Sage Strengths, Domain Expertise, and Key Differentiators
Sage has long been a well-known brand in the UK, but far lesser known in other parts of the world, particularly in the United States. Its brand is well-respected amongst accounting firms, many of whom partner with Sage in the UK to deliver services to their clients. It has deep bench strength in terms of accounting but doesn’t enjoy the same reputation in other categories like ERP or in advanced technology. Sage is now leveraging the expertise and SaaS DNA of Intacct and the accounting-related relationships it has forged through the years with regulatory bodies and financial institutions, as well as its unique access to valuable data to better serve these new digital networks. There is strength in numbers when it comes to data. Over 2.5 million organizations manage their business on Sage software across the Sage 50 franchise alone. About 200,000 customers use X3 and Sage BMS (for several years Sage stopped using the ERP moniker, but instead used Business Management Software). Over 30 million employees worldwide are paid with Sage Payroll, with 8 million in the UK alone.
Sage Recent Developments
While not a recent development per se, Sage continues to reap the benefits of its acquisition of Intacct in 2017. Prior to this Sage had been a laggard in terms of moving to the cloud, often confusing prospects and customers with its product naming and cloud terminology. Many did not realize that it’s “cloud connected” solutions were in fact on-premise products that simply could be surrounded by cloud-based extensions. It had few “cloud native” solutions that were truly SaaS. With the acquisition of cloud-native Intacct, a product that was offered exclusively as SaaS, and its leadership team, that began to change.
Aaron Harris, CTO of Intacct became the CTO of all of Sage and he has truly left his mark. The message delivered is much clearer and quite simple. Sage’s technology vision is to:
Enable its customers to digitize business
Elevate the work of humans (think automation, AI and machine learning)
And therefore Sage is not only catching up in terms of cloud and SaaS, but is striving for the next evolution, moving from multi-tenant SaaS to digital networks. This means evolving from recording business to conducting business, from designing for employees to designing for a business ecosystem, and from sharing computing resources to sharing data and activity. This is a natural progression for Sage Intacct, but more of a stretch goal for the other Sage products (Sage 100, Sage 300, X3, etc.) But Sage has begun the process of modernizing these other solutions so they may share common services, including AI. Sage is now embedding those services directly into its accounting products.
Some other recent developments include: In line with global concerns over climate change and sustainability, in June 2021 Sage launched its ambitious new sustainability and society strategy, “Knocking Down Barriers.” Sage’s goal is to tackle societal and economic inequality as well as support a new generation of diverse and sustainable businesses. Sage will play its part in tackling the climate crisis, pledging to be Net Zero by 2040 across its operations and supply chain, with an interim step to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. In March 2021 Sage announced the launch of its new, cloud-first Sage Data & Analytics service integration for Sage 300 and Sage 100 in the U.S. and Canada, having also recently launched in other global regions. A powerful business intelligence (BI) toolkit with AI and machine learning capabilities, Sage Data & Analytics (SD&A) provides live sales dashboards, graphical cashflow analysis, detailed, trusted P&L reports and much more – all in the cloud.
In June 2020, Sage released new updates to its Small Business Accounting Solution. Designed to support small businesses in the construction industry, the updates enable customers to manage their day-to-day accounting in the cloud, as well as comply with sector specific UK Government requirements for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). As the industry restarts itself in the wake of coronavirus most construction businesses mix remote working and on-site demands, meaning providing the right information across multiple devices is critical. Sage’s cloud-based accounting software ensures small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers can collaborate from anywhere, across desktop and smartphone apps with one native-cloud solution.
In February 2020, Sage launched a new Sage Marketplace where a curated selection of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can showcase popular Apps that link to Sage Business Cloud solutions. This means that customers can enhance their Sage Business Cloud solutions with bespoke industry and vertical applications.
Delivered on the AppDirect platform, the Sage Marketplace gives more than two million Sage customers access to hundreds of trusted apps, all tested and verified by Sage. All Marketplace apps can be reviewed and rated by users, enabling customers to compare solutions, and make the right choice for their business.
