Why upgrade Sage CRM?

4 minute read time.

When a version of Sage CRM is no longer supported by Sage it means technical support, security patches and bug fixes will no longer be provided for that version.

You can see the details about when each version of the product dropped out of support here: https://help.sagecrm.com/support/support-lifecycle/

Sage has a rolling 3-year detailed roadmap for Sage CRM. You can see the current public roadmap for Sage CRM here:https://my.sage.co.uk/public/help.aspx#/roadmap/sage-crm

Sage only supports products (Operating Systems, Databases etc) that enjoy mainstream support from their manufacturers. This means that our software inevitably changes over time. We need to consider the changes in supported software. This affects not just the servers but also the devices that are used to access Sage CRM especially when it is integrated with other systems.

We strongly advise that colleagues and partners should engage with customers on older versions of the product that are now out of support to encourage them to upgrade.

Although long-tail upgrade paths can be off-putting it is not as bad as it looks. The resources on the help centre (http://help.sagecrm.com) and articles here on Sage City provide plenty of guidance.

Below are the key reasons why keeping an instance of Sage CRM up-to-date is so important.

Enhancements to the security of CRM and the protection of data

The No. 1 reason to update any software is security. Software vulnerabilities are open doors, enabling hackers and criminals to access and disrupt systems.

Vulnerabilities within any part of a system, the database, web server and the client browser can enable control of computers and data loss and damage. A bad actor could encrypt files, documents, and other programs so they are unusable. In each release of Sage CRM, and through patches where necessary, Sage blocks any open doors in the software to protect the data within Sage CRM from attacks.

We update 3rd party code libraries, revise our code, enhance the protocols we use to communicate with other software and make sure how passwords and authentication are improved in each release.

Get new features

Sage is committed to the development of Sage CRM. Each development cycle has different priorities and 'themes' but the effort is being put into ensuring that we do the following:

  • Simplify the user experience
  • Enhance existing features
  • Improve accessibility
  • Modernise the APIs
  • Improve integration capabilities

For each upgrade of Sage CRM, there may be new features added and old ones may be removed. Technology is constantly changing, and each new version of Sage CRM offers the latest features and improvements.

Improve performance and deployment options

Not all changes to Sage CRM are security related or about the main features. Some of the changes relate to bugs that have been reported by customers and where customers have asked us to make enhancements to features in the software.

We've improved support for Virtualised Environments. We've wanted to help our customers realise the advantages that virtualisation brings

  • The reduced upfront hardware and continuing operating costs.
  • Greater business continuity and disaster recovery response.
  • Simplified IT management.
  • More flexibility in enabling systems.

We have added support over the last few versions for Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, and Windows Datacenter and we've driven down the total cost of system ownership through support for MS SQL Express for small systems, for MS Azure SQL and MS SQL Server Web Edition to allow customers to take advantage of all the cost saving that cloud deployment can bring.

Ensure compatibility

The last reason for upgrading is to ensure that Sage CRM can still work alongside all the other components of a business system. This is about ensuring Sage CRM can still run on supported versions of Operating Systems or display correctly within a Browser version. Without upgrading Sage CRM, older versions may not be able to work with newer technology introduced into systems on which a business may depend.

Over the last few years, there have been many industry-wide changes which have meant Sage CRM has had to adapt. Below are just a few examples

  • Adobe ended support for Flash. Flash was used in reports charts and dashboards up to version Sage CRM 2017 R3.
  • Support for TLS 1.1 was ended.
  • OAuth2.0 was introduced to ensure uninterrupted support for Exchange Online integration. This was for Sage CRM 2018 R1 onwards.

In each version of Sage CRM, there are changes introduced that improve the system security, enhance the protection of customer data, improve the user experience with new features, deepen its powerful integration capabilities and refresh the underlying technology used.

This article applies to Sage CRM stand-alone and when integrated with Sage accounting products. Sage 50, Sage 100, Sage 200, Sage 1000, Sage 300, Sage X3 and Sage Intacct.

Please note:

All environments, configurations, integrations, and 3rd-party software that are supported by Sage are documented in the help and guides published on Sage CRM Help Center.
Any environments, configurations, integrations, and 3rd-party software that are not documented here have not been tested and are therefore not supported by Sage.