NEW ORLEANS: Sage is setting its sights on the UK's startup scene and public sector as a means to bolster its already dominant position in the nation's accountancy software market.
Stephen Kelly (pictured), chief executive of Sage, said in an interview with V3 at the Sage Summit 2015 in New Orleans that the UK is still a prominent market for the company, despite the conference's focus on its ambitions in the US.
"We feel a big responsibility to the UK; obviously it's our home," he said. "We can do way more in the marketplace."
Sage's target audience is small to medium businesses, but Kelly said that Sage will go after new companies and startups run by millennials who are keen to adopt accounting software in place of paper-based processes.
"We've no focus on new markets [in the UK], on new customer acquisition, so I think that means, with things like millennials and new startups, the we need to do a better job in terms of marketing to those organisations so that they are very aware that we can be their chosen accounting solution," he said.
Kelly claimed that the newly released cloud-based Sage Live is a good proposition for startups, given that many new companies have adopted the cloud or wish to avoid setting up and maintaining expensive in-house IT systems. "Sage Live could be a great a way to target that marketplace," he said.
Sage will also do more to win customers in government organisations, aping partner Salesforce's ambitions to target the UK's public sector, among other areas.
"We've never focused at all on the public sector. So that is a huge market opportunity, with the NHS Trust, all the various hospitals, all the various local government institutions," Kelly said.
"All the schools run their accountancy systems now. Typically, a secondary school is a £5m business [that] normally employs 80 teachers and 40 support staff."
V3 asked Kelly whether Sage will push Sage Live into the UK market to capitalise on the government's ambitions to embrace cloud services.
"Public sector running Sage Live would be a fantastic offering. I think with the Salesforce relationship, we'll be doing lots of co-marketing, and I think the great message for the public sector guys is they've got the best of both of us," he said.
"They've got the best guys in the back office and they've got the best guys running the front office, smashing the walls down on one source of the data and on the Salesforce1 platform."
Kelly added that Sage will also pursue non-profit organisations, such as charities, which have extensive accounting needs, despite not working in the same way as profit-driven businesses.
"Another thing that we've had no focus on is the 180,000 non-profit organisations in the UK," he said.
It is no surprise that Kelly is keen for Sage to target the public sector, given that he was one of the government's top civil servants before Sage snared him for the chief executive role in 2014.
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