Sage Announces Global CRM Strategy

Sage Announces Global CRM Strategy

CRM vision addresses emerging customer needs, leverages Web 2.0 technologies, and begins delivering new strategic benefits in 2008

Sage CRM Solutions, part of the Sage Group plc, today announced its global CRM strategy. Sage CRM Solutions 2010 is a comprehensive product and technology vision to guide development of the Sage CRM Solutions product family that includes ACT! by Sage, SageCRM, and Sage SalesLogix. The strategy addresses distinct business requirements; creates new interoperability among the Sage CRM Solutions family; applies open Web standards to enable a connected front and back-office; and incorporates emerging Web 2.0 technologies.

“Our customers have the potential to grow and enhance their businesses through the insights that our CRM solutions can offer them and the implementation of this strategy will help them achieve that potential," explained Joe Bergera, executive vice president and global general manager, Sage CRM Solutions. "CRM has reached a critical turning point. Customers tell us their requirements have moved beyond the on-premise versus hosted debate. They want a pragmatic approach that delivers a fully functional ‘anywhere user experience’ supported by a connected front-office and back-office environment, and interoperability between our market leading contact management products and CRM suites.”

The strategy – developed through research among the Sage customer base of more than 5.5 million business management software and services customers – identifies tangible opportunities that small and mid-sized businesses and divisions of enterprises can take advantage of this year, with additional capabilities being delivered incrementally through 2010. Sage CRM Solutions customers will realize benefits including:

• quick time-to-value via purpose-built solutions;
• enhanced end-user/cross-organizational productivity with Web 2.0 applications;
• end-to-end business processes through front and back-office integration;
• functional synergies among Sage CRM, ERP and vertical solutions through the application of Web services and other standards-based technologies; and
• investment protection via flexible and interoperable on-demand and on-premise implementation options.

Business requirements-driven segmentation

Businesses interact with their customers in many different ways. While some businesses work one-to-one with their customers, others have more distributed organizations that need to manage one-to-many or many-to-many relationships. Sage’s CRM strategy accounts for each organization’s customer interaction model, as well as its performance enhancement strategy, and CRM buyer type. Sage CRM Solutions are optimized to address business requirements based on this segmentation, anticipating that many organizations will require expanded functionality and deployment options over time.

“Sage's delivery strategy for CRM buyer types, meticulously segmented from the simplest to the most complex customer interaction models, represents a level of planning not commonly seen from solution providers,” said Mary Wardley, IDC vice president, enterprise applications and CRM software. “This not only affords buyers a better ability to custom fit CRM within their organizations, but also presents compelling opportunities for the extensive Sage partner network to provide professional services that help customers, and Sage, fully realize this global strategy.”

Comprehensive technology

Sage is implementing a holistic technology approach that will support its global CRM strategy. It includes the following elements:

• common components will provide a consistent user experience, workflow, data access and analytics across Sage CRM Solutions;
• services-based integration will help organizations manage end-to-end business processes with standards-based integration to back-office applications;
• interoperability will enable organizations to seamlessly migrate from one CRM application to another as their business requirements evolve;
• a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business platform will allow on-demand or on-premise access to any Sage CRM Solutions product;
• context aware services will incorporate Internet and Web 2.0 services, allowing customers to add on-demand business functionality to their CRM products; and
• anywhere workforce awareness will let users access their applications, whether connected or disconnected, from a range of devices such as rich clients, Web terminals, and smart phones for a consistent CRM experience from any location.

"The wealth of transactional data in the back-office must be presented in a meaningful way to CRM users," said Sheryl Kingstone, Yankee Group director of enterprise research. "The Sage technology strategy focuses on customers’ desires for improved business processes, anytime access and integration of easy to use consumer Web services.”

The Sage CRM Solutions product roadmap will begin delivering against the new global CRM strategy this calendar year, and continue through 2010 as additional product capabilities are released incrementally. More detail regarding the Sage CRM Solutions 2010 strategy can be found in the corresponding white paper, available for download at