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Some Sage partners aren't happy with the company's decision to phase out some products, while others are breathing easier because the products they resell will continue to be developed.
But, most partners seem resigned to the product road map Sage executives outlined at the Sage Summit conference in Nashville this week and are determined to work with the company's plans.
"I appreciate the clarity," said David Cieslak, a principal with Arxis Technology, a Sage partner in Simi Valley, Calif. Arxis has "a pretty notable MAS 500 business," he said, referring to the product that was rebranded Sage 500 ERP earlier this year, which Sage announced this week it will be phasing out. "I may not necessarily love every single announcement. It's something we're just going to have to think through. But, at least now I know what I need to do from a business perspective."
"I think the move to further refine the portfolio is the responsible move for the investors, but I do not look forward to the frank conversations with our accounts who have invested so much in Sage 500 ERP," said Paul Ziliak, a partner at Xkzero, a Sage solution provider. "Many of those accounts are manufacturers who value the kind of mature feature set that Sage 500 ERP has. I hope the support for that product can continue on beyond the five-year timeframe projected by Sage."
When asked about Xkzero's long-term relationship with Sage, Ziliak said: "We're all in."
At this week's conference, Sage executives, including Sage North America CEO Pascal Houillon and CTO and Product Strategy Executive Himanshu Palsule, outlined plans to focus the company's development resources on a few key platforms, including Sage One and Sage ERP X3. Development of other products, including Sage 500 ERP, Sage Pro ERP and Sage PFW ERP, will be reduced and eventually the applications will be phased out.
The product plans follow an acrimonious year in which Sage riled some channel partners with a rebranding effort that changed the names of some longtime Sage products, and the creation of a subscription price option for customers that partners say greatly reduces their margins.
Sage has scores of products, most acquired over the years, and continuing to maintain and develop them -- including adding cloud and mobility capabilities across the entire portfolio of individual products -- is unsustainable.