Sage to roll out new cloud products

Sage UK managing director Lee Perkins
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UK accounting software giant Sage grabbed the headlines on the first day of Accountex with two major cloud announcements.

Overnight, the company published a joint statement with CRM developer Salesforce.com describing a new global partnership that will produce a new mid-market application called Sage Life.

Aimed at companies with 20-200 users, Sage Life will feature an all-new cloud accounting engine developed using Salesforce’s Force.com development platform. The common platform will allow Sage Life to plug directly into the Salesforce.com application to integrate the accounts with customer communications.

“Small business software no longer has to represent different systems or layers of complexity – it’ll be simple, collaborative, and real time. With Sage Life, we are delivering social, mobile, cloud-based innovation, powered by real-time accounting. Now running a small business can be as easy as updating your Facebook status,” commented Sage CEO Stephen Kelly.

Accountants may be more intrigued by the Sage Impact project coming out of the company’s UK accountants’ division. The first instalment due this summer will provide a hub for the Sage One family of bookkeeping and accounting products.

The cloud-based suite will support both the Sage One accounting and payroll applications, along with the Sage View reporting dashboard launched in the US last year, Sage One Accounts Production and an online corporation tax program.

Early impressions from those who saw a working prototype in the VIP lounge at Accountex were positive - more details to follow.

About John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight

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.

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By JC
14th May 2015 11:22

Can we have some answers from Sage on this ….

Before rolling out anything new – SORT OUT THE EXISTING PROBLEMS

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/anyanswers/question/sage-drive-0#comment-774357

SAGE LIFE - says it all – breathing new life into nearly dead Sage products – how apocryphal!

Once again simply Sage marketing & rhetoric with no tangible resolution to existing issues - only goes to reinforce the fact that Sage are a marketing company and not an IT company

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14th May 2015 11:57

Frankenstein lives!

As Bruno Mars says - Don't believe me just watch! http://tinyurl.com/ojty6eh

and while I am here QuickBooks can hide aswell :-) http://tinyurl.com/le7rrom

Regards,Rob

 

 

 

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14th May 2015 16:34

Sage Life

"Sage Life has...caught the world's imagination" says John Stokdyk (AccountingWEB) to Lee Perkins (Sage) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eThGafko9JI&feature=youtu.be&t=1m11s :o)

Paul Lancaster
Sage One UK & Ireland
http://uk.sageone.com/blog/

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14th May 2015 16:44

In that case Mr Stokdyk must have a very low opinion of the world.

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14th May 2015 21:38

Cannot comment on the bad experiences encountered above but,
Went to Accountax to make some final decisions over which software I was going to push forward with. Must say I hadn't been considered Sage or even visiting their stand, but their new Sage one offering was very impressive and the new prices are not to be sniffed at. quickbooks is also a product I have not really used before and again their new realease was very impressive. I was expecting to come away deciding to be a Xero accounting practice but didn't get the same wow from it as I did from other products. really good show and worth the trip down.

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By PKan
14th May 2015 21:24

talk is cheap with sage

Especially when customers are paying through the nose to support them

Experts discovered that "paying through the nose" was a Viking punishment of slitting the nose from tip to eyebrow of anyone who refused to pay tax

seriously though they need to get their house in order I am begining to tire of this shameful product and taxation.... Sorry....pricing....

 

 

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By NHGlos
15th May 2015 08:21

To mirror...

To mirror the comments above, the first thing that sprung into mind when I saw the title of this piece was "learn to walk before you run!"

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15th May 2015 09:46

Rob Taylor please take your bias elsewhere

 your quote 'As a leading UK Cloud vendor we are seeing more and more companies adopt cloud solutions' . Stop knocking other peoples product (see above) when promoting your own 

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By JC
15th May 2015 09:51

Let’s see Lee Perkins CV …

Very difficult to find any CV or Employment History associated with Lee Perkins on the internet

Therefore there are a few questions:

Why is there no CV available for Lee PerkinsDoes Mr Perkins have a marketing background or is he seriously IT – proper IT (background - systems, analyst, project manager, developer) and not part of the distribution chainWhat exactly is his forte

