Sage Sheds Some CRM Offerings

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Sage Group 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.

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.

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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 Workbooks.com 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."

For more UK channel coverage from CRN, visit www.channelweb.co.uk

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