Accountancy vendor Sage has canned its client/server product in favour of an US import.
Sage confirmed last week that development on the Sage Line 200 product had been halted and work had started to convert a product from the firm's recent US acquisition, State of the Art (SOTA).
The fledgling Sage Line 200 was purchased along with rival vendor MultiSoft in July 1994. While two MultiSoft products are still being manufactured by Sage, the main reason for the acquisition was believed to be its pipeline client/server technology.
In a letter leaked to PC Week, dated February 1998, Sage told potential resellers: "Sage Line 200 is our flagship product in the widest range of accounting software available in the UK."
But when the #159 million purchase of SOTA was completed in March this year Sage inherited a better product, Acuity Applications, which was already in production with reference sites. Sage insisted Acuity was not the reason for the purchase, as the main goal was to get a foothold in the US market.
Sage Line 200 is to be sacrificed to make room for the US technology.
"Any decision like that is a hard decision to make," admitted Mark Searles, marketing director at Sage.
US companies have been hampered in attempts to break into the UK accountancy software market in the past because of the complexity of VAT regulations and difficulties with multi-currency transactions, but Searles said the adaptation of the product would not be too difficult.
Acuity Applications is a family of business software designed exclusively for the Microsoft SQL Server relational database and Windows NT operating system, whereas the discarded SageLine 200 was not originally designed to suit the Windows environment.
A rival vendor questioned how much Sage had wasted on the Sage Line project.
"The acquisition of Multisoft cost Sage about #4 million but who knows how much it spent on four years of development?" asked the source, who requested anonymity.
The launch date for the Acuity product will be announced soon. It is unclear whether the product will be introduced into European markets where Sage has acquired a myriad of local products.
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