Welcome to the hosted revolution, Sage Group. Nice to see you here at last, although bit disappointed that it's only the MME edition that's being hosted so far, but a journey of a million miles begins with a single foot step and all that.
You join us at an interesting time in the on demand world. Siebel's CRM On Demand product is claimed by Oracle to be one of the jewels in the corporate crown that led to its takeover bid, although the fact that the jewels are big and blue and IBM shaped in the main seems to be something of a potential stumbling block there...
Meanwhile Siebel's CRM OnDemand boss Keith Raffle argues that OnDemand will outstrip Siebel on premise revenues, it's only a question of when. Apparently Tom Siebel agreed with this as well, although he disagreed on the length of time it would take, which might explain the shutting down of Sales.com. This action left Salesforce.com free to grow relatively unchallenged and might be read by some as a major strategic error on Siebel's part...
Now something's stirring in the Redmond camp where the h-word has increasingly been heard. You can already get hosted Microsoft CRM if you go to one of its partners, but it now seems that customers will be able to source it direct from Microsoft from around the middle of next year. More details as and when, but it looks like there's some meat on those bones, which is rather more than we say unfortunately about SAP's hosting intentions. These remain confined to a sort of commitment to do something, they're just not quite sure what. Or when. Or how it will work. Oh well, as I said, a journey of a million miles etc etc etc.
So Sage, welcome once again to an increasingly competitive market. I do think your global rebranding might have been helped further by taking the three brands and bringing them down to one rather than taking the three brands and adding a fourth one on top of them, but hey, arithmetic was never my strong point. And welcome on board Dave Batt - it will be interesting to see what impact this industry veteran has on the fortunes of Sage.
If I might presume to offer one piece of advice to Mr B it would this: Sage has a great installed base in back office and accounting apps. It has some interesting and functionally rich CRM products. Why can't I buy the whole, integrated lot from one person in one place at one time as a single branded offering? NetSuite makes hay from having ERP as well as CRM functionality. You're really missing a trick here.
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