These are challenging times for companies of all sizes as we all do what we can to flatten the infection curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. As all non-essential businesses were mandated to close their offices we've had many requests from clients looking for ways to access Sage 300 from home. As well, it is becoming more likely that this may lead to a longer term shift in how we work.
Finding the right solution for your organization's needs may require a proper needs analysis but this should help you understand the main avenues worth considering:
- The Sage 300 Web screens, introduced in the Sage 300 2016 version with a limited selection of the most frequently used screens offers access to Sage 300 from your web browser.
Pros: Access to Sage 300 from any internet connected device. Cons: Available functionality dependent on your current Sage 300 version. No access to other business applications if required;
Recommended for: Companies needing general access to Sage 300.
- Windows Remote Desktop Services (RDS), previously known as Terminal Services, is a functionality of Microsoft Windows which, once set up by your IT provider, can allow secure access to any internet-connected windows machine remotely.
Pros: Work directly on your office computer with access to all your applications. Cons: More complex setup will require IT support. May be associated costs to buy Microsoft access licences.
Recommended for: Companies with a current IT infrastructure that have an IT department or dedicated IT provider.
- Remote desktop software solutions are available that provide a secure connection to a remote computer for a monthly subscription fee per user. A small application is installed on the end user's Office and home computers which allow them to login and gain full access to their system.
Pros: Easiest to setup and use; Access all your applications; Cons: Monthly cost per user.
Recommended for: Companies looking for access by few employees or for a shorter term.
- Web Server Hosting is a more long-term solution that involves replacing your current onsite server with one that is accessed remotely. It allows you to trade the variable costs of managing your IT infrastructure for a monthly fixed cost.
Pros: Predictable cost; upgrades and reliable backups included and available disaster recovery; Software & data still owned by you; Freedom to focus on your business. Cons: Long-term cost may be higher. Need to re-install your current software.
Recommended for: Companies needing to upgrade their IT infrastructure and/or Sage 300 installation with a view to the long-term.
Lastly, for those of you wondering about Virtual Private Networks (VPN) in relation to Sage 300 I can tell you that running Sage 300 from a laptop or other home machine connected to a VPN is not a viable option that we recommend as it is slow and can result in corruption of your Sage 300 data.
So there you have it, the main options from which to choose. Once you've given some thought to the kind of solution you'd require, we can certainly help answer more specific questions related to these options.