Sage turns to Windows Azure for cloud accounting platform

financial cloud $ sign

Business software vendor Sage has opted for Windows Azure to deliver its Sage 200 Online cloud service.

Aimed specifically at medium-size businesses, this is the second accountancy Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering from the Newcastle-based vendor after Sage One, which was launched in 2011.

However, while Sage One was built on the Amazon Web Services platform, the company has instead plumped for Windows Azure to host Sage 200 Online.

Stuart Lynn, CIO at Sage, told journalists at a media event to mark the launch that Azure had been an obvious choice when deciding to take Sage 200 to the cloud.

“Sage 200 just seven years ago was written from the ground up on the Microsoft .NET platform, which at the time was the most modern technology you could develop on,” explained Lynn.

“So who better to help us take a Microsoft .NET product [to the cloud] than Microsoft?”

According to Lynn, the company decided to build Sage Online as a ‘true cloud’ product, rather than rehashing the existing on-premise product, which has been updated as Sage 200 v2013, for the cloud.

However, in doing so, they have not sacrificed interoperability and Sage 200 add-ons and customisations will work with its new cloud-based product, he claimed.

Another element of change for Sage Online is the company has had to change its business in order to take account of the ‘on-demand’ nature of cloud computing.

“Building the software is one thing, but you have to then service it, so it has to run 24/7, 365 [days of the year], so we have people working now 24/7, 365 in our service management teams,” said Lynn.

“When we developed software and it went out on a CD that was the end of our story, really. We then supported the business partner through our partner service teams but now we are accountable for making sure our software is available,” he added.

Sage 200 Online and Sage 200 v2013 are both available immediately.

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.