As reported by CDN back in 2011, Sage will be re-branding its major product lines focus more on the company name.
In Canada this will impact Simply Accounting, which was the last product to transition to the Sage-only branding and numbering scheme. It will now be called Sage 50 Accounting Canadian Edition. In the U.S., Peachtree Accounting, which was Simply Accounting under another name, will be called the roughly the same: Sage 50 Accounting U.S. Edition.
Nancy Harris, vice-president and general manager, Sage Simply Accounting, said the company wanted to move away from individual brands to a more dominant master brand with a numbering system.
“The strategy is for customers to, over time, identify with a company that creates unique solutions for their small business needs,” Harris said.
With this new re-branding Sage Canada will also be able to evenly spread its marketing dollars to get a connection with small-to-medium sized business instead of on an individual product, Harris added.
The Sage numbering system will indicate to the customer the level of functionality and features of the product by how high the number is. For example, Accpac is now Sage 300 and Mas90 is Sage 100.
U.K.-based Sage has tinkered with the Simply Accounting brand over the years in hopes of raising the company’s profile in Canada and the rest of the world. Simply Accounting has been branded “Simply Accounting by Sage” and “Sage Simply Accounting” before dropping the name completely. And Sage itself has gone through a few branding changes as well. The Richmond B.C.-born Accpac was acquired by CA Technologies (formerly Computer Associates). CA then sold Accpac to Best Software, which was Sage’s U.S. brand at the time. Best then transitioned to Sage.
Harris said that it’s business as usual for the Richmond, B.C. development facility despite the dropping of the Simply Accounting name in the marketplace.
Sage’s main referral channel, called SAN, has been notified of the name change and are prepared to help customers during this transition along with its retail and distribution partners, Harris added.
As for the product itself, Alistair Ellis, the senior product manager for Sage Small Business Solutions, said there are some new tweaks. Sage has redone payroll for Sage 50. Ellis said it was a two-year re-write to accommodate users with compliance and vacation-incurred reporting. The new Sage 50 will enable users to look up past pay cheques and get year-to-date amounts. “These changes help with employee reporting and improves overall workflow,” Ellis said.
Also new to Sage 50 will be merchant accounts being able to process U.S. and Canadian credit cards, the ability to send emails with invoice numbers after payments and a forecasting dashboard.
Ellis also said that Sage is currently working on a mobile version of Sage One that’s expected to be released in the second half of 2013.