Force Platform

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/article/financialforce-goes-shopping-spree/550054

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/topic/technology/coda-2go-hosted-financials-ready-integration-salesforcecom

Seem to recall the Force platform being implemented by CODA in the past (CODA 2go) – although, we haven’t heard from CODA on Aweb in a while - http://www.unit4software.co.uk/

http://www.salesforce.com/company/news-press/press-releases/2007/09/070917-07.jsp

http://www.financialforce.com/company/press-center/press-releases/coda-2go-now-available-through-forcecom-checkout/

In addition FinancialForce - http://www.financialforce.com/ - is an ERP solution in its own right

So all in all it would seem as though Sage may have woken up to the fact that they are absolutely hopeless at their own Cloud solutions (or in fact any remote solution), have missed the SaaS boat and have now hooked into SalesForce as System Implementers

Wow and Sage have just woken up to FinancialForce (2007-2015) – 7 years after the event – amazing! Even if it is a Sage bailout strategy to cover their own inabilities

Reference

http://www.opi.net/news/perkins-to-head-azlan-uk - August 2005 - responsible for all Azlan's sales, product marketing and promotional activities in the UK

http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/1880200/perkins-heads-computer-2000

http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/2044354/perkins-set-leave-2000

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16th May 2015 06:52

Talking about the smaller end of the market, Sage did make a complete mess of their 'beta' Sage One that originally came out. That puts them on the back foot, and they are difficult to trust.

Listening to their marketing strategy at Accountex it sounds very smart... and I have clients who have been studying Sage One and of course then picked up the product to take into their business.

But the key is all about functionality... yes they just brought out bank feeds but how are they going to get ahead of the curve? The greatest opportunity is still finding a way to make the Sage Line 50 product cloud based - and Sage Drive just does not cut it. They seriously need to sort out the IT in Sage One, and throw their considerable financial resources behind this.  

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16th May 2015 15:12

I do apologise

Notwithstanding the view of our esteemed contributor above I happen to have great respect and admiration for Sage, SalesForce, Quickbooks,  to name but a few. However my real point is this. Accounting is one facet of the business process, albeit important. Internet technology over the past 10 years has enabled SaaS products to be written that encompass virtually all aspects of the business in a single unified cloud platform, the prime example being Netsuite - again from a purely technical perspective, a great product. This is having the effect of putting pure accounting plays on the back foot, since they are now, in effect legacy systems. So Sage has (at least) 2 problems, First, they have a legacy system that is not in the cloud, but has a large install base and they need to figure out a way of getting that base into the cloud. Secondly they need to extend the product functionality to encompass the other business disciplines, namely Fulfillment and CRM, the latter being the motivation behind the SalesForce collaboration. Whichever way you skin it, technically, you will never beat a system that has been designed and written from the ground up to provide unified functionality across multiple disciplines.

I am rambling, but in part I agree with Financial Health's observation regarding Sage Line 50, I just don't think the small business community need yet another singleton accounting product, they need a consolidated business app to cover all areas.

 

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By PKan
17th May 2015 09:30

lets not confuse issues with being wrong

I have had major issues with sage drive and I am very concerned at their lack of customer focus at the moment and it needs sorting out ASAP.....

I use cloud based products all the time and they are great but the main benefit has been the eco system that has developed around them and I partly disagree with robtaylor in that one product cannot do it all , but it's the ability to seamlessly integrate other purpose built add ons that are of great benefit and extend the core products capabilities, there are already crm and fufulfilment connections for sage.

Xero et al are  not necessarily overall  better than sage , they have their benefits but they also have their limitations which many people tend to mask over, put this way, if sage 50 was cloud based it would be a market leader in class in terms of core competencies of that I have no doubt, it's vat, purchase ordering , stock, data link to excel, coas, reporting and more are better than most. The bank feed is an issue but I think this has more to do with their lack of seeking strategic partners and links than the system per sa. I also would also say that cloud based system are  slower to operate than desktop.

Sage 50 is a very capable product it's just that , at the moment, there are hiccups with drive and anyone not using Windows cannot access the data e.g my clients who use prefer Macs , they have an eco system developing but it has been slow , I am sure that the move to store the data in the cloud will eventually lead to an opening out of more connected apps.

