Sage Posts Salesforce Bounty

The bounty promises Sage resellers 100 percent margin on the value of the first year of any contract that converts customers to the rival Sage service. After the first year, Sage partners can earn anywhere from 10 percent to 35 percent margins on additional years of the contract, said Jim Foster, executive vice president for the Mid-Market Division of Sage.

Some Sage solution providers welcomed the incentives to attack

"No vendor out there has been really focused on going after Salesforce, so this is good to see," said Yacov Wrocherinsky, CEO of Infinity Info Systems, New York. "Salesforce has about 200 sales people, while Sage has 2,000 to 3,000 partners. Who do you think is going to win?"

Foster said it has taken Sage until now to put the right infrastructure in place to support a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model in the channel. That infrastructure has been evolving since Sage acquired Accpac from Computer Associates, which is the source of the code for the rebranded offering.

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Often credited with legitimizing the SaaS model, on Wednesday released first quarter results that show its marketing onslaught is paying off. For the quarter, Salesforce saw an 84 percent increase in revenue and a stunning 902 percent jump in net income, from the same period last year. Such results are prompting a number of vendors to ready major attacks against Salesforce. Even SAP, now deemed the CRM market-share leader, is expected to release an online CRM application within the next six weeks.

Besides its CRM offering, Sage is now delivering a complementary set of online payroll applications that designed to compete against payroll services from ADP. The combined services should help Sage's partners compete more effectively against product-focused competitors, said Foster.

"The difference is that Salesforce sales people are meat eaters and all they think about is CRM," said Foster. "Our partners are trying to acquire the customer and sell them a portfolio of products."