SunSystems is the legendary general ledger and financial management system from Infor. SunSystems was the pioneer in bringing flexible account and transaction analysis codes together with multi-currency and multi company management into a single combined ledger for the mid-tier business. This globally recognised solution gives the office of the CFO unparalleled power, flexibility and simplicity in their accounting operations and reporting. The SunSystems uniledger also removes the longstanding problems and demands of reconciliation across multi-ledger alternatives.
Over the years there have been a number of different product bundles and pricing structures offered and this article is an attempt to explain these and the underlying pricing models. There are currently three general major versions of SunSystems operating in the market: version 4 – which is still the choice for many long-term customers operating in challenging, low-tech environments; version 5 – which went end of maintenance in May 2014 but is still installed and running at some companies; and version 6 – the latest production release and part of the Infor10x offering.
All core module licensing is based on a concurrency basis. This means that you purchase the rights for “n” people to be using the system at the same time (concurrently). You may have any number of people registered to access the system, but the right to use is limited to the concurrent license count.
There are various extension modules that are licensed on a named user basis. This means that every user registered to access the system must have a supporting license for that access. The system may physically limit the number of registered users based on the right to use license.
The licensing is controlled by a serialisation code. This is a unique code issued by the product author that identifies the registered company that has purchased the license, the location at which the license will be installed and the number of users with the right to use. Most modules in the Infor and SunSystems portfolio will actively read and apply that serialisation within the software to track and control the users. This is called hard serialisation. If the license is for say ten users, when the eleventh person tries to log in they will likely get a message advising the full amount of users are logged on already. When someone logs off, they free up a license that can be used by the next person (that is the hard serialisation in action). In some cases the modules do not track and control the number of users (this is called soft serialisation) and relies on an honour system for usage. In all circumstances the right to use agreement will include the right to a compliance audit which allows the usage and rights to be measured and assessed and redressed should more users be active at an installation than are licensed.
SunSystems Financials is the core product consisting of the standard financial and accounting functionality. Extension and enhancement modules include Cash Desk cash management, Sales, Receipting, Credit Control, Collections, Requisitioning and Purchasing, Corporate Allocation, Intercompany, Consolidations and of course the Query & Analysis reporting tool (previously known as Vision). It is generally not necessary to have the same number of licenses for each module. For example you could have ten SunSystems accounting users but only need one or two users of Collect for credit control and debt management.
SunSystems eXFM is a very popular option that bundled a number of the modules together. eXFM stands for extended financial management and the most notable benefit of this bundle is the inclusion of the Infor BI module. Infor BI is a full spectrum planning, budgeting, forecasting and reporting system (the BI stands for business intelligence). This is an amazingly good value way of introducing budgeting & forecasting and management reporting within a single coherent framework that enables you to leave behind the risks and inefficiencies of Excel. The eXFM license does however have some restriction, the BI module can only be used over SunSystems and associated data sources. To use it over non-SunSystems relevant data requires an upgrade to the full Infor BI license structure.
With the release of SunSystems 6.1 in 2013 came the added compliance with the broader Infor application platform called Infor10x. This platform marries together the Infor transaction applications such as SunSystems with their ION middleware layer for integration to other systems and also their Ming.le user interface layer that introduces collaboration, in-process social interaction and in-context business intelligence. In addition to these, Infor Mobile brings an efficient and user friendly layer for people needing to interact with their systems though a reduced screen size device such as a smart phone, phablet or tablet. Each of these modules is licensed and priced separately. ION (middleware) is licensed by the server core and transaction volumes processed. Ming.le is named user-based with a free low functionality option. Mobile is named user-based through a cloud subscription model.
All of these licensing components attracts an annual support and maintenance fee. This fee provides customers with the right to access helpdesk and support services and to upgrade to new versions of the licensed software as and when they are released.
Finally we have Infor CloudSuite – the full software as a service (SaaS) model that incorporates the application licensing, the support and maintenance fee and the underlying technical and hardware architecture that it runs on. In line with cloud norms, this is licensed on a per user / per month basis.
To find out more about SunSystems and the licensing options please contact us.
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