I am sure (really hope) sage have something in the pipeline to fix these issues very very soon the question is time taken to get there and their charging structure and moreover whether people like me will continue to keep some faith in a product that we have been paying for , for some time, or when the point of no return will arrive whilst they play catch up, let's hope they start thinking of customers before investors soon as the satisfied former will lead to a satisfied latter not vice versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17th May 2015 10:15

@Rob

i should hope so too.............

However if you click on the tiny link it goes to RIP Quickbooks , that is plainly rubbish and it aint going to happen, its just pathetic and demeans your company's offerings

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By JC
17th May 2015 10:18

Best of breed or better still …

@ PKan

One upon a time there used to be two choices – totally integrated or best of breed

Nowadays with the advent of SaaS a third option has been introduced – lets for the sake of simplicity call it a ‘container service’

This ‘container service’ is simply a structured wrapper with the core data structure and a plethora of api’s (web-services) allowing access to the underlying structure

A scenario such as this would allow multiple providers to integrate their ‘best of breed’ applications (api’s) into the overall structure - and customers to choose which components they needed for their business

In fact to take this ‘container service’ to its ultimate conclusion one would only ever need a single structure such as this to have one universal system fitting pretty any much any accounting scenario – however, the existing providers would probably never agree to this

So far as L50 is concerned

Sage is well aware of outstanding issues going back many versions that have still not been addressedTheir method of security is archaicTheir Db is not up to today’s requirements (were going to change to MSql or MySql at one time – canned?)Was originally designed as a desktop app – yes it is being ‘forced’ to run on servers but there are downsides

So where do they go

Current L50 architecture flawed for internet purposesUnwilling to spend the money (and time) on a ground up re-write of L50 – internet version is probably beyond them anywayThey are now looking for a quick fix and this comes in the form of the FORCE platform and an alliance with SalesForce

Alternatives

Go on the aquisition trail - normal Sage approachFind a partner with existing capability - SalesForce ?

As for playing catch-up – Sage have been doing this ever since they took the decision not to engage with ASP/SaaS and missed the boat

However, all this is a world away from severely challenged Sage own internet products – where originally they seemed incapable of hiding passwords (company with £xxm capitalisation incapable of seeing that passwords have to be secure)

Although their share price still rises - mystery

http://www.kashflow.com/blog/sage-live-security/

http://www.accountancyage.com/aa/news/1763588/sage-withdraws-web-software-security-scare

Just type ‘.. sage live security ..’ into Google & see what happens - despite Sage attempts to airbrush Sage Live out of their history

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18th May 2015 10:30

its fairly obvious why the share price goes up

repeat contracts worldwide , its reach is still however much we dislike it tremendous and to teh vast majority , i suspect , of its users its far too much hassle to change . Cloud penetration is a long way off and i am beginning to wonder if its all smoke and mirrors 

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19th May 2015 11:12

And What about the support?

Anyone using a new Sage product is going to need a lot of telephone support due to the usual shoddy programming. You will only know about that if you are a user. All demos will look absolutely wonderful. 

If you've tried ringing Sage payroll support they are now largely staffed by not very bright people who are so poorly trained that they can't answer the question. But I'm just a customer and my views go unnoticed despite putting in a complaint.

I forecast that all the bright people on telephone support for all Sage products will be replaced by these hopeless ones. We currently have such inadequate support on payroll now it's no support, but some of us still have to pay for it. Sage are clearly subbing this out to a third party and don't care about the consequences for the users.

I really fear for those enthusiastic new users of this apparently wonderful product.

 

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07th Jun 2015 13:42

@Moonbeam

... completely agree, there are two things that Sage are good at - marketing and taking money - that's it.

It never ceases to amaze me at the complete lack of compatibility between every version of Sage - the latest in the saga was a client wanting to upgrade to Sage One - except that you can't transfer existing data to it - really, what a surprise!

I am quite lucky that I only have a handful of clients using this dreadful rubbish and am slowly in the process of converting them to a decent system.

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