In a previous article, “Sage 50: An Alternative to QuickBooks,” we described the features and benefits of the Sage 50 line of small business accounting software. We explained how it “makes it easier for small business owners to monitor their finances, make and receive payments, and manage customers, vendors, and employees—improvements that in turn allow small business owners to make quicker, more informed, and more effective decisions, and increase overall business success.”
We also talked about how it’s a fairly popular alternative to QuickBooks, and how its automation, inventory management, job management, reporting, and security features are reportedly better than those of QuickBooks. Finally, we described the three main ways to deploy Sage 50: by installing it on a PC, by hosting it on an onsite server, or by paying an IT hosting company to host the application for you.
In today’s article, as promised, we’re going to explain why the best Sage 50 deployment option for most businesses is to pay an IT hosting company to host it for you. We’ll also tell you the steps you need to take to sign up for hosted Sage 50 from a hosting company, if that’s something you’re interested in doing.
Let’s get started by clarifying what it means for a hosting company to host an application for you. It’s basically when a hosting company installs and maintains an application for you on one of its servers, which can you access from anywhere with any device via the Internet. You’re usually billed for this service on a monthly, per-user basis. The two main alternatives to deploying applications this way are to install the software directly onto a user’s PC or to host them on a server that you own and that’s located at one of your offices.
A hosted version of an application will appear and perform the same as a version of the application installed on a PC or hosted on an onsite server—it’ll have the same interface and all of the same features.
The benefits of paying a hosting company to host Sage 50 for you like this include:
Increased accessibility. With hosted Sage 50, you’re not restricted to accessing Sage 50 from just a single device or location—you can access it from anywhere with any Internet-connected computer, tablet, smartphone, or tablet. This allows employees to access their Sage 50 from wherever they want, including from home and when traveling to and from work; and to access it from their preferred device, such as a personal Windows or Mac PC or Android or iOS tablet, instead of always having to access it from a desktop PC located at the office. The anywhere-accessibility of hosted Sage 50 also allows businesses to have to maintain just a single, centralized hosted Sage 50 deployment for their entire business, rather than having to deploy it separately at each office.
Less IT management responsibilities. With hosted Sage 50, you don’t have to purchase or maintain the server on which it’s hosted. Depending on the hosting company you select, you may not have to worry about monitoring, protecting, updating, backing up, or supporting your Sage 50 deployment, either—Iron Orbit, for example, includes monitoring, IT security, patch management, data backups, and technical support with all of our hosted solutions.
Increased security. Hosting companies can afford to protect your hosted Sage 50 deployment with advanced security measures such as 24x7x365 monitoring and alarm response; enterprise-level firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and antivirus; in-transit and at-rest encryption; and biometric access panels, locked metal doors, server cages, and 24x7x365 onsite security guards at their datacenters. Most businesses, in contrast, and especially most small businesses, wouldn’t be able to afford to implement these security measures with an in-house Sage 50 deployment. (They can afford the advanced security measures of hosted Sage 50, meanwhile, because they’re sharing the costs of these measures with the hosting company’s thousands of other customers.) In addition, with hosted Sage 50 your data remains on the hosting company’s servers at all times. This is more secure than allowing users to store their data on the hard drives of their devices, which are much more likely than a hosting company’s servers to be lost, stolen, or hacked into.
Lower costs. As mentioned, with hosted Sage 50, you don’t have to purchase or maintain any physical servers. You don’t need to hire any additional IT personnel to manage it for you, either. Furthermore, you and your employees can access hosted Sage 50 from low-cost, low-maintenance devices such as thin clients and old PCs, instead of having to purchase and maintain more expensive desktop PCs that are capable of installing and running Sage 50 locally. You can also allow your employees to access it from their personal devices (laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, etc.) that they bring into work with them, meaning that you won’t have to purchase any devices for your clients at all.
If you have an existing onsite deployment of Sage 50, it’s possible—and often pretty quick and easy—to transfer it (along with all of its existing data and licenses) to an IT hosting company to host for you. Your hosting company may be able to assist you with the migration process, or even handle the entire process for you, for a small fee.
To sign up for hosted Sage 50, you first need to select an IT hosting company. The ideal hosting company should have plenty of experience hosting Sage 50 or other accounting applications, and should be able to satisfy all of your accessibility, compliance, cost, customizability, performance, reliability, scalability, and security requirements.
Once you’ve selected an IT hosting company, get in touch with them (if you haven’t already) and let them know what you want them to host and how you want it to be hosted. Then, once you agree with them on the terms of your hosting contract, they’ll deploy the solution for you, and may also help you with or handle for you the migration and setup processes for an additional fee.