Sage [LON:SGE]: Re-Imagine: Business

Stephen Kelly, CEO Sage team, huddle up,” cried the former American football legend and Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Ditka, when he led the grand opening of the Sage Summit 2016 in Chicago. “This is what we’ve been training for—your chance towards victory. You’ve got to go out there and give them [the partners] what they came here for.” The pantomime opening to the summit was slapstick and had the desired effect to draw laughs from the crowd, setting the tone for the entire ‘partner-centric’ theme of the summit in a rousing way. For an event that was billed as the largest gathering for small and medium businesses in the world, Sage didn’t disappoint, as more than 15,000 attendees were wowed by a series of A-list keynotes and learning sessions. Importantly, the summit was a fair reflection of Sage’s ambition to be a disruptive, out-of-the-box-thinking, and partner-centric outfit, which extends far beyond the technology it provides.

“One significant message that you can take away from the Sage Summit 2016 is that we at Sage are seriously committed to our partners,” explains Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage. “Sage and its partners share the same aspirations—to delight our customers and grow our businesses. We can’t achieve our ambitions without each other.”

Today, with 30 years of unmatched expertise in supporting thousands of business partners across 23 countries, Sage is one of the market leaders for accounting and payroll, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and payment systems.

”When you are ready to move to the cloud, full mobility, and real-time accounting, then Sage is ready to take you there”

Sage X3: Not a Typical ERP

At the Sage Summit 2016, Sage celebrated the success of Sage X3 by announcing the launch of the new Sage X3 cloud release Update 10. The company also spoke about its partnership with mobile commerce solution provider, XM Developments, to deliver engaging and personalized shopping experiences on any device, along with the planned availability of a new connector for Salesforce CRM Enterprise Editions. This completes Sage X3’s strategy to deliver an integrated, enterprise-class cloud solution for global distributors. The new Sage X3 e-commerce solution ensures whether the web store data is consistent with product, inventory, sales and customer data at all times.
It boosts online sales with advanced cross-sell and digital marketing capabilities and accelerates the creation of new stores by using pre-built templates for specific industries. The new Sage X3 integrates with payment processing platforms (Sage Pay) and delivers enterprise-class security and scalability, while ensuring ongoing compatibility with future Sage X3 releases.

As a global solution for the mid-market organizations and a key part of Sage’s technology strategy, Sage X3 is a powerful asset for businesses that need to manage a range of functions, including manufacturing, purchasing, inventory, sales, warehousing, CRM, and finance. It accelerates all the core business processes—from purchasing to manufacturing, inventory, sales, customer service, and financial management—within one cohesive system. The solution adapts to meet the customer’s requirements, user roles, and preferences to deliver quick-to-implement, simple-to-manage, and easy-to-use software, on any familiar web browser or mobile device.

Empowering Accounting Professionals

To empower accounting professionals worldwide, Sage announced an extension to its existing partnership with Microsoft at the Sage Summit 2016. As part of the extended relationship, Sage will integrate its accounting solution, Sage 50, with Microsoft Office 365. The new solution allows customers and the joint ecosystem to grow, extend, and innovate on top of the combined solution. Sage has also become an Office 365 reseller and first-line support provider under the Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) program.

As a part of the CSP program, Sage will be one of the first global ISVs to bundle Office 365 with their own solution and resell it to small business customers around the world. By integrating Sage 50 with Office 365, Sage has enhanced the power of its business solution with greater mobility, analytics, and cloud capabilities. Now customers can manage their businesses with Sage 50 and Office 365, across multiple devices and locations—with the confidence that their information is live and up to date.

Apart from improving the productivity and helping customers shift to a mobile first, cloud first world, the Sage 50 and Office 365 solution will allow businesses to track business performance and history, work with customer and supplier records and transactions on the go as they collaborate across all devices. Organizations can instantly see available credit position and trading history, check the payable amount, and make important business decisions using information from Sage 50 and Office 365. Sage 50 helps firms store important business documents and transactions electronically in a secure environment. Photos of receipts or invoices can be stored and accessed along with all records, from Sage, Outlook, and OneDrive on the users’ favorite smartphone or device.

“Working together with Microsoft we are reinventing Sage 50, one of the world’s best-loved business applications.

Sage and its partners share the same aspirations—to delight our customers and grow our businesses. We can’t achieve our ambitions without each other

With the rapid growth of the Office 365 user base, the opportunity for future innovation on the Office 365 platform is incredibly exciting. We want to put the power of Sage and Microsoft behind more than 72 million small and medium businesses around the world to liberate them from time-consuming tasks, and supercharge their productivity,” affirms Kelly.

Reaching for the Cloud

Since taking the helm as CEO in 2014, Kelly promised a company-future focused on ‘sensibly’ prioritizing around customers and market needs. However, Sage isn’t just aiming to be ‘sensible.’ Kelly and his executive committee are taking great pains to build a company that is forward thinking and fast moving; one that does not intend to rest on its laurels, but aims to extend into and far ‘beyond the cloud’ to serve the accounting market. “When you are ready to move to the cloud, full mobility, and real-time accounting, then Sage is ready to take you there,” says Kelly. “In fact, we won’t just support you, but in many cases, we’re modernizing your product’s mobile interface and connecting it to the Sage Integration Cloud.” With the introduction of Sage Integration Cloud, Sage has opened up its platforms to build a vibrant ecosystem of independent software vendors around Sage’s core domain expertise of accounting, payroll/human capital management and payments. Sage Integration Cloud is a platform that enables customers to integrate their apps with the cloud, without writing code or performing manual updates.

Recently, Sage has also partnered with GupShup to bring the first accounting bot to the marketplace. The bot, which was released at the Sage Summit 2016, integrates with Facebook Messenger and Slack and works similarly to Siri or Alexa, but is much more specialized and smarter in the niche area of accounting. The bot, named Pegg, views images of receipts and invoices that users send straight from their mobile devices to Sage’s integrated systems. Pegg then creates reports, learning the user’s habits along the way, making all the accounting ‘invisible,’ as developers Kriti Sharma and Beerud Sheth term it. “There is so much more happening in Sage labs, including looking at data sciences, predictive analytics, blockchain, big data, machine learning, and innovation in technology that can make your lives easier and allow you to grow faster,” Kelly concludes.


United Kingdom

Stephen Kelly, CEO

Provides a range of easy-to-use business management software and services—from accounting to ERP, CRM and payments