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Sage Abra: What's the Real Story?

Published on

Feb 18

Brandi Clymer

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Do I have to move from Sage Abra? – Yes, we recommend before 9/1/2020.

Sage Abra will officially retire on 12/28/2020, the last day Sage Corporate will provide any support. All development, including tax and compliance requirements will end on 9/1/2020.

1. Sage has not sold this product for over 5 years.

2. Sage has pricing concessions in place for Abra clients to encourage the adoption of their Sage HRMS product, which is a Windows-based legacy product.

3, CS3 Technology has pricing concessions in place for Abra clients to encourage the adoption of Scissortail HCM, which is a Browser-based product.

4. Sage is no longer investing in product enhancements to Abra Suite. Development for Abra is limited to compliance requirements only through 9/1/2020.

If I delay my move from Sage Abra, what are the risks?

Resources in the market place for assistance to convert your data to a new platform will be in demand from now until 12/28/2020. Costs for both software and services will be more affordable by buying and scheduling transitions as quickly as possible.

You will NOT be able to process 2020 year end or quarterly reports after 9/1/2020. We encourage clients to get an implementation plan in place that ensures you are transitioned prior to this time.

Abra operates on the Microsoft FoxPro Database engine. Support for that database was dropped by Microsoft in January 2015. Obviously, your software has continued to run, but your firm has now moved into a higher risk category and there are some constraints you need to consider. 

According to Josh McGowan of NSN Management, “Lack of support from Microsoft means they no longer test any releases of their operating systems with FoxPro.” He went on to say, “This means if you are running Windows 7 or Windows 8 for example, any patch that has been released since 1/13/2015 was not tested with FoxPro.” He suggests that you have a way to test these patches yourselves before applying them to computers where your FoxPro data is stored or accessed.

The alternative of not applying any patches creates other problems, according to McGowan. “If you don’t apply the patches, critical features related to security will not be updated. I would suggest that the first thing your clients do is develop their migration plan from the Abra FoxPro version. They are in a vulnerable situation.”

When is my “drop dead date” to mIGRATE?

The number of modules, integrations, and customizations of your current implementation impact the elapsed time of your project. Your choice of replacement software will also change your elapsed time.

  • Example: If you are running Payroll only with no integrations or customizations, your quickest move could be done in weeks with Scissortail HCM. Add a couple more weeks if you choose Sage HRMS.
  • Example: If you are running multiple Sage Abra modules with a complex implementation or with Time and Attendance, a larger employer could be looking at months elapsed time before complete migration is achieved.

CS3 has developed tools we have been leveraging for years to streamline migrations for both Scissortail HCM and Sage HRMS in order to minimize your time and risk.

When is the best time to go live with my migration… year-end?

Not at year end, please!

An implementation could take 90 days depending on the modules you own. For a 12/31 go live, you would need to begin September 1st at latest, NOT October 1st, because November and December basically turn out to be 3-week months due to holidays and vacation. Additionally, both your staff and CS3 have added duties in December with year-end reporting. January, which would be your first month on the new system, is also a high-demand month with W2 processing and many other start of year tasks. For that reason, we encourage project kick-offs of simple migrations no later than 9/1 or after 2/1.

What is CS3 recommending as an alternative to Sage Abra?

We have three products in our portfolio:

  • Scissortail HCM powered by UKG, formerly Kronos
  • Payroll Outsourcing leveraging Scissortail HCM with CS3
  • Sage HRMS

What are the benefits of Scissortail HCM?

This option is a true browser-based, cloud product leveraging all the current technologies. CS3 can also provide outsourced payroll services leveraging the power of Scissortail for your entire team.

o Cloud Based Software with Anywhere, Anytime access

o Single Database - all modules leverage a single database and "contact" (employee or candidate) structure

o Unlimited number of users to encourage collaboration

o Fully mobile-enabled

o Faster implementation time than Windows based products

o Easy user interface for high employee adoption

o Hire to Retire modules for all HR and Payroll functions

o Complete Tax Compliance Services including all tax filings

o Automated Workflow and Notifications can eliminate all paperwork

o Power reporting tools that are EASY to use

o Graphical presentation of key information

What are some benefits I get from Sage HRMS?

Having all your data in SQL is a primary benefit for all modules that migrate to Sage HRMS. There are a few features in the HR module that have been added. The payroll module is an entirely new product with many additional features and streamlined processes. Some of the benefits include:

o SQL database platform

o Additional employee service dates

o Additional employee email addresses

o Overtime schedules in payroll

o More payroll frequencies

o Time cards are not required

o Reusable time cards

o Additional direct deposit calculations

o Better pre-check register information

o Streamlined month-end and quarter-end processing

o Easy “one off” check process

o Cleaner ACH reconciliation

o Cleaner GL structure

How much will it cost me to move to Sage HRMS?

This is NOT an upgrade, it is a migration to a new Sage product. Therefore the complexity is higher as well as the associated costs. The cost to migrate varies based on the following:

o Number of modules you currently own

o Number of customized payroll reports you have in place

o Additional features or modules you want to include in your migration, such as My Workforce Analyzer for ACA reporting

o Number and complexity of interfaces to other systems

o Quality of current data

Why the added cost to move to another Sage product?

Payroll is a completely new product. The conversion of historical data and current information must be precise to ensure uninterrupted service to employees and their paychecks. Additionally, year-to-date and quarter-to-date information must be exact for your ongoing reporting to state, federal and local agencies. For these reasons, we recommend two parallel payrolls after a test conversion from Abra payroll has occurred.

How much will it cost me to move to Scissortail HCM?

Scissortail offers a lower entry point for initial investment since it is a SaaS offering. Additionally, the conversion and set up times with these newer technologies keeps costs lower. Your team will be learning an entirely new system, but Scissortail HCM is browser-based, leveraging commonly-used browser navigation.

Our team will take you through a series of questions in a discovery process to review your current set-up and can then provide you a cost for investment and implementation timeline.

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