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Listening to your Customers can and should be Win Win

BY Michael Bulman |

15th July 2015 |

Business Growth

During Sage Accelerate in February there was a huge emphasis placed upon Sage listening to their customers and as such, providing them with what they really want.

At the time I was unimpressed. I thought perhaps this reactive, rather than proactive approach may stifle innovation or result in slow progress when new options came onto the market. After all, technology moves quickly.

I was wrong.

In fact, they have it right, although I’m not sure there is anything wildly inspired about their approach; perhaps it is simply that the process used is just common sense. (A quality often undervalued.)

Most of the Sage base is happy with their on premise solutions and the software itself is unquestionably amongst the best out there.

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However, now there has been a shift. Sage has taken on board feedback and has begun to move towards online solutions and as a mature operator with decades under the belt; they have done two very significant things.

  1. They have partnered with Salesforce to produce Sage Life and dominate the SME market.
  2. They are offering choice for their ERP systems:
    • Sage 200 Extra Online
    • Sage 300 continues to have an online option
    • Sage X3 Online is coming in 2015

Companies such as Netsuite and FinancalForce ramble on about the cloud, wax lyrical about its 'unique' qualities and world beating stature when in reality there is nothing mind blowing about the cloud phenomenon.

In reality it is simply a good option for some businesses. At a basic level the positives are clear in that your software can be stored off site, the support is no longer in house and you may well save space in your offices. On the other hand an on premise solution can offer more security, more flexibility and a simpler payment structure.

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Ultimately though, this blog is making a very simple point:

Offering your customers choice is what matters. Offering them the opportunity to pick a solution that is right for them is what they will value.

Sage won’t pigeon hole customers in a desperate bid to get more business. In fact they will give them options; options that have arisen thanks to constant communication and understanding between them and their customers.

Caring about your customers can and should be win win.

Michael Bulman

Sage enthusiast and Acuity advocate.