NEW ORLEANS: Sage chief executive Stephen Kelly has laid out plans to encourage small and medium businesses (SMBs) to adopt the company's new cloud offerings by creating a three-stage adoption process to encourage uptake.
Sage is still keen to get new and existing customers to adopt its cloud products, despite shunning strategies that force companies to adopt cloud-based software through end-of-life programmes and single deployment options. This includes Sage Live, revealed at the Sage Summit 2015 in New Orleans.
Kelly (pictured) said in an interview with V3 that, although Sage will take a soft approach with Sage Live, it is keen to emphasise the value to SMBs of cloud-based software that mixes back-office enterprise resource planning with front-office customer relationship management based on the Salesforce1 Platform.
"In some countries, like Germany, there's still a lot of resistance to cloud-based solutions, so we have to be sensitive to that and we don't want to force customers [to adopt the cloud]. It comes back to customer choice," he said.
Kelly explained that, if Sage Live attracts tens of thousands of customers, it will generate an aura of excitement and become a product that promotes discussion among SMEs and fuels further adoption.
Kelly said that Sage will adopt a three-pronged strategy to help customers move from existing on-premise systems to Sage Live and related cloud-powered services.
"We need to have data migration from where they are now with on-premise [systems] to offer them migration tools to Sage Live," he said, noting that Sage Live will gain more ways to shift data from old systems into the Salesforce1-supported service.
Sage will need to partner with service integrators to help customers fit Sage Live into their companies without disrupting the accountancy processes underpinning their businesses, according to Kelly.
"Second thing is we need business partners in the Salesforce ecosystem, because the reality is probably what you'll find if you go from a customer who's on-premise to then using Salesforce1 and Sage Live for the front and back office," he explained.
"So you'd need to have a partner enabled to do that, [with] some of the skill around the migration.
"And then thirdly, we've got a responsivity to offer some sort of commercial proposition and an incentive to move to Sage Live. Probably what we'll do is things like discounting Sage Live to attract existing customers almost like a loyalty programme."
This approach suggests that Sage has a clearly thought out plan to encourage companies to adopt its cloud services gradually.
Sage has added support for modern capabilities, such as mobile access, into its existing on-premise software for companies that do not want to move to the cloud.
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