Sage Software’s top reseller in North America for the past two years, Management Information Services Inc., also known as MIS Group, abruptly announced that it is ceasing all business operations, effective Monday. The firm had ranked No. 10 on SourceMedia's VAR 100 list, with $25.3 million in revenue in 2008.

“As a result of the current economic crisis, the lack of available credit, and market circumstances beyond our control, we unfortunately are not able to be viable as a business and continue to service our customers,” said CEO Robert Muir in a statement on the company’s Web site. “Although the company has attempted to manage and restructure itself to remain solvent, regrettably after considering all available alternatives, the company determined this as the only course of action. We appreciate the long-term relationships with our employees, customers and partners, and are saddened by the outcome and hardship on all parties involved. We also want to recognize everyone’s efforts in working through this difficult period.”

MIS’s senior secured lender will assume control and responsibility over the assets of the company. MIS Group provided business process services, data management services and business applications published by Sage Software, including Sage MAS 90 ERP, Sage MAS 200 ERP, Sage MAS 500 ERP, Sage Timberline Office, Sage Master Builder, SageCRM, Sage SalesLogix and Sage Abra HRMS.

MIS is advising all Sage customers to initially contact Sage directly at (866) 996-7243 for assistance. The company also plans to provide additional customer and vendor information over the next several days at the MIS Web site at www.misgroupusa.com.

Dennis Frahmann, Sage’s executive vice president of corporate marketing, said the company had contacted customers who were also customers of MIS Group, and was offering them 30 days of free support from Sage. The company also made available to them specific phone numbers they could use for activities that might have required MIS Group’s help.

“Our main concern in this matter is to ensure that our customers continue to get the best experience possible and get the full quality out of the software and services they have purchased from Sage,” said Frahmann.

He added that Sage planned to follow up with the former MIS Group customers to identify local business partners who could provide them with ongoing business support. The business partner referrals would depend on the local geography or city they were in, as well as the products they supported.

In some cases, there are multiple business partners who cover products such as MAS 90 in a particular city, whereas with other products, such as Timberline Office, Sage assigns the territories to specific resellers. “Some existing business partners may want to expand into other business partner territories,” said Frahmann. “There may be different scenarios by which that decision is made.”

Several resellers have already started competing to get MIS Group’s old customers, but Frahmann warned against this.

“Sage has a well-defined process in place for how the partner reference can be changed,” he said. “We will continue to use that process. It ultimately is the customer’s decision to do that. We don’t encourage the business partners to contact these prospective customers. We are trying to provide a more proactive process with the business customers.”

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