TPAC (Third Party Advantage Conference) is a conference for Sage 300 ERP third party developers, that is held yearly in Vancouver, Canada. This year it was held at the River Rock Casino Resort. The idea is that this gives a venue for all the Sage 300 ERP ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) to showcase their wares to Sage 300 ERP Business Partners. The conference started with a quick introduction and then an exhibitor flash, where each exhibitor received ten minutes of fame to give a quick introduction to their products. Then there was a trade show in the River Rock Show Theatre where attendees could gain more detailed information on the various solutions. There is plenty of time for networking and education. If you arrived a day early, there was pre-conference training and an organized ski trip to Whistler. This year there were 36 exhibitors. This show is run independently of Sage, though Sage is a sponsor.
Sage’s big North American conference is Sage Summit, which will be in Nashville in August this year. Summit highlights all of Sage’s many products, and although the ISVs have booths and presentations, the main focus of the show is Sage, its direction and announcements. TPAC is nice because it is a more intimate affair with only Sage 300 ERP and Sage CRM partners and ISVs, many who have known each other since the Accpac Plus days. The focus in on the ISVs and they have the spotlight. This makes it a very focused and valuable conference for everyone that attends.
The main development center for Sage 300 ERP is in Richmond, B.C., only a 10 minute drive away from the conference. This meant that many Sage Product Managers and Developers could attend either the whole show, or at least attend for part. We also held a developer open house the following day at the Sage office that any ISV was welcome to attend. This included attending the Sprint Demo for a Sage 300 ERP 6.1A Agile Sprint that happened to fall on the same day, detailed technical information on topics like SData and lots of discussion and Q&A.
Although Sage isn’t the focus of the show, Sage people give a few presentations including a Sage 300 ERP roadmap presentation to highlight the road ahead. This was also an opportunity for partners to meet Sage’s new EVP of Mid-Market Solutions Joe Langner and the new SVP of Product Management and Marketing Doug LaBahn. There was also a very spirited town hall session led by Joe Langner where partners could ask any questions or raise any concerns.
ISVs are of crucial importance to any ERP software vendor. No vendor can do everything on their own. The key goal of each vendor is to provide a compelling software development platform along with a core set of applications developed on that platform. This is a huge undertaking. Then the ERP vendor relies on ISVs to take the platform and develop all sorts of vertical applications for specific industries, useful add-on programs or integrations to other stand-alone applications. For Sage 300 ERP, the System Manager is the development platform that provides the frameworks, structure and supporting APIs for developing ERP modules. The System Manager is the runtime component and the Sage 300 ERP SDK contains all the samples, documentation and tools to develop ERP modules to run on SM. Then Sage 300 ERP provides the core accounting applications including General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Inventory Control, Order Entry, Purchase Order, Payroll, and Project and Job Costing. Then we rely on ISVs to fill in other industry specific modules like POS (Point of Sale), Manufacturing, Service Management, etc. This is one of the main reasons Sage invests so heavily in technologies like SData that enhance the ability for ISVs to integrate to all Sage products.
To provide some concrete examples of Sage 300 ERP ISVs, here are the ones that exhibited at TPAC. This isn’t an endorsement of any particular vendor; it just means they exhibited at TPAC. This isn’t meant to exclude anyone, if an ISV isn’t on the list it’s only because they didn’t exhibit at TPAC or I made a mistake. Many of the ISVs below have more products than I list, these are just a sampling.
- Accellos (http://www.accellos.com/): Warehouse Management.
- Accu-Dart (http://www.accu-dart.com/): Warehouse Management.
- Acdev Software (http://www.acdevware.com/ACDEVPOS.phtml): Point of Sale.
- ACOM Solutions (http://www.acom.com/): Document Management.
- Altec (http://www.altec-inc.com/): Provides an integrated document management solution.
- AutoSimply (http://www.autosimply.com/): Manufacturing.
- Avalara (http://www.avalara.com/): Sales and Use Tax Management.
- BatchMaster Software (http://www.batchmaster.com/): Process Manufacturing.
- BizNet Software (http://www.biznetsoftware.com/): Financial Reporting.
- DataSelf (http://www.dataself.com/): DataHabitat Business Intelligence.
- EC Internet (http://www.ecinternet.com/): Mobile/Web Shopping.
- EDISoft (http://www.edisoft.com/): EDI Software.
- eRequester (http://www.erequester.com/): Web based procurement management.
- F9 (http://www.f9.com/): Financial Reporting.
- HighJump Software (http://www.highjump.com/): TrueCommerce EDI Solutions.
- Iciniti (http://www.iciniti.com/Home.aspx): eCommSuite eCommerce/Web store.
- Industrios (http://www.industrios.com/): Manufacturing.
- MiSys (http://www.misysinc.com/): Manufacturing.
- Norming Software (http://www.norming.com/): Provide Asset Management, International Payroll and Timesheet entry.
- North49 (http://www.north49.com/): Webtelligence eCommerce software.
- Orchid Systems (http://www.orchidsystems.biz/): Inter-entity transactions, Information Manager, EFT Processing, Bin Tracking and Info-Explorer.
- Pacific Technology (http://www.pacifictechsol.com/): AuditLogger, Commitment Accounting, Purchasing Workflow.
- Paramount Technologies (http://www.paramounttechnologies.com/): eProcurement, Expense Tracking and Time Tracking.
- Paytelligence (http://www.paytelligence.com/): Credit Card Processing.
- Peresoft (http://www.peresoft.com/): Cash Management and Bank Reconciliation.
- Red Tail Solutions (http://www.redtailsolutions.com/index.asp): EDI Software.
- RockySoft Corporation (http://www.rockysoft.com/index.php): Inventory Management.
- Smart Hotel Software (http://www.smarthotelsoftware.com/): A Hotel Property Management System.
- TaiRox (http://www.tairox.com/): Advanced Financials, Backup, SOX Compliance.
- Technisoft (http://www.technisoft.com/): Service Manager.
- TelPay (http://www.telpay.ca/): Payment Technology Solutions.
- Vineyardsoft (http://www.vineyardsoft.com/): KnowledgeSync Alerts and Workflow.
- Websitepipeline (http://www.websitepipeline.com/): Web Site Development.
- Wellspring Software (http://www.wellspringsoftware.com/): PrintBoss
- XM Oxygen (http://www.xmdevelopments.com/): eCommerce Solutions.