I am back in the office after a whirlwind trip to Denver for the annual Sage Insights conference. This 2010 edition was my first as a Sage alumnus and I came away with a feeling that not only is Sage, and its ecosystem of partners, world-class in business but also as people. I guess I knew this all along, but sometimes it takes time away to truly appreciate it.
Here are a few of my conference observations:
Cloud computing is moving to the forefront of the Sage product strategy. In his keynote presentation, Himanshu Palsule, EVP of product strategy and marketing, called cloud computing one of two major trends to capitalize upon and introduced Sage North America’s cloud-based “connected services” as a key product strategy pillar. Connected services take “the richness of on-premise applications and connect to the reach of cloud-based services.” The launches of Sage SalesLogix Cloud and Sage Fundraising Online are examples of Sage dipping a toe in the “cloud” water (does that make it “rain”?)
Business intelligence continues to gain in prominence within the Sage community. This year’s conference featured an entire presentation track dedicated to business intelligence reporting and analysis. And if the buzz at the Indicee booth was any indication, the opportunities for cloud-based analysis and reporting solutions are immense. Business partners outlined the challenges that clients are facing when it comes to creating and updating reports especially when the data resides in multiple systems such as Sage ERP MAS or Sage ERP Accpac and SageCRM. Conversations also revealed that the complexity and costs of typical on-premise BI solutions are often barriers to adoption.
Sage ERP Accpac – still near and dear to me – continues to garner much attention as the ERP of the future (very near future with a Version 6 beta just around the corner); the slick user interface and improved workflow continue to impress. Kudos to the product team under the leadership of Scott Zandbergen, Erik Kaas, Alok Tyagi, and others.
The Simply Accounting group under the stewardship of Jamie Sutherland continues to be one of the most innovative teams in the Sage family. They have followed up on the success of Billing Boss, the online invoicing tool, with a mobile payment processing solution called Payment Boss.
Sage continues to be the “partner’s choice” for top vendor–forthrightness, integrity, and accessibility are a few of the words that come to mind to describe Sage. Speaking with fellow attendees and trolling the online forums, common themes are the positive feeling about the Sage team and a real bullishness about the Sage strategy.
A big shout-out to the entire Sage team for pulling off another successful Insights conference. Can’t wait until Sage Summit 2011 in DC.
Keep dialed into this channel for more Indicee news including the upcoming launch of our iPhone & iPad mobile reporting application (incidentally, Himanshu indicated that mobility was the other key trend influencing Sage product direction).