Sage Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Activities
Sage has spent decades growing through acquisition, but most recently these acquisitions have been more targeted to meet specific needs. In October 2021 Sage acquired GoProposal, a U.K.-based provider of proposal management software for small and mid-sized accountancy firms. This acquisition – the fourth fintech investment by Sage in the last 12 months – reflects Sage’s commitment to delivering ongoing innovation to its accounting partners, as cloud technologies continue to drive real benefits for accountants in practice. Founded in 2016, GoProposal provides accounting and bookkeeping businesses in the U.K., U.S., Canada and Australia a complete client onboarding system, focused on automated pricing, proposal, and engagement letter solutions. This acquisition will further strengthen Sage’s position in the U.K. accountant space, with the GoProposal team joining Sage’s global accountants team based in Manchester, U.K.
In March 2021 Sage announced that it acquired Task Sheriff, an AI-based SaaS technology start-up based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Task Sheriff automates the accounting process for small business and bookkeepers by using AI and machine learning to accurately capture and integrate key data from financial documents. The acquisition will further strengthen Sage’s AI-enabled technology with the Task Sheriff founders joining Sage AI Labs (SAIL), a global team of AI engineers, product managers and data scientists based in San Francisco, Melbourne, Barcelona, and Tel Aviv. This acquisition follows two other recent investments into high growth, cloud-based software applications which support and further accelerate Sage’s purpose to transform the way businesses think and work so their customers can thrive. Since December, Sage has invested over £20 million into start-ups aiming to help small and medium sized businesses simplify and digitize back-office operations.
Earlier this month, Sage confirmed its investment in Countingup, a London-based fintech offering entrepreneurs a business current account with built-in accounting software. Sage participated in the company’s £9.1 million Series A funding round, led by Framework Venture Partners.
In December 2020, Sage announced a £17 million minority investment in Brightpearl, a market-leading digital operations platform targeting digital retailers across the globe. Headquartered in Bristol, UK and Austin, Texas, Brightpearl helps retail customers to streamline and automate their operations across order management, CRM, fulfillment, retail accounting inventory, and warehouse management as they scale and grow.
In November 2019, Sage has acquired CakeHR, a native cloud solution that simplifies and automates HR tasks for small businesses, helping them drive productivity, and provide great experiences for their people. The acquisition builds out Sage Business Cloud, boosting Sage’s native cloud offering for small businesses, and advancing its SaaS vision. CakeHR provides 27k users around the world with a set of easy-to-use cloud services that drive productivity and create transparency, including leave management, automation of the joining and leaving process, management of expenses approvals and paying employees. It also keeps them compliant with local legislation. CakeHR’s open API capabilities allow for the integration of innovative services from the Sage marketplace, as well as with Sage’s Payroll solutions. It will continue to serve its customers across the world, before being offered to Sage’s existing customers in the UK in 2020, and its small, expert team joins Sage upon close of the deal.
In September 2019, Sage has acquired AutoEntry, a provider of data entry automation for accountants, bookkeepers and businesses. The acquisition accelerates Sage’s vision to become a great SaaS company. In order to deliver the best experience for customers, AutoEntry’s ecosystem will remain open and independent. Accelerated investment in the technology will therefore benefit customers using accounting software not delivered by Sage, as well as Sage’s accountants, bookkeepers and business customers. Since its launch in 2016, AutoEntry has been on a mission to eliminate the pain point of manual data entry for accountants, bookkeepers and businesses. Its intelligent technology automates data entry by accurately capturing, analysing and posting all receipts, purchase and sales invoices, expenses and statements into a user’s accounting software. AutoEntry’s technology utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to ensure that the relevant line item data is accurate and gets posted to the correct accounting ledger fields removing mistakes often associated with manual data entry. The solution is currently used by more than 3000 accounting and bookkeeping practices, and services in excess of 150,000 businesses helping them to become more efficient by significantly reducing time and cost spent inputting expense items. AutoEntry initially is offered to Sage’s network of accountants and bookkeepers in the UK, while continuing to serve its customers across the board through its open and independent ecosystem.
