Sicon Conference 2019 – What we learned
I was lucky enough to take part in the annual Sicon Business Partner conference in Portugal recently. The event is an annual get together of all Sicon’s key partners, those that sell and implement their solutions in the Sage 200 ecosystem. Here’s a summary of the event and what it means for our customers.
Sicon themselves describe it as ‘a two-way discussion with our key partners to understand what we do well and what we are not so good at’. It was great to be involved and have our voice heard so that we can represent our customers and have an input into the development of the many tools that expand the functionality of Sage 200.
It was also great that was in the warm, sunny climes of Vilamoura – not that I’m gloating about that, particularly to colleagues!
Richard and Jane Youngman, owners of Sicon, have put in a lot of effort in recent years in listening to their user base and responding to their needs. As a business, they have invested heavily in demo servers to allow customers to test upgrades and pre-release software without having to impact on live systems. This means that we can ensure any upgrade doesn’t disrupt your business.
Whilst we’re talking about testing, Sicon is also now running complete automated testing on new software so that new releases have as few bugs as possible before release. From our perspective, that helps ensure that our recommendation to upgrade your Sicon solution is based on positive test results, improving upgrade processes and reducing the time it takes to do it – that time saving can be passed on directly to our customers.
Our customer, Agriline, was used as a case study for how to apply Sicon modules which included Barcoding & Warehousing, Distribution with Container Manager and Material Resource Planning (MRP) to their Sage 200 system (see below for this video!).
Sicon has a reputation for live product demonstrations and this event was no different. We received plenty of live demos covering the new features in v18 and v19 (already released) and those coming soon in v19.1 (July) and v19.2 (November). I was impressed with the speed that it takes to install the Barcoding and Warehousing solution – we’ll definitely be practicing this like the pit stops in Formula 1. I know that time is money, so anything that helps our customers have a speedy installation is a real benefit in my book.
Other key product notes from the event:
Sicon Documents Image Processing – this is a new OCR/image recognition service that will allow documents to be stored in your Sage 200 system making it easier to see relevant paperwork relating to orders/invoices etc. Pricing hasn’t yet been finalised but expect to hear more about this from us in the autumn.
Service – a new interface to the Service module will allow non-Sage 200 users to process cases. This represents a direct cost-saving to customers who don’t want to give full Sage 200 access (and pay for a full licence) but who need to give their service team access to critical information to service customers properly.
Sicon Timesheet App – we saw a prototype of this new app that allows service and operations users to upload timesheet information, add and amend entries, that can then be picked up by WAP.
Not only did we receive company and product information, as part of our relationship with Sicon and the wider Sage community, we were able to share experiences with the Sicon range with other business partners, giving us the chance to double-check our thinking is inline with the wider world (BREAKING NEWS: it is).
Having the event in Portugal allowed us to put all our focus on Sicon during our visit. The weather wasn’t too shabby either, which made it that little bit extra motivating.
Over the forthcoming months we’ll get access to all the new products and will be testing them before talking about them in more detail. In the meantime, if you’d like to know anything more about the fantastic Sicon range of products, please give us a call on 0121 384 2513 or use the live chat feature.