With SunSystems 6.3 now in general release from Infor it is time to consider what major benefits are available for existing SunSystems clients.
Infor has for many years provided ongoing support for a range of SunSystems versions. This has been great for clients to maximise their investment in the solution over extended time frames, but it can cause difficulty when assessing when and why to upgrade to the latest version.
Let’s have a look at the various top level versions in use today:
SunSystems v4 (The current production release is v4.4)
Pros: A very well proven and self-contained system that operates on minimal IT infrastructure and demands little or no support and maintenance effort. Continues to be patched and upgraded with new features and Microsoft technology framework compliance.
Cons: Been around a long time meaning an aging user interface, some operating limitations on modern technology platforms and not integrated to the Infor Platform Xi enterprise framework.
SunSystems v5 (The final version is v5.4)
Pros: Still covered under the support framework.
Cons: This version is effectively end-of-life from an extension point of view. There are no new patches or updates being released, it will not be kept compliant with future versions of Microsoft Windows and SQL Server and it is not possible to purchase additional user licences.
SunSystems v6 (v6.3 is the latest and greatest version)
Pros: Significant step up in power and scalability from the original Sun 4 days, pretty much a complete re-visioning of the system driving ever more agility, flexibility, and control for companies with complex financial management requirements, multi-company operations, multi-currency trading. It has a lightness and clarity in the user interface stemming from Infor’s in-house user experience and design team, Hook and Loop.
Cons: SunSystems itself and the broader Infor Platform Xi framework demands much more computing power and hardware than v4 or v5 did.
So what are the top-level drivers for upgrading to SunSystems v6.3?
User experience and usability – the screen designs and operation have been significantly revised to make using the system as pleasant as possible. With people more accustomed to using “apps” on smartphones and tablets that require little or no user training, Infor has a vision of enterprise grade software usability going the same way and every new release take steps towards that goal using content feeds, visual triggers and graphics to help people navigate rather than menus and options.
Integrated Document Management Repository – best practice financial management is underpinned by substantiating documents from many sources. The integrated document management repository lets you attach a PDF or other document to the exact transaction or reference data it relates to and to easily find and view that document again at any time.
External web portal – a new module allowing secure access to SunSystems documents to allow additional stakeholders to engage electronically with the financial arm of the business. Think about getting your suppliers to load their own invoices and update their own details; your clients to access their own statements and order history, and your employees to access their expenses history. Imagine the reduction of queries into the finance team if external stakeholders could choose to serve themselves.
Automated master data management – for larger companies running multiple sites or business units the administration of managing common reference data between systems and entities is over. Now you can define a primary business unit for, say, your supplier register and any moves/adds/changes/deletes applied to this primary will be automatically applied to any nominated secondary entities.
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