Monday, July 25, was Day 0 (zero), as they put it, of the Sage Summit – day's that featured keynote addresses focused on "Partner Passion." To start, former Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka huddled together with the Sage team to not only open the Summit, but to focus on partners and four keys to winning, including product roadmaps, keeping things simple, more leads for partners, and a simple message for North America..."to win."
Coach Ditka then selected Alan Laing, head of Global Strategic Partnerships & Alliances at Sage, to be the first of Sage executives to reach out to the partners and simply say, "Thank you partners." He went on to say that Sage is serious about their partners and partner relationship.
Next, Stephen Kelly, Sage CEO, addressed the company's current status, and where they are headed with their Sage Partners, including a profound recognition of the importance of their partner relationships by putting partners front and center as the company embraces the future. In order to create a win, win, win environment for customers, partners and the company, Sage is focused on businesses at all levels using onsite, hybrid and cloud technologies without any forced migration, giving customers a choice, while supporting partners within the ecosystems of their liking, and providing the solutions to fit every circumstance. Kelly also elaborated on Sage's strategy of Winning via Customers for life, business revolution toward forward thinking easier solutions, with capacity for growth through the entire business life cycle, and a 'One Sage' approach that will not only bring the various facets of the company together, but also incorporate Sage partners as insiders, not outsiders.
While this Day 0 was focused on the Sage Partners, including the 2000+ in attendance on Monday, the Sage summit, with an estimated 15,000 Sage users, partners and prospects is packed with forward thinking concepts, practices and technologies that will open the eyes of everyone in attendance. Sage executives, product developers, and technical representatives are on hand to not only convey concepts, but details and demonstrations of the current state of each sage product as well as roadmaps of where the technology is headed. Yet the roadmaps are not just static representations of technology pathways, but include working models of some features just being rolled out, ready for roll-out, and in-production.
In regard to the Sage Partners, the company recognizes that when they team with their partners, the result is a winning game. This means that the wide number of partner programs in different countries, based around different products, and different partner types will be drawn together into a winning 'unified' single Partner Program offering much more than any of the fragmented partner options of the past. And the company's 'partner centric' commitment to help partners win begins on Tuesday when more than 9,000 prospective Sage users will be in attendance for existing Sage Partners to meet and support.
While the focus of much of the rest of the day was on products, including product roadmaps, I will cover only a few key highlights, as we will focus more in-depth on some of the products later this week and in the weeks to come.
Sage 50 (US) continues to support start-up businesses, and is now offered in desktop, cloud and hybred formats. While no Sage 50 customer will ever be forced to migrate to the cloud, more and more start-up business owners are looking solely to the cloud for their accounting needs, and in so doing they are finding Sage One, which will be incorporating payroll (everywhere) very soon. Sage is anticipating that Sage 50 will integrate with Sage One by November (2016) and with Sage One-Accountant by next March (2017).
Scale-up customers will continue to be supported by the Sage 100, 200 and 300 product lines even though a growing number of such customers are migrating already to Sage Live. Sage has recently expanded their marketplace of Apps that work with Sage Live to more than 100 for specific functionality in meeting market demands.
Sage X3 (version 10) actually went live today, and is aimed at meeting the global management needs of enterprise level customers across all business aspects. Improved functionality supporting manufacturing, distribution and retail within near future will offer simpler, faster and more flexible solutions than ever before.
All in all, I would say that it was a very good first day; oops, I mean 'Day 0' at the Sage Summit, as evidenced by the various parties and social gatherings, centered on the 'partner centricity' theme of the day, even though I left those festivities early in order to finalize this article for my readers.