Recently Dennis Howlett, self-proclaimed no-nonsense purveyor of truth in matters pertaining to enterprise IT, penned an article called “Sage on the road to nowhere.” As a long-time observer of Sage UK, Mr. Howlett makes some tough and mostly accurate assessments of the current situation and the challenges faced by Sage as they shift to addressing new customer expectations in the increasingly Cloud-based world of software applications.
Luckily for all involved, Sage leadership has seemingly woken up to these new, and growing, set of expectations and now it’s a matter of proper, disciplined execution on the road ahead. There is no doubt that this journey of transformation will continue to experience bumps in the road with some painful ramifications for many involved.
But it’s completely necessary if Sage wants to survive in the new economy.
If you don’t believe this, consider companies like Blockbuster Video, RIM, Sears, Best Buy and others that – not waking up in time to the transformations in their particular industries – have been either put out of business completely or dramatically crippled.
Sage have just posted the Sage Summit 2011 keynote and panel discussion from their July 2011 combined customer and partner conference. This 1:21 video covers both Pascal’s opening keynote as well as the question and answer session with the Sage Executive team.
Apparently August 3, 2011 was In ‘n Out Burger Day at Sage’s North American corporate headquarters. While I’m not entirely certain what else was on the agenda it seems certain that it included burgers and a little baseball.
Check this video out as incoming Sage CEO Pascal Houillon wastes no time dunking Sage’s fully clothed Channel Chief Tom Miller . In only two pitches Tom was in the tank – denim jeans and all.
This seems like a promising event for Sage to feature at next year’s Sage Summit 2012 conference.
The conference got off to a great start with a rockin’ video featuring Sage Irvine team members lip synching to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (not sure if that’s the official title).
Pascal Houillon, the new CEO for Sage North America delivered a solid presentation. He got some good laughs and proceeded to outline some strategy changes – mostly on how Sage is starting down the road of shifting focus on the Sage brand and away from the individual products such as MAS, Accpac, Peachtree, ACT!, Saleslogix, etc.
Individually these brands are solid and well-known but the challenge that they present is the customer is not connected to Sage as a group of products. The core problem here is that customers that could benefit from other Sage products don’t identify those products as sister or brother products to what they own. This means that the sales process starts from step one with each new product.
The idea of shifting away from long-established product brands is bold. There will be some pain (ok … maybe a lot of pain) for partners and Sage itself as they establish this brand but, personally, I think it makes a lot of sense and will make it easier for customers to feel comfortable with the Sage family of products.
In the long-run, this should make all of our lives easier.
Not a lot of details were provided. Pascal and his team may still be working some of it. I’m guessing we will see and hear some things soon over the coming weeks and months.
Comment below if you have specific questions.