Sage announces cloud-first strategy

Stephen Kelly talking

Accountancy and payroll software vendor Sage has announced it is to reinvent its business to follow a ‘cloud-first’ strategy.

“2020, 60-70 percent of all software, services and technology spending will be cloud-based,” Sage CEO, Stephen Kelly, said at the Sage Summit 2016 in Chicago this week.

“Technology disruption has dictated that Sage reinvents its business to embrace the cloud.”

He added: “In technology there are only two types of companies. Growing companies or dying companies. And history doesn’t look kindly on those businesses who ignored disruption. So when I joined Sage I set out a vision and strategy to transform the company to drive future sustainable growth,” said Kelly, who took the reins at Sage in November 2014.

“We have a clear vision: to create the world’s leading cloud ecosystem for accounting, payroll, HCM and payments solutions,” he added.

Sage has been blasted by some rivals in the past for dragging its feet in its journey to the cloud. But Kelly had fighting words for the competition: “Let’s be clear…we aren’t here to catch up. Now it’s about leapfrogging.”

However, the company is adamant that it won’t force customers to migrate to the cloud.

“Not only will we continue to support [customers’] products, whether it be desktop or cloud, for as long as the customer wants to use it, but in many cases we’re modernising our desktop solutions so they have a refresh of the user interface and are cloud connected – for example, Sage 50Cloud, Sage 100C, 200C, 300C,” said Kelly.

“The technology world is full of forced migrations and it can be painful and very difficult for customers. Customers know when it’s the right time for them to change to a new solution… Forcing someone to change when they don’t want to change, what’s the point of that?” Sage’s chief marketing officer, Santiago Solanas, told Cloud Pro. "It doesn’t help their business, it doesn’t help the customer; it’s self-serving.”

Elsewhere, Kelly announced that Sage is working with Salesforce to deliver its real-time cloud accounting solution, Sage Live, on the new Salesforce Lightning.

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.