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At the recently concluded Sage Summit 2017 – U.K. , Sage EVP Partners and Alliances Alan Laing disclosed that a revamped global partner program will be launched by October 2017.

Sage had announced the launch of a new partner program during Sage Summit 2016 in Chicago which they described as:

The new Partner Program, launched in November 2015, will replace more than 54 worldwide partner programs throughout 2017. Together with accountants and corporate partners, the program incorporates independent software vendors (ISV), strategic alliances, value added resellers and cloud service providers into a plan designed to make working with Sage better and simpler.

In addition, the original global program was to include a partner community which is believed to be based upon Salesforce Communities:

The Partner Community is a collaborative ecosystem that provides access to Sage with exclusive content and support services, marketing development funding and online education and certification. The community also includes an online messaging tool as well as peer-to-peer communication between partners.

Sage has posted a partner podcast featuring Alan Laing which sheds a little more light on the new program which is described as not impacting existing business but focusing more on new sales.

 

A complete transcript of the Sage Partner Podcast Featuring Sage EVP Partners and Alliances Alan Laing

Hello and welcome to the first in a series of podcasts that we at Sage are providing to you our partners. I’m Alan Laing, EVP of Partners and Alliances at Sage. Many of you have been partners for a long time. Many of you are new to the Sage’s partner ecosystem and we want to use these podcasts to bring all of you up to date with what we are doing and what we want to bring to you to help you grow your business significantly in the future. [00:00:30] As you know Sage’s heritage has always been based on strong partner relationships and in 2016 we announced a series of alliances with technology giants such as Salesforce, Microsoft, Apple, Google and Slack. Which not only deliver added value to Sage but will also benefit you, our partners, whilst you’re working with your customers.

 
Firstly, let’s talk about the Sage ecosystem. [00:01:00] We’ve worked hard at enhancing the platforms that we’re providing to you. Including bringing a lot of innovation into our products. We’ve worked on the open APIs to make things easier for you to integrate with Sage Solutions that bring our products to life for our mutual customers. There are many different data points which demonstrate why the open ecosystem is important and many companies have embraced this model. Research from Partner Path in the US shows that 40% of partners [00:01:30] regularly partner with three to five other solution providers in providing a solution to their customers. That’s testimony to Sage’s open ecosystem philosophy and why we believe so strongly in it. Many of you will already have heard about Sage’s vision about energizing business builders around the world through the imagination of our people and the power of our technology. Business builders are at the heart of everything that Sage, and hopefully you, do. We don’t exist without them. [00:02:00] We need to enable business builders by providing them with the underlying infrastructure, technology and innovation that helps them grow their business without worrying about back office functions.

 
Whether that be accounting, payments or payroll. These things are important but they need to be easy to use and adaptable by those businesses if they’re going to succeed. You, our partners, are the critical champions of our business builders. Without you being able to address their needs, we won’t be successful [00:02:30] and you won’t be successful. We need to join together in providing what these business builders need to make sure that their businesses can grow and flourish without worrying about back office functions. Success in enterprise is also key and you’ll hear much more about that in the weeks ahead. There is no doubt that the partner ecosystem is pivotal to the success and evolution of Sage and hopefully to your businesses. Let me take this opportunity to tell you how that’s working in practice and provide you with an update [00:03:00] in the ecosystem that is made available through the Sage marketplace.

 
So guys, the second thing I want to talk to you about is Sage’s Cloud Momentum. A press release announcing five Cloud solutions across seven global markets, went out at the end of January. If you didn’t see it, please head to sage.com to read the press release. This is a very significant announcement from Sage and one that’s really exciting the market. These new solutions highlight Sage’s vision to empower [00:03:30] business builders and enterprisers around the world to automate back office functions and live in a world where accounting becomes invisible. With Cloud Momentum our partners will need to build deeper relationships, providing vertical or horizontal solutions and consulting expertise around the Sage Cloud product suite. A really opportunity with significant revenue streams for you our partners to take advantage of. In essence, what we jointly need to do is talk the language [00:04:00] of the customer, the business builder, at a deeper level. These Cloud solutions that we’re bringing to market mean that for some partners they will have to adjust their business models fairly significantly to take advantage of the opportunity.

 
IDC research suggests that by 2020, 70% of all software revenue is going to come in the Cloud. How does this affect our partners and how are we going to drive forward together to ensure that we can take advantage of this opportunity? [00:04:30] It does mean that you’re going to have to change your business models. It does mean that we’re going to have to adapt to a constantly changing world and ensure that we focus on customer for life as a core value in our joint proposition towards the market. We keep talking about Cloud and the opportunity. It’s not new in the marketplace. It’s not new to Sage and it’s not new to you. But the faster that we adopt it for greater growth, I think the better we will all be able to succeed in the constantly changing [00:05:00] market that’s out there. Watch out for the video that myself and Margo Adam from IDC have recorded as part of our Cloud Momentum tour. We discussed the big issues for partners and moving your business to the Cloud and have also created tools to help you become Cloud ready.

 
If you haven’t looked at our Cloud product suite, Sage One, Sage Live, X3 and Sage People, then I encourage you to go to the website and look at what those products and enhanced solutions with their open ecosystems can bring to our customers. [00:05:30] They really are innovation first and bring a strong capability to our customers to be able to adapt and to be more competitive.

 
Let me now turn to my favorite subject and something we’ve been talking a lot about over the past year and something that we need to bring to reality for you. The Sage Partner Program. We announced the launch of the Sage Partner Program in 2016. Built around the Cloud products Sage One, Sage Live [00:06:00] and X3. We explained at the Sage Summit in Chicago in July 2016 that we’d be extending the reach of the Sage Partner Program to all partner types, for all products in all countries. That’s still an intention. To be clear, the Sage Partner Program applies to all new business but doesn’t affect your installed base. The Sage Partner Program is to make it simpler for you to do business with Sage and to be able to conduct the business you need to do in the field and in the market [00:06:30] quickly and easily. We are committed to giving you the right partner program in all of your countries with the right assets to help you be more competitive in the marketplace.

 
We want to create a unified program, a framework under which we will work together to be able to win new customers in the market quicker and more effectively. That takes a little time but we’re committed to making it happen in conjunction with you. As I go around and meet with many of you, you give me feedback [00:07:00] that you’re worried about Sage direct sales competing with you. All of our public statements and all of the programs that we are developing are built with partners in mind. There is absolutely no intent from Sage to move our focus to a direct revenue model and every time one of you comes to me and tells me about some conflict you see in the marketplace, I’ll be very eager to enter into a discussion with my colleagues and with you, to ensure that we have absolute clarity that our intention is [00:07:30] to work with partners first and ensure that our partners are successful.

 
In conclusion everything I’ve tried to say today is underpinned by commitment to you our partners. We need to enhance that communications with you and I’m committed to ensuring, with my team in the countries that you’ve regular access to what’s going on in Sage through podcasts and other means of communicating to ensure that you have complete clarity on our mission and [00:08:00] our vision for making the world of business builders and enterprises easier and more effective. We’re really excited about what we’re doing. To this end I just want to reiterate that the announcements we’ve made over the last few weeks about our Cloud products really give us and you a market leading advantage and we want you to be able to take full advantage of that as quickly as possible. Please talk to your local Sage partner teams about how we can make that happen for you and let us know any feedback [00:08:30] you have on any of the issues that we’ve raised in this podcast. I look forward to talking to you again in the near future and introducing guest speakers for the partner podcast series. Thanks for your time.