Also in 2019, Sage acquired Allocate.AI, a technology that enables businesses to automate time tracking, project planning and resource allocation.
Sage Customers in ARTW Customer Database
Leveraging a rigorous data-centric research methodology, APPS RUN THE WORLD asks the simple question: Who’s buying Sage applications and why? And we provide the answers – supported by decades of research – to our clients around the world. Our Customer database has over 100 data fields that detail company usage of Sage and other enterprise apps by function, customer size, industry, location, implementation status, partner involvement, Line of Business Key Stakeholders and IT decision makers contact details. List of Verified Sage Business Cloud, Sage50 customers.
Ownership: - LSE:SGE
Number of Employees: 12506
Key Verticals: Aerospace and Defense, Automotive, Banking and Financial Services, Communication, Construction, Real Estate, Consumer Packaged Goods, Distribution, K139, Higher Education, Federal Government, State and Local Government, Public Safety, Healthcare, Life Insurance, P&C Insurance, Specialty Insurance, Leisure and Recreation, Hospitality, Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Media, Faith-Based Nonprofit, Youth and Elderly Care, Special Cause Nonprofit, Oil and Gas, Chemicals, Professional Services, Retail, Transportation, Utilities,
Sage Key Enterprise and Cloud Applications
Sage Business Cloud, Sage50
Sage Revenues, $M:
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* Enterprise Applications Revenues = License + Support & Maintenance + SaaS
** All revenue figures are estimates based on public records, Cloud and Non-Cloud business models in Apps Run The World's vendor database, and annual survey results including vendor feedback.
Sage Revenue Breakdown By Type, $M:
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Sage Enterprise Applications Revenues By Functional Markets, $M:
Sage Enterprise Applications Revenues By Verticals, $M:
Sage Revenues By Region, $M
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Sage Direct vs Indirect sales
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Sage Customers - Breakdown by Geo, Size, Vertical and Product
No. of Sage Customers: 2000000
No. of Sage Enterprise Applications Customers: x
No. of Sage Cloud Customers: x
No. of Sage Cloud Subscribers: x
Over 2.5 million organizations manage their business on Sage software across the Sage 50 franchise alone. About 200,000 customers use X3 and Sage BMS (for several years Sage stopped using the ERP moniker, but instead used Business Management Software). Over 30 million employees worldwide are paid with Sage Payroll, with 8 million in the UK alone.
Sage recent ERP customer wins included, Endeavor, Smith Heating and Air Conditioning(Sage 100 Contractor), PROPAC Pharmacy, American Pool Enterprises, Lincoln Waste Solutions, Power Distributing, Avon Rubber p.l.c., DelGrosso’s Amusement Park, NcStar, SkyGolf, Haremar Plastic, Nashville Wire, Nylene Canada , RadComm Systems, T;J Furniture , Belmont Meats, Savoury Foods, Socotec and others.
Sage 500 customers include TJ Furniture, Haremar Plastic, Nashville Wire, SkyGolf, RadComm Systems. Other X3 customers include Satellite Industries, Pumpaction, and CRP Industries. Sage XRT has about 7,000 customers with the bulk of them in countries such as France, Spain, and Portugal. It also maintains a strong presence in Brazil with 1,000 customers. Reference customers include Aéroports de Lyon, C;A, Correios, CPE Bardout, Danone, Fiat, France Televisions, General Electric, Grupo Abril, Ipiranga, McDonald’s, Michelin, Nestlé, Pfizer, VALE, Valeo, Volvo, and Xerox.
Since the 2007 acquisition of XRT in France for £53 million, Sage has been offering treasury management applications to customers around the world. The product for cash management, treasury, reconciliation, and bank relationship management augments Sage's ERP franchise, which is anchored by such applications as Sage ERP X3 for the high-end and Sage One on the low-end. Sage XRT Solutions incorporates three elements: Sage XRT Treasury and Sage XRT Business Exchange, available as on-premises, SaaS and cloud deployments; €10 billion is transacted using Sage XRT Solutions in the cloud each day. The third, Sage XRT Online Banking, is only available through the cloud. 6,000 customers, from over 80 countries selected Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management to help them transform their business.
