Sage launches global CRM initiative

Sage Software, with its litany of products from Accpac, Peachtree, SalesLogix and Act!, has been a regional player — until now.

With the creation of a global CRM organization under chief executive Paul Walker, Sage is trying to gain the mindshare and marketshare from small- and mid-size business around the world.

The announcement of the global CRM initiatives coincides with the launch of www.Sagecrm.com in the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain.

Dave Batt, senior vice-president and general manager of global CRM solutions for Sage, said SMB companies around the world are doing CRM everyday, but they are doing it manually.

With products such as Sage CRM, SageCRM.com, Sage CRM Sales Logix and Act! by Sage, Batt said the company wants to bring some automation to the CRM process for these small business around the world.

“Sage’s business model is straight-forward. We are very strong regionally and locally. The company has a strong accounting heritage and that is why it is set up this way.

The applications had to meet the local requirements. With the CRM business, the company overlaid those in a decentralized model. The company recognized the CRM product was growing faster than the accounting products and they are not bound by any restrictions so we can take it globally,” Batt said.

Batt, who recently joined Sage after heading up Microsoft’s CRM business, also said the company would rebrand its CRM products globally under the slogan Freedom of Choice.Freedom of Choice, according to Batt will be the umbrella brand for the entire product line. The reasoning for this was build continuity, he said.

“One size does not fit all in this market. Unlike the other companies (enterprise vendors such as SAP, Oracle and Siebel), we did not engineer our products up or down market.

We have three different products for three addressable markets in the SMB space,” Batt said.

Another aspect of the rebranding strategy, Batt added, was to convey the Sage is a safe choice from a channel and customer perspective.

“This is important in the SMB market because so many organizations are concerned that they may have picked the right product but not the right company because of so much consolidation in the CRM market. A small business owner gets worried if the vendor gets consolidated and they get rid of the product line and go to a master product. They are not excited about reinstalling a new product and the costs associated with that,” he said.

With this new strategy, Sage will embark on an advertising that is intended on helping partners around the world generate leads.

The channel, with this rebranding strategy, can either lead with the brand or suppress it, Batt said. “Companies do not care. They try to improve their business and (the solution) may not neatly fit into one box,” he said.

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