Sage previews software as a service Live Cash offering

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One of the accounting software industry's most eagerly awaited debuts took place at the Business Startup event in London last week when Sage previewed a pre-release version of its online Sage Live Cash product. John Stokdyk reports

The software as a service development and marketing team appeared on the Sage stand with a laptop running a version of the new system. Among those who had a look at the new application were BusinessZone.co.uk editor Dan Martin and Duane Jackson, managing director of the KashFlow online accounting system.

Unlike Sage's existing Sage 50 Online product, Sage Live departs from the traditional Sage 50 interface. As Jackson noted in a post on UK Business Forums, "The screens on this are very different to Sage 50 as it's designed for a different...

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Pricing
Fusion Accounts allows up to 10 concurrent users at a price of £30 per month.

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Does it look like this???
http://sage50web.domorewithsage.com

Probably not as that was my work in progress version of a web enabled Sage 50, early alpha prototype but bad timing I guess!

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Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Interesting question Alan, although I doubt that Sage would credit Dennis with initiating their interest, nor that he would take credit for it. Anyway, he's big enough to defend himself (not that he's an 800 pound gorilla, of course!).

The point you raise about depth (or strength) is interesting, given the large number of small companies who have jumped onto the online accounting bandwagon in the last year. Is it too much of a "good thing"? Who do we think will survive? How can we tell?

Hardly any of the online proividers providers talk about the size of their user base. It's either buried deep on their web site (unlikely) or they simply don't want to talk about it. Where as we show it in our shop window.

Mark Davies, e-conomic
Freedom from Evil

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.
No Surprise Sage has entered the market. They have no doubt sat and watched the sudden rise of the SaaS market place and realised it does pose a threat to them long term, however, I doubt they will do too much damage to the SaaS providers who have differentiated products, after all Sage tries a one size fits all approach.

Furthermore, Sage will never be able to move as fast as most of the SaaS providers, by the very nature of what SaaS is and the market it appeals to you need to move fast, Sage have never been very good at that.

No doubt some of the late comers in the SaaS field will fail, those who are underfunded etc, not a bad thing in itself anyway.

It will be interesting to see their pricing.

Also, the longer established SaaS providers like Winweb (with whom my practice is a Gold Partner) are now pushing this market place even harder still, this is seen with deals like that now being offered by Viking Direct, they are offering WinWeb Online Office 5 to all their customers and all they have to do is spend a mere £30.

It will be interesting to see which of the SaaS providers start to fail in 2009 when things get tougher, and see which up their game, and I have no doubt Sage will be amongst them somewhere.

Just my two pennies worth.

Jason

Holden Associates
A Blog for Small Business

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Did Dennis Howlett rouse the gorilla?
This has been on the cards for a while now and could well be down to Dennis Howlett's exhortations to Sage some time back to emulate Freshbooks if my memory serves me right. I think he made the comments before his involvement in FreeAgent.

I wouldn't want to be in the rash of entry level applications that don't have significant depth to the IP in their product and are forced to compete on price while the 800 pound gorilla that is Sage Marketing quietly rolls over the marketplace.

Alan Wright
Director

[email protected]
Accounting Software with Payroll - Online from Liberty Accounts

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What's the alternative?
Please take a look at our offering www.arithmo.co.uk. At only £499 per annum an accountant can have 10 client licenses allowing simultaneous access with the added ability to make adjustments in real time for their clients.

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Not so online either?
"The accountant will be able to export data straight into Client Manager to raise corrections and post them back"

Why is it necessary to take something away, work on it behind the client's back (presumably locking them out in the process?), and then send it back again? Why not work online with the client directly?

Mark
Freedom from Evil

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Not so cheap
"A price of £10 per user per month has been widely circulated - significantly cheaper than Kashflow and other entry-level online systems. "

Just to clarify - if you want more than one person to access your data at the same time, you'll get charged more (assuming the £10/user/month pricing is correct) by Sage than you would by us.

With KashFlow it's £15.99 a month and no limit to simultaneous logins.

And for the hundreds of accountants using our Partner Programme (www.partners.kashflow.co.uk) the costs is only £4 per month.

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