With the release of Sage Accpac Extended Enterprise Suite, Sage Software has combined its Accpac ERP version 5.5 solution with its CRM software for the mid-market space.
Scott Zandbergen, vice-president of product management at Sage, said the integration of ERP and CRM into a single solution was decided upon based on what customers were looking and asking for.
“Customers wanted more simplicity and better integration where ERP and CRM act as almost one application,” Zandbergen said. “What we did was brought CRM and ERP into an integrated suite. For partners, it makes it easier to sell CRM to their existing ERP customer install base and it also opens up doors of new opportunities for partners to sell the integrated suite,” he added.
Glen Mund, president of sales and marketing at Burnaby, B.C.-based Plus Computer Solutions Ltd., a long-time Sage partner that focuses on the design of ERP solutions for the warehouse distribution industry, said the new release has been nothing short of positive for his company.
“We were asked by Sage to be a part of the controlled release program to test out the new release for clients,” Mund said. “With the Extended Enterprise Suite, we were very encouraged because it now gives us a different pricing option for our customers. Before this offering, it was a battle for us to compete with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and SAP (NYSE: SAP), who also offer a per-user pricing bundle. Sage Software’s new solution now allows our customers to make a reasonable comparison between us and the competition,” he added.
The Sage Accpac ERP solution, Zandbergen said, now includes SageCRM, to provide employees with complete visibility into the front and back office of their business. By combining these two solutions into one, he said, Sage Accpac Extended Enterprise Suite gives managers better monitoring and control capabilities around business performance needs and requirements. From a partner perspective, Zandbergen said that although ERP and CRM are now integrated into a single solution, partners will not have difficulties deploying and installing the solution for their customers.
“We’ve simplified the solution to make it easier for partners to do business with us,” Zandbergen said. “Both of the applications in the suite are highly customizable because partners are able to tailor the products to suit their customers’ needs. The extended suite has the capability to be customized at the UI (user interface) level as well,” he adds.
Currently, Zandbergen says Sage Software has over 300 development partners but said that the company is always on the lookout for new partners. He mentions Quebec and Calgary as two geographic areas where Sage Software sees the most potential for growth opportunities and channel expansion.
To support its partner and customer communities, Sage Software, Zandbergen says, has also enhanced its Sage Accpac Online Community so that it is now available to the public online.
“We’ve removed the password login so now there’s an un-gated knowledge place where individuals can talk with their peers, they can read blogs and get help and advice from other business partners,” he said.
For its partners, Sage Software has made available for a limited time, special introductory “per user” pricing for new customers up until June 18th. In Canada, Zandbergen said there are two options available for customers, the financials bundle which is $1,695 per user, and the complete bundle, which sells for $3,495 per user. Additionally, the suite is also available in three editions, 100, 200 and 500, as well as in various modules.