Sage 50 product and base its SME book-keeping software on TAS Books's relational database.

There was talk a few year ago about Line 50 moving to a MySQL backend, but that seems to have been shelved.

They do need to do something as their current database engine is laughable, but then guess you get what you pay for......or move to Xero ;-)

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Replying to Accountant A:
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By johndon68
12th Oct 2014 23:50

SQL

merlyn wrote:
There was talk a few year ago about Line 50 moving to a MySQL backend, but that seems to have been shelved. They do need to do something as their current database engine is laughable, but then guess you get what you pay for......or move to Xero ;-)

They got a long way in development with the MySQL version of Sage 50 but it was dropped with no real explanation as to why...

The new data service 'should' go a long way to make the program more stable/useable in a network (even WAN eventually) environment as it now handles the locking and writing to the database.  I've seen it is use with over 30 users entering sales orders at the same time and it was certainly stable although it's a bit too early in it's life to see if will solve all the problems.  I've already had 2 sets of 2015 data sent to me to fix albeit I don't know for certain if the errors were there before the data was upgraded...

John

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Replying to Susan Keane:
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By merlyn
12th Oct 2014 23:56

about time

johndon68 wrote:

merlyn wrote:
There was talk a few year ago about Line 50 moving to a MySQL backend, but that seems to have been shelved. They do need to do something as their current database engine is laughable, but then guess you get what you pay for......or move to Xero ;-)

They got a long way in development with the MySQL version of Sage 50 but it was dropped with no real explanation as to why...

The new data service 'should' go a long way to make the program more stable/useable in a network (even WAN eventually) environment as it now handles the locking and writing to the database.  I've seen it is use with over 30 users entering sales orders at the same time and it was certainly stable although it's a bit too early in it's life to see if will solve all the problems.  I've already had 2 sets of 2015 data sent to me to fix albeit I don't know for certain if the errors were there before the data was upgraded...

John

Least they are finally doing something, guessing they dropped MySQL as would have required firms setting up a central mysql database server of some sort and then a local engine for when people wanted to travel with data, which for a lot of small firms would be far too complicated.

I've seen Sage line 50 with 150 users all working happily over a WAN but using thin client so the application and data sets were all located on servers sat on the same set of switches.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By arcus
12th Oct 2014 12:06

I would tend to agree with merlyn's comments.  I ran an IT support company for 7 years.  It is very difficult to offer blanket support for what is a 3rd party application - which should have it's own separate service plan.  Our company always charged extra to manage any 3rd party problems as it's outside our control.  Managing 3rd parties is also very time consuming and costly, to do properly anyway.

Seems you don't have an IT problem per se, it's a Sage problem.

If you want the IT company to manage these issues for you, and you are willing to pay extra for the time to manage them (assuming you also have Sage support), then I would present that to the next IT company you meet and find one that will agree to those terms.

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Euan's picture
By Euan MacLennan
10th Oct 2014 13:58

I am rather surprised

... that you expect an independent IT support company to deal with your application software.  If you have problems with Sage program(me)s, why doesn't Sage Support deal with it for you?  If they don't, why not change to a software supplier who does support their own products?

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Replying to JacF:
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By merlyn
10th Oct 2014 14:10

Sage Support

Euan MacLennan wrote:

... that you expect an independent IT support company to deal with your application software.  If you have problems with Sage program(me)s, why doesn't Sage Support deal with it for you?  If they don't, why not change to a software supplier who does support their own products?

 

Have you tried dealing with Sage support?  First off you have to buy Sage Cover to get them to help with their buggy software, then when they finally agree it's data corruption (as it usually is) unless you have the top level of cover you have to wait 3 days to get your data fixed and also have to pay if you just have basic cover.

The words protection and racket spring to mind.

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Replying to JacF:
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By cbp99
12th Oct 2014 09:02

Ditto

Euan MacLennan wrote:

... that you expect an independent IT support company to deal with your application software.  If you have problems with Sage program(me)s, why doesn't Sage Support deal with it for you?  If they don't, why not change to a software supplier who does support their own products?

Ditto

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By girlofwight
10th Oct 2014 14:13

SLA
It may be this is an issue around service level agreement?

The firm I use - well out of your area - are taked to deal with sage/key time/Drummohr et al on our behalf. In other words if it's outside of their expertise, which isn't surprising, then they are tasked to deal with the suppliers help desk.

Also in the SLA, agree what's cover in a fixed fee and what are extras.

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By Hosted Accountants Ltd
10th Oct 2014 15:59

Go hosted...

We have over 200 firms we look after on our hosted desktop platform - most of those have some or many Sage applications. Happy to quote you for looking after the whole thing. Also means you don't need to worry about back-up. No long contracts. Just an idea....

Case studies are here - http://www.hostedaccountants.co.uk/case-studies/

Regards

Dan

www.hostedaccountants.co.uk

0800 440 2282 

 

 

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By CA-London
10th Oct 2014 16:49

Just don't use Sage :)

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Replying to Cherish639:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
10th Oct 2014 20:07

3 IT companies vs 1 Sage

Hmmm. So 3 IT companies have failed to deal with Sage tech issues. Is that the IT companies being incompetent or maybe, perhaps, possibly could it be something wrong with Sage software? Difficult to imagine I know, but it's worth checking all possibilities.

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By merlyn
11th Oct 2014 23:28

johnlondon68
Still seems wrong that people have to pay for their data to be fixed just because the products are so buggy.

Sorry John forgot about you. For those who don't know john is a Sage expert so if he can't suggest a support company who will also cover Sage then you have no chance.

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By quintech-computers
06th Jul 2016 09:22

Hi,

If this is something you are still interested in, I'm sure we can help.

Quintech Computer Systems have been supplying IT Services and Application Software to businesses large and small throughout Gloucestershire and beyond for over 25 years. As specialists and trusted partners in Windows Server technologies, Microsoft Office 365, networking and both Sage 200 and SAP Business One software, we are able to give clients proactive advice and support on all aspects of business technology.

Our Managed Services with Remote Monitoring and Management capabilities enables us to offer a virtual IT department allowing our clients to concentrate on running their businesses.

Kind regards

Henry Walker
Sales Account Manager
Quintech Computer Systems Ltd.
[email protected]
+44 (0)1684 882700

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By JCresswellTax
06th Jul 2016 09:29

I can recommend reviewing taxfiler to replace your personal tax and corporation tax products. Its cloud based so you won't require IT support to deal with it.

Also, it is bloddy brilliant and A LOT cheaper then sage.

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Replying to JCresswellTax:
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By quintech-computers
06th Jul 2016 09:32

That's assuming they don't have any bespoke Sage addons and/or utilise any reporting in Sage? Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picutre.

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