Sage's Stodgy Johnny-Come-Lately Cloud Challenge

Rafi Khan
CIO-Consultant at Riverside Community Care and Senior Consultant-Open Minds
Friday, February 3, 2017
Rafi Khan
IBM introduced the first desktop PC in 1981-the same year as Sage's inception in Newcastle, UK, developing an estimating and accounting software for small businesses. Sage has since grown to almost a 2 billion USD worldwide organization. Sage's group CEO, Stephen Kelly took the helm in November 2014 and the company's technology strategy is finally in the right trajectory. Until Kelly, Sage is one of the last accounting software firms to offer cloud-centric solutions. This strategic delay by its previous leadership has had consequences-market-share loss to competitors such as Microsoft Dynamics GP, Intuit, Saasu, Xero, Netsuite, and other AAMEA (Australia, Asia, Middle East and Africa) and European players-all of whom offered faster implementation via online accounting cloud alternatives early in the game.

Course Correction

Kelly has helped Sage correct its technology course and recover lost ground by ending its legacy decentralized product model focus, now scaling towards a customer engaging global online software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Sage's market strategy now focuses on core cloud-based solutions covering accounting, CRM, BI, ERP, Payroll, HR, and retail POS solutions-such as Sage One, Sage Life, and Sage X3.

Pegging Sage

Sage Summit 2016, its largest annual event attracting entrepreneurs, customers and partners showcased its next generation of business technology- including its beta-version chat bot Pegg (think Siri or Google Now for accounting)-that digitizes information, acts as a personal trainer and voice based assistant for its customers' businesses. Kelly declaring Sage as a tech company has its roots-its successful turnaround in cloud strategies has repositioned it as a market leader.

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