The Microsoft partnership will see Sage integrate Sage 50 and Sage 50 C with Office 365 and Azure. The opportunity for channel partners is that they get to enter a much bigger ecosystem where they get to add on with their own IP and expertise. In this partnership, Sage becomes an official Office 365 alliance reseller under the Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) program.
By entering CSP ecosystem, Sage and its partners will get an opportunity to have Sage 50 bundled with Office 365 providing customers with an always-on, anywhere type of environment.
The deal with Microsoft is just one aspect of Sage’s strategy to move more into the cloud. Jennifer Warawa, executive vice president of Sage product management, said the company has spent considerable time looking at ways to gain new customers. “It’s not all about the install base and we are getting out and getting new customers. Those customers we do have now can stay where they are. With Office 365 there are benefits with cloud, but if they don’t want to move they don’t have to. But when they do we want them to know that Sage is there,” she said.
Office 365 with Sage 50 is just one part of a large rollout for the Canadian market. Sage EVP and Canadian country leader Nancy Harris told CDN there are a number of cloud products and cloud updates arriving in Canada starting with Sage One and an update with Sage Live. Also look for Sage One Accounting which is the next generation of Sage One. There will also be a lighter version of Cashbooks expense management product now called Sage Expenses (a free app) which is under the Sage One line.
“Sage Live is a per play cloud product and a really good opportunity for the partners to resell and wrap services around it as they deploy it with Salesforce. Customers want further customization and that’s where the channel can help.,” Harris said.
The Office 365 integration with Sage 50 and Sage 50 C is being made available this December. That release will also feature cloud back up to Microsoft OneDrive. “Now Sage 50 customers will be able to put their data right on the cloud and provide real time invoicing, banks feeds and payroll,” Harris said.
She added that channel partners are working on developing new cloud practices with Sage and are actively training team members on the Salesforce platform as the Office 365 with Sage 50 C offering comes live in Canada they see the ability to improve services opportunities.
Some of those opportunities include tracking business performance and archival history, keep up with supplier records and transactions, real time view of credit and balance sheets.