CRM-ERP App Integration Efforts On Track, Sage Says


Sage executives, speaking at the company's annual Insights '08 partner conference outside Washington D.C. on Tuesday, said they are making good on their promise to enhance and integrate the vendor's CRM applications under its CRM Solutions 2010 blueprint and better integrate those apps with other Sage products.

Sage launched two "Extended Enterprise Solution" suites for small and midsize businesses based on the company's popular Sage MAS 90 and Sage MAS 200 ERP application sets. The suites incorporate SageCRM and Sage MAS Fixed Assets applications and business intelligence capabilities in a single package with simplified user-based licensing and pricing.

Sage will begin selling the suites through Sage MAS channel partners in late June. Sage recently debuted a similar package based on its Sage Accpac accounting applications.

Earlier this year Sage released the Sage CRM Solutions 2010 strategy outlining plans to integrate its ERP and CRM applications to help channel partners and customers better link front- and back-office operations and improve business workflows. The blueprint is also expected to make it easier for customers to use, say, the Act contact management application with Sage CRM and SalesLogix applications, or migrate from one application to another.

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"This 2010 strategy puts Sage in a leadership position," said Anthony Castle, CEO of Castle CRM, a New York-based reseller of Saleslogix and Act. "We're not following the pack, we're leading the pack."

Sage has some 56,000 customers for its CRM applications and more than 5.5 million ERP application customers. Sage executives say better integrating the vendor's ERP and CRM products will create new cross-sell and up-sell opportunities for solution providers.

Sage also unveiled a new partner-hosted subscription option for Act.

Sage also announced a schedule for new releases of more than a dozen products through 2008. Upgrades for SagePro and Sage TimeSlips are due in June, for example, while new releases of Sage Active Planner, Sage Business Works and Sage PFW are due in the fall.

A new version of Peachtree By Sage is due this month with new releases of Sage MAS 500 and Sage MAS 90/200 due this summer. On the CRM side SalesLogix 7.5, known as "Sahara," with new mobile and business intelligence capabilities is due later this year. Castle called those new features "very, very cool."

Despite the integration work, Nina Smith, president of the Business Management Division, emphasized that "investments in the point products are going to continue for the foreseeable future."

Sage executives also said they will continue to develop the company's software-as-a-service strategy over the next 12-to-18 months.