I'm happy to announce www.3rdParty.info, a new online directory of Sage 300 third-party products. It’s a moderated, searchable directory containing hundreds of Sage 300 third-party apps from dozens of developers, which I have summarised, categorised, and added links to the product page on the developers website for more info. I only realized afterwards that what I had developed was really a sort of “Yellow Pages” of Sage 300 3rd-party apps. The site also has pages for product news and promotions to provide a central point for business partners and users to find this info. It’s a sort of “town square” for third-party products.
One of the strengths of Sage300 has always been its software development kit (SDK) and the community of third-party developers who add functionality to the product. As a former distributor of Sage 300 (Accpac) and third-party products, I know how essential these products were to growing the Sage 300 market here in Australia.
Unfortunately, these products are of no use if business partners / users / prospects don’t know they exist. For example, my own Trust Accounting module makes Sage 300 the only mainstream ERP application suitable for a number of vertical markets such as law firms. But, whilst the SDK makes it possible for small developers like us to develop these products, we aren’t big enough to market them globally. There are over 50,000 law firms with two or more partners in the US alone and they all require trust accounting functionality, but they are unlikely to find the Dingosoft website here in Australia.
Other than trust accounting, law firms are no different to any other professional firm that bills for their time. Calendaring and document management are important front office functions and of course, time billing and trust accounting are important in the back office. I have considered developing a fully integrated back-office solution for law firms in the Sage 300 SDK with integration to best-in-class industry-standard front-office apps to give law firms a complete practice management solution that is far better than any of the current niche products. However, there’s no way I can compete with the marketing departments of multi-billion-dollar public companies like Thompson Reuters or LexisNexis.
So, 3rdParty.info is my way of helping raise awareness and visibility of Sage 300 third-party applications. The site does not (and will never) charge vendors for listing, does not sell anything, and does not generate leads. All visitors to the site are directed to the vendor's website or advised to contact their Sage business partner for more information.
We decided that for the site to be really useful, it had to be impartial, which meant creating all the content ourselves rather than letting vendors create their own content. It’s a great resource for business partners and we encourage them to link to the site as an alternative to, or to augment, third-party product lists on their own websites.
It was a lot of work, but it's a win-win for everyone. Users can easily find the products they need to help run their businesses more effectively, which means business partners will sell more third-party products and that of course means more sales for developers like us. It also means less churn from current users looking elsewhere for required functionality.
The site welcomes contributions from established Sage300 3rd-party developers in the form of new listings, news articles and promotions. There is no cost to the developers, however it is a moderated site, so all submissions will be evaluated on their merits by the admins. Unfortunately we cannot accept submissions from business partners who also do development on the side. Submissions should be sent to [email protected].
About John Paterson: John has around 35 years chartered accounting and ERP industry experience. A former Sage 300 national support manager, he went on to found Dingosoft in order to concentrate on developing innovative Sage 300 SDK products like FRS and Ledger Manager which is a full sub-ledger for any G/L balance sheet account.