_38206655_sage300Software is undergoing a generational change – I thought I’d pull out an example to show what the old generation is doiing and contrast that to what the “cool kids” are doing.

I was interested to read Dennis Howlett’s post about Sage recently. In his post Dennis reflected on the signals he’s getting from his contacts about Sage. Dennis says that:

I was struck by the comparison between enthusiasm garnered by Sage partners in the US and the general feeling of gloom I see in the UK. Could we be looking at two different companies that happen to be joined by a common shareholding structure? If so then it reminds me of many toxic partnerships that were little more than x-people that happened to be trading together. It happens a lot in the profession.

I’ve just come off the back of an extremely busy couple of weeks in the US during which time I met or talked to most of the accounting vendors, as well as getting feedback from practitioners. While I can’t argue with what Scott Pledger says in his reflection on the Sage Insights event held in Denver recently, I have to say that I’m not really seeing that in the people I’ve talked to – rather most seem to have the view that agrees with what Dennis is seeing with Sage UK that it has “cloud vendors attracting business left and right, and [with] a lame duck CEO in post, Sage has a lot of work to do”.

There is some hope – I’ve talked previously about their MyPastel product they’ve developed for the South African market. There has also been the well received BillingBoss product and the new related PaymentBoss platform.

In his post Dennis reflect on what the new dual CEOs have done for SAP (at least in the first hundred days or so) and suggests that Sage could see a similar rekindling if it chooses wisely with its next CEO. They need someone with the passion to make decisions that see them enter the bleeding edge – their competition certainly are. Case in point: Financial Force who have just announced an add on to their accounting product which provides carbon management and accounting for businesses. FinancialForce have rightly identified sustainability as a huge point of difference and are providing a toolkit for businesses to use who are targeting this area.

From the release:

CloudApps Carbon integrated with FinancialForce.com Accounting enables customers to rapidly measure their carbon emissions and produce accurate compliance reports. They can benchmark their carbon footprint against others, engage employees to identify and manage carbon reduction programs and smooth cash flow by forecasting future carbon allowance requirements. In addition, it enables them to share their work with all stakeholders further promoting their brand and green credentials.

FinancialForce.com takes the information on carbon emissions from the CloudApps Carbon application and converts it into accounting transaction data so that carbon can be monitored and reported as an asset in its own right. Delivered in the cloud utilizing a pay-as-you-go subscription model, this offering is easy and inexpensive to install and maintain compared to other offerings on the market.

It’s an area that will only grow in importance in the years ahead, and one which Im not aware of any other mid-market vendor providing for. Yet another example of agility that can be found with a cloud development and delivery method. Meanwhile Sage just keeps on peddling…

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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