Sage Market Opportunities, M&A and Geo Expansions
Sage has long been strongest as an accounting solution in very small companies. However, as those companies grow there is a distinct possibility they will outgrow the capabilities of Sage's low end solutions. Sage Intacct now provides the perfect solution for these growing companies to migrate to. Sharing common services across all their products, with its Service Fabric, will make this transition simpler and much more attractive for these small solution graduates. Sage Intacct, formerly only available in the US and Canada, was launched in Australia in August 2019 and the UK in November 2019, with both regions gaining their first customers, as well as South Africa in August 2020. But the opportunity for Sage Intacct is not only in migrating them from other Sage solutions, but also in getting into very small companies early. In May 2021 Sage also announced the launch of Sage Intacct in AWS Marketplace. Listing Sage Intacct in AWS Marketplace provides an optimized and streamlined approach for early-stage SaaS businesses to use a subscription and financial management solution in an easy-to-consume platform, capable of starting small and scaling big to support business growth. Sage Intacct shares the medium segment with X3. This medium segment can be split into 2 sub-segments, service-centric and product-centric industries. Intacct sees more opportunity in the services side, including SaaS and software, nonprofits, professional services organizations, healthcare, financial services and construction and real estate. But it also has opportunity moving into product-centric segments, where it overlaps with X3 for wholesale distribution and discrete manufacturing. X3 has opportunity in these 2 segments, but further extends into process manufacturing and complex distribution.
Sage Risks and Challenges
While the Sage Intacct side of the business shows strength in the cloud, SaaS market, Sage could well be hindered by its late entry into cloud and the confusion it has generated over the years with its product naming and cloud-connected versus cloud native messaging. While that is now clear, it may suffer from a long standing history where confusion and mixed messages reigned.
2020 will be a challenging year for Sage as some of its SMB customers will be hurt by the pandemic. Nonrecurring revenues for Sage in the third quarter of 2020 were down and overall product sales rose 1%. That was mitigated by continuing momentum of its midmarket offerings like X3 and Intacct.
Sage Ecosystem, Partners, Resellers and SI
Sage has a strong digital and direct sales presence, supported by a global network of partners:
Perhaps strongest is the large number (over 100,000) Accountants who advise and sell Sage solutions.
40,000 Value Added Resellers (VARs) who sell and implement Sage solutions.
1,000 Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who add further functionality and vertical customization to Sage solutions.
Dozens of Strategic Alliances with some of the biggest names in the technology space. In 2021, Sage also added some strategic partnerships and announced the expansion of the Sage Partner Cloud. Its goal: to move more customers to the cloud at a pace that suits their business. To this end, Sage has added two new strategic hosting providers, Cloud at Work and Swizznet, and extended availability to Sage construction and real estate customers. The Sage Partner Cloud program offers partners the tools, expertise and partnerships needed to customize and deploy Sage business management solutions in the cloud. It is available in the U.S. and Canada and soon to launch in the U.K. on the Microsoft Azure platform. The program includes Sage 100, Sage 300, and now both Sage 100 Contractor and Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (CRE), enabling partners to better support the journey to the cloud for their customers.
With this program expansion, Sage partners can opt to leverage Sage-accredited cloud hosting providers as they deploy customers to cloud-hosted Sage business management solutions. Beginning with providers Cloud at Work and Swizznet, a third-party hosting infrastructure offers flexibility and choice by leveraging providers who have been vetted by Sage. In August 2021 Sage announced the launch of Sage People U.S. Benefits, a complete benefits administration solution. The new offering in Sage People is delivered through a partnership and integration with PlanSource, a leader in cloud-based U.S. benefits. The fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed how many people view and perceive the importance of health and wellbeing. One critical component of a successful wellbeing strategy lies in the benefits offering and experience a company provides its employees. It’s one of the first things candidates consider when assessing a company and consequently, plays a key role in attracting and retaining quality talent.
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