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The Future of BusinessVision
(updated Aug 25 2015)

 
Please also see The End of BusinessVision - FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Although no official announcement has yet been made, the signs of the imminent demise of BusinessVision are all clearly there for anyone to read:

  • No new features in updates or new "versions" (which are versions in name only) - only a smattering of bug fixes
  • The BusinessVision office has closed, the product manager is gone, the programmers are gone, and all remaining BusinessVision staff are working on other products, including the tech support staff
  • An intense and aggressive marketing campaign is underway to push BusinessVision users away from BusinessVision to their Sage 300 Online product (a cloud-based product) or down to Sage 50 (Simply Accounting).
  • Please read about the serious concerns with Cloud accounting systems.
  • Please view a comparison of BusinessVision and Sage 300 Cloud.
  • You may hear it said that Sage 300 Online is "the next generation of BusinessVision". This is grossly inaccurate. Sage 300 Online is actually Accpac with a browser interface stuck over it. The two products have nothing whatsoever to do with each other and were developed many years ago by two completely different companies. "Next generation" implies parentage and an actual connection, but in this case there is none at all. This is part of Sage's attempt to push BusinessVision users to that product.
  • BusinessVision Partners are also being strongly encouraged to adopt Sage 300 Online. Very few are doing so because this product is simply not appropriate for most BusinessVision users.
  • BusinessVision incorporates outdated components which will never be upgraded: Crystal Reports v10 and Pervasive v10, neither of which are any longer supported by their respective vendors
  • BusinessVision has had only minor modernizations added to it over the past 7-10 years
  • Very little investment has been made in developing or maintaining BusinessVision
  • No value is being delivered for BusinessVision users' annual "Business Care" fees aside from what has effectively become overpriced payroll updates and tech support
  • Because of this, BusinessVision customers are dropping off the maintenance plan in droves
  • There is code built into the BusinessVision product that will prevent it from being used past the year 2020
  • BusinessVision sales are down to next to nothing (why would anyone purchase a soon-to-be discontinued product?), and upgrades are no longer available to Partners through BusinessVision sales staff
  • BusinessVision sales staff are instead focused on the Sage effort to push end users and Partners to the Sage 300 cloud-based product

If BusinessVision had been modernized and enhanced over the past 7-10 years, it would still be a viable and excellent product to this day. But instead, unfortunately, Sage has sent it coasting into retirement.
Two attempts have been made to purchase the BusinessVision product away from Sage in order to keep it alive, but both offers were rejected by Sage!

As a BusinessVision user, you should of course be concerned about the future of the product! There are three options for you to consider:

  • Upgrade to Spire: A well-known independent 3rd party add-on for BusinessVision called BVEssentials (from Tri-Tech Information Systems in BC), has added many modules to its product to become a complete replacement for BusinessVision. It is fully compatible with BusinessVision, and offers numerous enhancements. By the end of 2014 BVEssentials will become a standalone product named Spire, using a modern database engine, and will encompass all of the existing functionality of BusinessVision plus a whole host of new features, with a modernized and much more powerful and easier-to-use interface.
    Other advantages of this upgrade include a complete 100% one-click data conversion at no extra cost, minimal retraining, preservation of your customized reports and forms, and reasonable upgrade cost.
    Please read more here, and please see the Spire FAQ
    .
    Quite frankly, Spire is the premier option for you to consider.
     

  • Keep using BusinessVision for the near future: Even if BusinessVision were discontinued tomorrow (let's say in the spring of 2015), you could probably still keep using it for a year or two or even longer. Like all software, BusinessVision relies on compatibility with Windows operating systems, and these typically last 6-8 years. The current release of BusinessVision (v2014) is Windows 8 compatible, which is only a couple years old. So aside from payroll, you'd be okay to stay with BusinessVision for a few years. Payroll could either be outsourced or you could use one of the payroll software packages that are available. Tech support for BusinessVision will always be available from Wildwood Canada.
    BUT ... yes there is a "but"! ... BusinessVision uses Pervasive v10 and Crystal Reports v10, both of which are no longer supported. And there is NO possibility that BusinessVision will ever use newer versions of either of these, due to (a) technical reasons and (b) licensing. Therefore, sooner or later BusinessVision will cease to work on a new Windows version, or even when a Windows update is released.
    **
    There are already issues with compatibility of BusinessVision with Windows and MS Office versions. Certain things are sometimes breaking or are not installing or working properly.
    Additionally, you will not be able to log into BusinessVision past the year 2020 - this is a hard limit built into the software.
    BusinessVision users should start investigating alternatives NOW.
    Please read ALL marketing material you receive these days with a very critical eye and verify the alleged facts that are being presented to you. The best source for verification is a 3rd party consultant, such as Wildwood Canada. Please contact me to discuss anything you read or hear about Spire, BusinessVision, or Sage 300 Cloud. I have striven to be accurate with all information that is presented herein.
     
  • Look at other products:
    • This may be an opportunity for BusinessVision users to move to a more advanced, modern, and more capable accounting and business management system. In this case, I recommend Traverse, the flagship product of Open Systems. This product is a major player in the US, but is not well known in Canada. Please contact Wildwood Canada for more information.
    • For most BusinessVision users, a downgrade to Simply Accounting (Sage 50) or to Quickbooks will cause a major net loss of functionality. Quickbooks does NOT function well in multi-user mode and has other drawbacks. Simply Accounting is... well... simplistic. Please read more about these two products HERE.
    • On the other hand, changing to another Sage product such as Sage 100 or Sage 300 entails its own significant set of issues and problems. There is the significant cost, lack of data conversion, and total retraining. Not to mention the Batch processing of Sage 300 and Sage 300 Online - yes, these products are actually the old tired Accpac with a new name! You didn't want Accpac then, why would you want it now? And there appears to be a significant lack of ongoing development and enhancements across many or most product lines of Sage.
    • Cloud-based products have many serious drawbacks.
      Compare Sage 300 Online with Spire and BusinessVision.
    • Please note that Spire is the ONLY product with a complete data conversion from BusinessVision - 100% of your BusinessVision data will be converted - YES, ALL OF IT - with NO loss, at NO additional charge.
    • None of the above problems and issues are a factor in an upgrade to Spire.

If you are a BusinessVision user, and wish to discuss the issues outlined on this page and learn more about the above alternatives, please contact Wildwood Canada.

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