At Sage’s annual conference in New Orleans recently (disclosure: Sage covered my travel and expenses to attend the event), there were a raft of product announcements and exciting demos of mobile technology. But while it is relatively easy to announce things and demo mockups, it is far more difficult to actually deliver innovation within a legacy business.
The overarching theme at the event was one espoused often and vehemently by Sage’s CEO, Stephen Kelly. Kelly reiterated over and over again that the company has far too much respect for its customers to force them to change. He told the attendant masses that over 80% of Sage customers use desktop solutions and that the majority don’t want to change from that. He pointed out, time and time again, that Sage will not be end-of-lifing its desktop products and will not force users to change to cloud solutions. He criticized other vendors for using what he sees as disrespectful tactics to get them to migrate to cloud products.