Frequently asked questions

Sage SMS, built in partnership with Sage Pastel Software gives you vastly improved business communication.

Our SMS Software enables you to send messages to your customers and suppliers, as well as all the names in your personal Microsoft Outlook and custom built lists, directly from within your Sage Pastel Accounting system (We interface into Sage Pastel Partner and Xpress Version 6 and above, as well as Sage Pastel Evolution).

Contact directly via cell-phones to these names is one of the most effective means of enabling you to communicate with your customers and suppliers directly from your software package. Cell-phones are far more pervasive than email, SMS messages are relatively cheap, and technological developments will make this form of communication highly effective in terms of speed of delivery and cost-effectiveness. In addition a cell-phone is a personal item and contact via a cell-phone (albeit SMS) is a personal contact.

So, essentially we are opening up a whole new form of communication. You do not need expensive GSM modem equipment, custom written software or anything other than your Sage Pastel Accounting system and a connection to the Internet.

You will be able to send tailored bulk SMS messages by building a name list within Sage Pastel Accounting. As an example you could request to send an SMS to all customers who have a balance of greater then R500 in 60 days and over. The names of the relevant customers would then be extracted and you could build a personalised message to these customers such as "Dear Mr X, Please could you pay your outstanding RXXX, as this is now way overdue". Your message will be sent directly to the right person, almost at the speed of thought...

Save money

Each time you pick up the phone to contact your customer or supplier we can save you money, both in terms of the cost of the call, and your time spent.

Improve efficiency

Instead of telephoning all your customers one by one to request payment at month end, in a couple of key-strokes you can send all your customers a personalised message requesting payment of a specific amount. Better still, send them all an instant message detailing your latest promotion and watch the sales come in!

Communicate fast

Send an SMS from within your software and your customer or supplier will receive and be able to act on your request within seconds, significantly reducing the time and follow up effort required.

Why not Email?

A very valid question is why not just email the person, however cell-phones are far more pervasive in society than PC's. In addition only desk-bound people can constantly monitor emails. Cell-phones are highly personal contact mechanisms and contact through this medium is far more likely to elicit a response.

STEP 1

Register for our service, by selecting the package you require on our home page. This will take you through a 4 step registration process:

  1. Enter your company details
  2. Enter the details of all the desktop users who will be using the service (we allow an unlimited amount of individual users per company)
  3. select the method of payment, currently we offer payment by credit card, debit order or direct deposit
  4. choose the period for which you wish to subscribe. The minimum period is 3 months, however you can save if you subscribe for a longer period

You will receive an email outlining your details and the user id's and passwords of all your users.


STEP 2

Install the Sage SMS program for Sage Pastel Accounting

Free Software Downloads

Load up the Sage SMS program and enter the required set-up data on each desktop you install on.

Your contract will be activated as soon as we can confirm the receipt of your payment. For credit cards a maximum wait time of 48 hours is anticipated, all other payments will be activated as and when monies are confirmed as deposited.


STEP 3

Check that the connection can be established by sending a test message from Dashboard. (Obviously you must be connected to the Internet to do this).


STEP 4

Use the Sage SMS module to build the list of people you wish to send messages to and press the send button to send the messages.
You can return to this site at any point and login to view you status and statistics of messages sent.

How do I pay?

You select the contract you wish to subscribe to, each contract is for a minimum of 3 months and allows you to send a specific number of SMS messages in that period. Should you require more SMS messages, you must simply purchase an additional contract from this site. If you purchase an additional contract within an existing contract period, your old SMS messages will be extended to last until the end of the next contract purchased. For example:

You purchase 750 SMS contract on the 1 May 2002, the expiry date will be the 31 July 2002. By the 31 July 2002 you only have 50 SMS messages left.

If you do not purchase an additional contract within the contract period and you have SMS messages left, these will be forfeited, however if you purchase an additional contract on or before the 31 July 2002 the remaining SMS messages will be added to the newly purchased messages and your contract expiry date will be the end of the new contract.

Payments can be made by credit card on this site, by direct deposit into our bank account or by debit order every 3 months. During the purchase process you will be guided as to what is required from you in order to activate the service.

During the registration process you will be given the option to register for 3, 6, 9 or 12 month periods. Significant discounts are available should you purchase a longer period contract.

Price

Our price is highly competitive, with the added advantage that your SMS messages can be invoked directly from within your Sage Pastel accounting solution. Check out the contracts on the home page of this site for pricing details. You can install the desktop application on as many desktops as you like and define as many users as you wish, there is no license fee for the software, you only pay for the SMS messages you have purchased.

We an purpose build a contract for you if none of our pre-defined contracts suit you. For example should you wish to do a one-off sending of SMS messages but do not wish to enter into a long term contract, we can arrange this for you, and based on the anticipated number of SMS messages, structure a highly competitive price.

Instead of telephoning all your customers one by one to request payment at month end, in a couple of key-strokes you can send all your customers a personalised message requesting payment of a specific amount. Better still, send them all an instant message detailing your latest promotion and watch the sales come in!

Sage SMS utilises the latest security technology and measures, to safeguard your transactions and personal information. You will be supplied with a company id, a user identification and password which will uniquely identify you at all times. Your password is encrypted and uses the de facto standard, 128 bit SSL, for encryption.

The Sage SMS site is a fully secure site, our site uses a Thawte SSL Web Server Certificate to offer secure communications by encrypting all data to and from the site. We are using a 128-bit SSL certificate for our encryption.

Thawte has checked and verified our company registration documents and the site's registered domain name. All information entered is secure, our site is hosted in the Vodacom Data Centre, one of the most secure sites in South Africa.

The strength of the encryption is typically specified by the size of the session key (a unique value involved in the encryption that differs for every customer and every time you visit the site). The session key can be either 40 bits, 56 bits or 128 bits in size. 128 bit encryption is regarded by cryptographers to be “uncrackable” as it would take zillions of years with the fastest computers to try all the combinations - but 40 and 56 bit keys are not as strong and it is feasible to try the combinations given Historically, the USA restricted the export of strong encryption products from the USA. This meant that the browser versions developed for export from the US were not automatically enabled to encrypt communications using 128-bit strong encryption.

If your browser is 128 bit enabled we will encrypt at 128 bit, otherwise we will encrypt at the limitations of your browser. 128-bit encryption is regarded as being impossible to “crack”.

Another issue is obviously the confidentiality and ownership of data, messages and phone numbers used.

The data sent through the gateway belongs to the sender, all down the line of our system and partners our agreements stipulate the privacy of the information. We will not forward this information to anyone else or use it on our own initiatives without the prior permission of each individual client.

Sage is a large, respected company, we have partnered with respected companies to provide this solution and would not jeapordize the success of this venture by allowing any unauthorised use of the transmitted data.

Received

The message batch has been received by our hub. Status will change, if the contract is active.

Sent SMSC

The message batch has been forwarded to the SMS gateway. Status will change.

Delivered

The SMS was successfully delivered to the mobile device.

Expired

The timeframe within which the network (MTN, Vodacom, Cell C) retries sending the message has expired. Status will not change.

Undelivered

Message has not been successfully delivered to the handset. The Network is still trying to deliver this message. Status may change

Gateway expired

Nashua Mobile has not got a reply from the network, but the networks continue to try sending the message according to the parameters set by them. This message will be displayed if no delivery status after 24hs. Status will still change to Delivered or Expired or Undelivered

Unknown

The Network has returned an unknown delivery status. Status will not change

Invalid Number

This message is returned if a message was sent to an invalid number. Messages with this status are not billed.