Listed accounting software house Sage has previewed its Business Cloud solution, a collection of tools designed to be “the only cloud platform that businesses will ever need”.
The Sage Business Cloud is built around a core of financials, HR, payroll payment and banking functions. Several of the tools in this collection have been added over the past year or two through acquisitions including Intacct (online financials), Fairsail (“human capital management”) and Compass (analytics and benchmarking).
In common with other online platforms such as Xero or Salesforce, it comes with an app marketplace from which businesses can bolt in additional functions.
“We want to make our customers’ lives simple,” said Sage CEO Stephen Kelly in the company’s introductory announcement. “Businesses of all shapes and sizes need products that aid productivity, enable them to respond at lightning speed and deliver insights as well as opportunity.”
The “Sage… Cloud” product format is part of Kelly’s vision for “transformative” business software, which is backed with predictions from industry analyst Gartner about how “postmodern enterprise resource planning” is deconstructing suite-centric, monolithic, on-premise ERP into loosely coupled applications.
That’s the theory. AccountingWEB’s recent Software Excellence Awards survey confirmed Gartner’s assertion that the market for financial management suites has been static for several years, but with the exception of a small incursion from Exact Online in the lower mid-market, UK businesses were not yet signing up for Gartner’s new wave of enterprise software.
Only a small handful of Sage X3 and no Sage Live users – the Sage products that fit Gartner’s description - showed up in a sample of nearly 4,000 software users taken during the summer of 2017.
Elsewhere in the portfolio, Sage’s Accountant Cloud is also taking it time to make an impact. After announcing the official launch in the summer, Sage has slowed down the release schedule to take on board feedback from early test users, sales director Sean Evers told AccountingWEB.
When the full-blown Sage Accountant Cloud arrives – probably in January – it will most likely be an upmarket companion for the Sage Business Cloud, catering predominantly for small medium-sized practices.
About John Stokdyk
AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.