Sage CEO Stephen Kelly has stepped down from his role at the accountancy software vendor, Sage despite apparently turning the outfit around.
Sage’s numbers had been pretty dire this year, but showed signs of recovery during an update to the London Stock Exchange at the start of August.
On his resignation Kelly said: “I joined Sage four years ago and am immensely proud of the extraordinary change that I have had the privilege to lead. I joined a fragmented organisation with minimal presence in the cloud. The major cultural transformation has created Sage Business Cloud which has now grown to £386 million of annualised recurring revenue from a standing start and has driven total shareholder return for Sage of over twice that of the FTSE100 during my tenure.”
Chairman Donald Brydon said: “Stephen has much to be proud of in the very heavy lifting he has led as the group is transformed.
“He energised the group, drove change with relentless focus on customers, and under his leadership the strategy to become a leading SaaS business has been defined. The board remains fully supportive of the overall strategy. We wish Stephen well in the next phase of his life.”
Number crunching software outfit Sage fell short of revenue growth expectations.
In a trading update, the accountancy software vendor said its organic revenue growth for the six months ending 31 March 2018 was 6.3 percent, down from 7.4 percent in the same period last year. Sage has reduced its revenue growth estimate for the full year to seven percent, from eight percent.
Sage CEO Stephen Kelly said that growth in H1 2018 was lower than his expectations as the pace of execution has been slower than we planned.
“The revised revenue guidance targets for FY18 reflect both the performance in H1 2018, but also our diligence in ensuring that we focus on recurring revenue to drive sustainable acceleration throughout the rest of FY18 as a platform into FY19.”
Recurring revenue growth has been hit hardest; the trading update said, down from 11.1 percent in H1 2017 to 6.4 percent this year, which it attributed to “inconsistent operational execution”.
Software and services growth declined 0.2 percentage points, which Sage blamed on “slippages” in enterprise licensing contracts in the US, Africa, and the Middle East. However, the vendor expects some of this to be rectbe fixed in the second half of the year.
The North America market performed well, at double-digit growth, but the EMEA region disappointed.
Software outfit Sage is making improvements to its channel support to help partners looking to change their business model obtain new customers.
The firm is facing demand from users for support for mid market and cloud-based solutions and needs more partners to get into adapt to those new customer targets.
The business intelligence and accounting software player has a large global channel base, with 1,600 partners in the UK, and has increased the account managers that can help guide resellers to new business opportunities.
Jennifer Warawa, EVP partners and alliances at Sage, said Sage had increased the training to make sure people could offer resellers a different level of service.
She said that the partner account model was more transactional. “We need to advise, to be strategic, and to help them through the transformation of their own business.”
Helping the channel change its business model could not be done with a webcast or a booklet because Sage needed to talk to people face to face and take a more personal approach.
As well as going for fresh opportunities, Sage is also encouraging partners to focus on vertical markets or to develop a specialisation, for instance in business intelligence.
The UK based CRM vendor, Really Simple Systems, has launched an integration with Sage One accounting and invoicing on their new CRM Version 5. The integration that went live on 1 November 2017 lets small businesses integrate their CRMs directly with the accounting software using just a few click.
The Sage One integration with Really Simple Systems is an update to the CRM Version 5, released earlier this year. This modification integrates the latest version of the Sage One API, the API v3, with the new version CRM, giving improved functionality and security.
The Sage One integration with Really Simple Systems is available to customers in the UK, creating a workflow between the two business software solutions. The pairing looks to provide everything a small business needs to manage their sales and accounting with no specialized technical knowledge.
Simple Systems marketing manager, Helen Armour, said: “You can easily synchronise customer records between your CRM and Sage One, create invoices directly from your sales opportunities, and manage your product stock levels. The integration works in real-time so your sales team can view their customers’ balances at a glance.”
“Importantly for small business owners is that setting up the integration is easy” continued Armour. “This means they can get on with managing their business, knowing their finances are in safe hands, with minimal effort.”
Integration with Sage One is now available on all Simple Systems CRM plans, including the freemium service.
London coppers have fingered the collar of a 32-year-old woman on suspicion of attempting to defraud software firm Sage.
The woman is a current employee of Sage and was nicked at Heathrow airport on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud. She has since been bailed.
It might be a coincidence, but Sage admitted that it had suffered a data breach affecting up to 300 business customers.
Customers have been told that personal and financial information may have been lost during the breach.
The breach was blogged about by consultant Richard De Vere who said only UK customers were affected. The reason it might be connected to the arrest is that De Vere claimed the breach had been the product of an insider threat. To be fair, he never said the arrest was connected so it might be a coincidence.
Sage subsequently stated: “We believe there has been some unauthorised access using an internal login to the data of a small number of our UK customers so we are working closely with the authorities to investigate the situation.”
The company added: “The dedicated helpline number is 0845 145 3345 – please leave a message with your details and we will get back to you as soon as we can. You can also get in touch with us by emailing us at email@example.com.”
Small and medium sized businesses don’t tend to be tech trendsetters, but there is one trend they are not missing out on. They hate Windows 8.
A recent survey conducted by software vendor Sage North America has revealed that Windows 8 is getting a lukewarm reception from most SMBs. Just 20 percent are using Windows 8 machines at the moment, or plan to upgrade over the next six months.