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Sage Desktop to stop working

Is what our clents are being told correct - or is it a sales ploy?

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Several of our clients using Sage Desktop have been contacted by Sage and (according to our clients) told that their desktop version of Sage will stop working in September and they need to change to Sage Cloud.

I can't see how this would happen. In my mind, Sage Desktop is stand alone software which will work even if the computer isn't connected to the internet.

So, is Sage's claim correct and, if so why? Is Sage's claim a load of rubbish?

Can someone clarify? 

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By Mr_awol
23rd Jun 2022 09:25

It shouldnt stop working if not connected to the internet - although it depends if they have reintroduced a licence manager like they did many years ago (version 9?) and subsequently withdrew because it was [***].

However, in all honesty, most people using is will be doing so as they are VAT registered, and as such, with MTD, i would expect few people could actually use it without connecting it online at some point. If SAGE choose not to update older software to meet new HMRC protocols, then that would effectively mean it 'stopped working'.

Are they actually saying it will physically stop (doubt it TBH) or are they saying it will no longer be supported and as such could stop being able to submit returns without notice, wont be compatible with MTDfIT, etc? To all intents and purposes that kills the software so may be what your clients are taking from the call, but not necessarily technically correct.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Hugo Fair
23rd Jun 2022 12:30

"Are they actually saying it will physically stop (doubt it TBH)"
... I'm afraid that your doubts are unfounded.

With the caveat of there being a few 'exempt' versions, they ARE indeed saying that it will physically stop working - in the most fundamental way (by preventing you from logging in)!

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By johnt27
23rd Jun 2022 09:29

It depends on what version your clients are using. Sage are withdrawing Sage desktop in limited circumstances ie the ones they can control. I posted a previous thread about this when the announcement was made - can't remember which versions are affected but it's essentially the ones that connect to Sage to verify the licence.

Depending on how your clients use Sage 50 a move to SBCA may or may not be suitable.

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By vulcan59
23rd Jun 2022 09:34

Details of the switch-off are available on their website:

https://gb-kb.sage.com/portal/app/portlets/results/viewsolution.jsp?solu...

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By Hugo Fair
23rd Jun 2022 12:26

If you want the full story you'll have to pick your way through the thread here ... https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/sage-50-cloud-wont-work-unle...

Be warned: there are some contradictory statements therein - partly due to people changing their mind as the duplicity of Sage is uncovered, but mostly because Sage seem to delight in issuing statements that are unclear and inconsistent!

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By Paul Morgan
23rd Jun 2022 12:30

We would love to clear things up and provide more context to some of the points made within this thread.

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is an external security protocol widely used in communications over the internet. Sage 50 Accounts communicates over the internet, silently, when performing license validation with the Sage License Server. It then communicates back to your software that a valid license exists and allows you to keep using your program. TLS is not a Sage product or a Sage Software, it is an external security protocol. 

We are not terminating certain versions of Sage 50 Accounts, but the fundamentals for them to work are being changed. We are supportive of the decision to protect you, and your data, to eradicate any risks, which could be detrimental to your business. We are contacting all impacted customers with options available to them, under no circumstances is anyone obliged to move to our fully cloud solution Sage Accounting.

Please visit our help centre article here http://1sa.ge/AyWY50JFyk2 for more information.

Sage Social Media Team.

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Replying to Paul Morgan:
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By Hugo Fair
23rd Jun 2022 12:43

See the above-mentioned thread for examples of contradictory statements issued by Sage over the last few days.

FWIW the reference to TLS is a deliberate red herring - in that everything you state is correct but misleading.
Sage, along with nearly all software developers, uses 3rd-party components in its products ... and the decision as to which to use and where/how to use them is in this case entirely a decision of Sage's (i.e. you made the choice).
Like all software developers you were (and are) aware that these components will evolve (not always with backwards compatibility), so it remains your choice as to what you do when those situations arise.
In this case you've taken the decision (presumably on commercial grounds) NOT to develop a simple routine that would allow the continued use of most of your 'perpetual licence' desktop products ... but it is NOT a decision being imposed on Sage!

Sage needs to grow up and do two things:
1. Ensure that there is only one 'story' (explaining the background and, more importantly, the impact on clients) emanating from your various departments & staff; and
2. Have the decency to admit that your strategy will abandon a (fairly small) section of your client-base, which of course Sage has the right to do.

