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Sage Viability and CRM Pricing

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Sage Company Viability

Sage Group has an impressive three decade track record in the enterprise software industry. The company has amassed 6.1 million customers in more than 160 countries to become the third largest ERP software company in the world—although Infor also claims the number 3 spot. Sage Group plc is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: SGE) and is a member of the FTSE 100 Index. By all accounts, this company is a large, well managed, profitable business.

However, Sage Group faces formidable competition and business risks which threaten its business operations in each of the primary sectors which it competes.

  • In the traditional CRM software sector, and more particularly the SMB market which is Sage's sweet spot, Sage faces much larger competitors such as Microsoft, SAP and to a lesser extent Oracle. Each of these enterprise software competitors are much larger companies, which possess more resources, R&D and a much more recognized brand, than Sage.
  • Within the cloud CRM competitive landscape, and again focused on the SMB market, Sage lags the growth of primary competitors such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle CRM on Demand, RightNow, Salesforce.com and SugarCRM. This market is also seeing new entrants, with large and well branded competitors such as SAP getting in with new products such as Business ByDesign and Sales on Demand.

Additionally, the departures of Sage CEO Paul Walker of Sage Group and more so CEO Sue Swenson, Business Solutions head Jodi Uecker-Rust, VP of Sales Paul Johnson and CTO Motasim Najeeb at the U.S. business unit—Sage's largest division—contribute to senior management restructures that seem to cycle with near predictability. In fact, appointing outsider Pascal Houillon, previously CEO of Sage France, to head the North American operations leaves many partners and customers expecting a year or so transition to be followed with yet another North American CEO.

Further, in both CRM and cloud CRM markets which are showing impressive growth, Sage has remained flat, clearly losing ground in the competitive landscape. If its Sage CRM cloud solution fails to achieve organic growth it would seem plausible, maybe even likely, that Sage takes to its M&A roots and acquires a SaaS CRM product before it loses the potential to effectively compete in this expanding market.

While Sage is expert in acquiring and integrating smaller business software vendors, the company has amassed a product portfolio that in some ways appears unwieldy, in many ways fails to offer a combined synergistic value and is often made up of severely aged products. Simply being an aggregator of disparate business software products fails to deliver much customer value. For Sage to better capitalize on its product portfolio, it must do a better job of integrating and unifying complimentary products, refreshing technology, capitalizing on the cloud and marketing bundled solutions.

Sage CRM Pricing

Sage CRM subscription pricing is $69.00 per user per month. On premise software pricing begins at $1,495 per server and $495 per user license plus an annual support plan in the range of 15% to 21% of the retail price.

There is also an Easy Pay option for on premise customers. Sage essentially sums the CRM software purchase price with three years of annual maintenance and divides that amount into quarterly payments over three years. The effect is a payment plan similar to subscription pricing however the customer owns the software licenses after that period.

Because SageCRM on demand and on premise are the same code set, customers have the option to convert from one deployment method to the other. Sage also provides some investment protection. Customer moving from on premise to on demand CRM receive a 50% discount on the subscription fees for the licenses currently owned. Or customers moving from on demand CRM to an on premise installation, receive a 50% discount on the subscription fees for up to 12 months.

Free trials are available to review and test the solution for your particular business requirements.

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