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Sage Summit 2015: The move to cloud technology and the death of ERP

Accountancy software firm Sage has released new cloud-based software, highlighting the gap between the use of cloud and on-premise in the workplace and declaring a move away from traditional ERP

At the Sage Summit 2015, the software firm announced the release of new software, Sage Live, that leans towards the growing trend of cloud adoption in the enterprise.

Sage said the software is aimed at “wholeheartedly embracing the cloud” and connecting the office front end and back end to provide a unified view of the business by capturing data at source and presenting it to staff in real time.

Also at the summit, Sage Group CEO Stephen Kelly announced the “death” of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and suggested an alternative meaning for the acronym: “expense, regret and pain”.

“We see the blurring of the consumer world and the unbelievable acceleration of millennials coming into the workplace and how that is affecting the small and medium business world,” said Kelly.   

“Small and medium businesses, because they are all smart consumers – especially when they are using this technology every day of their lives – they want to use it in their business.”   

The millennial generation need software that reflects their growing demand for mobility and ease of use, and Sage has sought to deliver this. Most of its customers are small to medium-sized enterprises, which are increasingly taking on younger staff.

With millions of startups and small businesses emerging every year globally, affordable and flexible technology is vital, said Kelly.

Referring to Sage's latest software release, Kelly highlighted the importance of ensuring existing customers are not forced into adopting it, and criticised other similar companies for making such changes too quickly.  

“We have a huge responsibility to our existing customers to hold their hand and help them through the journey,” said Kelly.

“No forced migration – some other companies in our market have said 'you’ve got to move', 'end of life' and all this, but we think those are killer words for a small business.”

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The release of Sage’s new financial software highlighted the fact that there is still a gap between cloud adoption and on-premise.

Santiago Solanas, global chief marketing officer at Sage, said: “There is a generation that likes simplicity and there is a generation that doesn’t like change.

“We’re not trying to convince anybody to go anywhere.”

But if companies want to keep up with the shifting workforce, they will have to make these changes, said Solanas.

“Today the biggest cohort around the world of the working population are millennials,” he added.

“The set of values and how this generation behaves is different from the last, and when you’re planning your strategy, you have to think five or 10 years ahead.”

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