Monday November 30, 2020

Providing the perfect partners

Sage’s flagship ERP tool, which it launched 18 months ago, is a combination of listening to what people want and futureproofing, writes Quinton O’Reilly

9th April, 2017
Oisin Geraghty, senior sales manager, Sage

As one of the major players in the market, Sage has a firm grip on the Irish and British markets and, with its flagship product Sage Live, it continues to build upon the foundations it has set.

Based on research conducted with its customers two years ago, Sage Live is an evolution of the ERP services the multinational has offered for many years. Incorporating elements such as cloud, mobile, instant invoicing, tighter integration with apps and all within a unified platform, it’s flexible and powerful enough to adapt and change with any company that uses it.

It helps that it’s built on the Salesforce platform, which allows it a significant advantage as it can integrate with thousands of apps.

The service now has 1,000 clients worldwide with more than 100 based in Ireland itself, and one of Sage Live’s European spaces is currently based in Leopardstown. Senior sales manager Oisin Geraghty says it’s been a major success for the company.

“If you speak to anybody in the game, that’s what people want,” he said. “That’s why we went with something totally new on the Salesforce platform, it gives us a leg up around security, cloud, integration with apps and it’s also a well-known platform globally.”

Those partnerships are one reason why it’s one of the major players in the Irish and British market. Not only is it partnered with one of the top CRM systems with Sage Live, but it’s also partners with distributors across both markets, ensuring that it has as large a reach as possible.

It also helps that its flexibility helps bring more SMEs into the fold as the concept of different products for different types of companies – be it industry, size or location – is all but gone.

“You have so many different industries, that the day of one size fits all is gone,” he said. “That’s where our partners can come in, and they have different specialisations in different industries and that’s how we’re beating our competitors.

“A distribution company which says: ‘We can put you in touch with a partner who knows that industry and can customise Sage Live to your needs’ and we’ve so many talented people here in Sage who built this and got it up and running . . . it’s really taken off, and it’s a global product so we can focus on putting a lot of resources into this.”

Like all major products like this, an emphasis is placed on accessibility and communication. Being able to access it from a variety of devices and integrate with numerous services is a serious advantage.

From that, everyone within a company can keep track of the developments relevant to them, big or small, and there is no doubling up.

If my company triples in size in three years’ time, Sage Live will be able to handle that. Would other products be able to handle that? Probably not, and that’s where the value is

A real-time automated system keeps everyone up to date with any changes made, and from that comes efficiencies and improvements within a company.

“You’re not relying on verbal communication from sales people or account people . . . you can manage your whole business and management team from this one system. If you have Salesforce or you have Sage Live, you can run your management meetings,” said Geraghty.

“You can open it in the management meeting so everyone is accountable to opening the whole system and commission it and everything is driven from it.”

The other factor is something that is always at the forefront of a business’s mind: the cost. Starting at €300 per month, that includes two full user and five business user licences with the option of adding another full user for an extra €85 or a business user for €40.

The flexibility comes with this too. You can pay it monthly or schedule it so you’re billed quarterly or annually.

“With the likes of this, you know your monthly outgoing, you have a fixed cost. If you have professional services that are implemented at the start, the partner is clear to the customer about the cost, and they can budget around that,” said Geraghty.

“It’s not like they suddenly realise they need to upgrade in three years’ time, we’re constantly evolving this product, and it’s included in the price, so they can budget pretty easily.

“People are comfortable with that. They don’t want to be implementing something in three years’ time with [further] costs . . . it’s transparent and there are no crazy surprises.”

While you would expect Geraghty to be complimentary of Sage Live, it’s his background that helps him appreciate what Sage is bringing to the table.

Such a product gives businesses a comprehensive overview of how they work, what needs to be improved and what areas they could focus more of their time on.

The future-proofing of Sage Live is something that Geraghty feels will serve it well in the long run. Regardless of what size a company is now, if it grows rapidly within a short space of time, it will be able to handle that.

“I come from a family business, it’s something I wish I had myself as a business owner, having a 360-degree view [of your business], I totally get it and we’re very fortunate to have it in Sage,” he said.

“If my company triples in size in three years’ time, Sage Live will be able to handle that. Would other products be able to handle that? Probably not, and that’s where the value is.”

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