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Replying to Paul Morgan:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
23rd Jun 2022 13:09

So in short, when your software checks for the licence it wont work?

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Replying to Paul Morgan:
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By rmillaree
23rd Jun 2022 18:03

"We would love to clear things "

I would love it if you did (in best Kevin Keegan Voice) - several points i have below

Paul the problem with your statement is that many clients are using sage and have no need or want to either update their product or connect their product to the internet. I understand your stance for clients who need mtd support that requires updating and internet access .

For a non vat registered customer who has no need to connect to the internet to update anything on the desktop and is happy with that - would you not agree that its your choice to disconnect them ?
there would be an easy fix to allow these long term loyal customers to keep using the product as it is now with no intenet access- just switch off anything that connects to the net.

"We are not terminating certain versions of Sage 50 Accounts, but the fundamentals for them to work are being changed."

Hmmmm can you explain in laymans terms please - if someone cant carry on using their product surely they are being terminated !

Are you saying not being able to access is different from being terminated ? really?

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By DKB-Sheffield
23rd Jun 2022 14:01

Notwithstanding all of the above...

On the 'sales ploy' question, it's not Sage that seem to be marketing it to their benefit.

I've spent some time this week searching for a 'lower-mid-market' cloud solution to replace Sage 50 for one client. Many have jumped on the bandwagon citing the forthcoming change should be the key driver for moving away from Sage 50! Some of the tactics are a little opaque (e.g. quotes along the lines of "Sage 50 will stop working in September" are a misnomer), and in all honesty has been enough to put me off the alternate provider!

In all honesty, it makes no difference to the client (who is completely 'subscriptioned' up), they just want a true cloud package (without sharing violations).

However, it's certainly creating a marketing ploy/ sales opportunity for others!

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By jpcentral
24th Jun 2022 07:50

I have done some research on this and this is what I think is the situation.

Sage uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) to verify that a licence is valid. This involves the software connecting to a Microsoft server for confirmation that the licence is ok. No response from the TLS Server and the software stops working.

Sage appear to be putting blame on to Microsoft for this.

However, for some time now, Microsoft has been saying that software should be set to use the LATEST version of TLS - not to specify a particular version. Microsoft is not withdrawing TLS completely - just updating it for security reasons.

I don't know why Sage has not been doing what Microsoft suggested. Maybe they have a reason.

Instead of causing a great deal of inconvenience (and cost) to a large number of people, Sage could (presumably) issue some sort of "patch" to enable the software to connect to the latest version of TLS.

They could also allow those affected customers of theirs to upgrade to a later version, which will continue to work, either free of charge or at a small fee.

Earlier versions of Sage are used for a number of reasons. Charities, which are not VAT registered, may be using Sage. Companies with specific addons or required conections may also be using Sage.

One of our clients has paid for their verson of Sage and for an Addon specific to their industry. They are now being told that they have to pay £150+ per month to achieve the same functionality.

Another is a small charity which has been using an older version of Sage for a number of years.

Why should people who purchased something in good faith FROM SAGE now have to start forking out more money - unnecessarily.

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Replying to jpcentral:
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By rmillaree
24th Jun 2022 08:54

"Sage uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) to verify that a licence is valid."

So basically all sage need to do is switch off the licence requests and the program should work if there is no other reason to connect to the internet. Probably a 30 minute task sorting that.

"Why should people who purchased something in good faith FROM SAGE now have to start forking out more money - unnecessarily."

Exactly unfortuantely the worst part is some of the poor staff at stage (presumably Paul Maorgan included) are forced to defend a position that is clearly "highly misleading" - if i am wrong in my assumptions i am happy to be corrected here. Strange how big buisness when they get it completely wrong really do need to dig a giant hole for themselves before they do the right thing - hopefully sense may prevail - daily mail would love a sad charity workers face saying sage "terminated me and i cant do my books"

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Replying to jpcentral:
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By Hugo Fair
24th Jun 2022 10:29

Thanks ... a much clearer exposition of what I was trying to explain earlier (although I tend to get bogged down in some techno-speak).

FWIW, many others also simply want to retain use/access to their historical data (without massive conversion effort/costs) ... but there's no need to justify *why* what Sage is doing as morally wrong & reprehensible, it's a commercial decision they've made and which they are forcing onto others.

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