In his keynote address to partners on Monday at the annual Sage Summit, held in Chicago, Sage CEO Stephen Kelly introduced several new initiatives designed to build on his company’s partner strategy. These include the Sage Partner, Marketplace, Community and Rewards programs.
Sage Summit 2016 Announcements
Sage Partner Program
The new Partner Program, launched in November 2015, will replace more than 54 worldwide partner programs throughout 2017. Together with accountants and corporate partners, the program incorporates independent software vendors (ISV), strategic alliances, value added resellers and cloud service providers into a plan designed to make working with Sage better and simpler.
The Sage Marketplace will give independent software vendors (or ISVs as they are called in the industry) a place to showcase their developer add-ons. Sage added 150 new ISVs so far since the program’s initiation and will continue to do so moving forward, Kelly said.
“As Partners we have to be focused and specialized,” he said. “We want you to build rich vertical market solutions within the Sage Marketplace. This will expand the reach of our existing solutions and increase our vertical capabilities.”
Sage Partner Community
The Partner Community is a collaborative ecosystem that provides access to Sage with exclusive content and support services, marketing development funding and online education and certification. The community also includes an online messaging tool as well as peer-to-peer communication between partners.
Sage will reward top partners with an invitation to join Kelly and members of the Sage executive team for exclusive strategy sessions.
5 Strategic Pillars
In addition to these initiatives, Kelly talked about five strategic pillars that underpin Sage’s approach:
- Winning in the market. Kelly defined winning in the market as the building of market leading cloud solutions, having the best marketing, building trust and “providing the best customer experience in the business.”
- Customers for life. “We stand behind the commitment I made last year at Sage Summit — no forced migrations for any of our customers,” Kelly said. “Not only will we continue to support their product, whether it be desktop or cloud, for as long as the customer wants to use it, but in many cases, we’re modernizing our desktop solutions so they have a refresh of the user interface and are cloud connected.”
- Revolutionizing business. Kelly emphasized that his intention is for Sage to remain a market leader. “Let’s be clear … we aren’t here to catch up,” he said. “Now it’s about leapfrogging. To revolutionize business by building the most innovative, brilliant, easy to use accounting, payroll and payment solutions on the planet.”
- Capacity for growth. To Kelly, growth equals scale, which requires simplifying systems and products. He called the partner platform Sage’s “Capacity for Growth” telling partners they are the means by which the company will grow “faster and more sustainably.”
- One Sage. Kelly also emphasized teamwork — the ability for partners to work together as one — as the key to continued growth.
Throughout his address, Kelly stressed that Sage’s focus is on driving growth through and with its partners. “We are a Partner-centric organization,” he said.
Kelly highlighted that the partner strategy is designed to enable partners large and small to work together to solve customers’ business problems by building and reselling its solutions collaboratively, both locally and around the globe. He vowed to drive 45 percent of Sage’s worldwide revenue through partners — a 7 percent increase over the previous year (38 percent).
Kelly concluded his remarks as he began — by reinforcing the company’s commitment to its partners.
“So the key message from me today is that we are committed to our partner ecosystem,” he said. “We want to be the most Partner-centric, Partner-friendly company on the planet.”