Sage Sheds Some CRM Offerings

Editor’s note:  As part of our special editorial partnership, Channelnomics is publishing this recent article from CRN in the UK.

Sage Group plc officials last week insisted the global software maker remains committed to its CRM business despite announcing the sale of a number of its CRM products.

Sage’s Non-Profit Solutions segment has been sold to Accel-KKR and its SalesLogix and Act divisions have been snapped up by long-term partner Swiftpage, all for undisclosed fees.

The vendor is keeping hold of its Sage CRM product, which integrates with its core accounting and ERP products.

“Sage is not exiting the CRM segment and has no plans to do so,” the company said in a statement. “Our vision is to be the most valuable supporter of SMBs worldwide by creating the freedom for them to succeed. CRM is a key element of this vision, and will be delivered via Sage CRM, our CRM solution which integrates with our Sage ERP solutions.”

Sage’s CRM strategy has been erratic in recent years. In 2010, the Newcastle, England-based vendor spun off its CRM offerings into a separate unit only to reverse the decision a year later.

A thousand of the firm’s 13,000 employees worldwide will be affected by the recent announcements, but Sage, the world’s third largest ERP software maker behind Oracle Corp., and SAP AG, insists that the vast majority of its displaced workers will transfer to the buyer once the sale is complete in a few months.

Sage also revealed that in January it agreed to sell its France-based branches C&I public authorities arm, automotive branch Auto and transport and food market segment ATL to French firm Argus Soditic.

Sage’s Spain-based Aytos public authorities arm will also be bought by the firm. The vendor added that all staff affected by this sale will remain in employment with the new firm.

Sage claimed Swiftpage was a natural choice as it has been a long-standing partner and “knows the products and customers well.” The duo says it will be business as usual for departing customers and partners.

However, rival UK CRM provider Ltd. reckons that working with U.S.-based Swiftpage may cause some European customers problems.

Workbooks Sales Director Ian Moyse said: “This may present customers with a new dilemma under Swiftpage as the new owner is a U.S. vendor, meaning U.S. data laws apply to any data stored in their systems, be they in the UK or not.”

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2 Responses to “Sage Sheds Some CRM Offerings”

  • John:

    Another vendor selling off or closing down losing parts of their business after acquiring them with a fanfare of what they would do with it. Sage has done nothing with this for years and now passes the buck on to a USA firm, not great for us UK clients. How long before other product based CRM firms make the same move when they see continued losses to a growing number of cloud CRM solutions. Will Goldmine be next?


  • “Interesting to See Sage sell off the two CRM solutions it has lacked focus on for a while anyway. ACT is a legacy on network solution contact management, NOT CRM solution, in a market which is increasingly cloud based. It is expected that 40-50% of CRM sold in 2013 to be cloud based according to analysts and growing annually thereafter so perhaps Sage saw a good reason to exit this product. Hosted customers of SalesLogix in the UK may have a new dilemma also as the Data Sovereignty moves from being under a UK company (Sage) to a USA firm (Switfpage). This is a concern that an increasing number of UK firms are expressing, with continued surveys showing customers want data not only held in the UK but under UK sovereignty. With recent confirmations from larger USA vendors that data held in the UK under a USA brand is considered under USA data laws this may open the gates for UK CRM firms to help migrate customers back into what they consider a safe data area.”
    Ian Moyse

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