Sage launches SaaS offering


Sage has launched a new Software as a Service (SaaS) offering in its first entrance into the cloud computing market.

Sage One is aimed at small businesses and offers online, on-demand and pay monthly accounting software along with support services available all day, everyday.

There are three services available through Sage One:

Cashbook is designed for cash-based businesses to track their transactions, banking activity and to give them a record to show their own accountant.

Accounts is aimed at small firms who want to control their accounts better and offers tools to create invoices, work out and send off VAT returns and get an overview of how the business is performing.

Finally, Accountant Edition is aimed at the professional who, through the online portal, can access their clients' information from any internet connection.

The services, compatible with both Macs and PCs, also feature built in 128 bit encryption to keep data safe.

Cashbook costs 5 per month with additional VAT and Accounts costs 10 per month plus VAT. The Accountant Edition is free for members of the Sage Accountants' Club or costs 250 a year for non-members.

Simon Black, managing director of Sage Online, claimed the company had received great feedback from its beta customers who had got "a real boost" from using the service.

"That's why we believe Sage One will meet and exceed the expectations of a new generation of sole traders, small businesses and entrepreneurs that see the web as a natural way to work," he said.

However, the managing director of rival firm IRIS Software & Services has hit out at the offering, claiming it was merely a mask of modernity from an traditional vendor.

In a statement sent to IT PRO, Phill Robinson said: "The internet has been around for over twenty years, so the reason why Sage's strategy is only now emerging is that it's an old-fashioned software goliath, with an old-fashioned software licencing model, that has continued to feed the Sage beast all these years."

Robinson claimed the company lacked both "imagination and conviction" when it came to investing in innovation and had failed to get across its web strategy to customers.

"As a result, it has raced yet another product to market that is only half-finished and hardly market-ready," he added.

Black slammed the comments, telling IT PRO: "Any notion that we are just getting to grips with SaaS couldn't be further from the truth. Tens of thousands of our customers already use our online family of software and services."

"Sage One isn't about packing in functionality, quite the opposite in fact. It's simple, secure and low-cost software designed for business users who want to take control of their finances without needing any specific accounting knowledge or IT skills."

He added: "Whilst preserving the simplicity that is the essence of Sage One we will be releasing additional features and upgrades at regular intervals over the coming months, all delivered automatically and free of charge."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.