Sage says new ISV program shows changed attitude to partnering

Sage has announced a new global program for its independent software partners, which replaces multiple previous product, region and company-based initiatives, and which the company pledges will be the first of a series of initiatives which will make partners of all types much more central than before.

Richard Spring Sage 300

Rich Spring, Sage’s EVP and Chief Revenue Officer

NEW ORLEANS — At its Partner Summit on the first day of the Sage Summit here, Sage announced a new program for its independent software vendor (ISV) partners. Even more importantly, Sage is stressing that the philosophy in this program is part of an overall change in the vendor’s philosophy, which will also be found in a new program for its VAR and consultant partners that will be announced this fall.

“We are changing at Sage in a big way,” said Rich Spring, Sage’s EVP and Chief Revenue Officer. “Our mindset to partners is a lot different from where it was not too long ago. We are a lot more customer focused and partner driven today.”

Spring acknowledged that the company had not been partner-driven in the past, and had caused frustration among many partners.

“It’s a significant change in terms of philosophy for Sage,” he said. “Now, it’s about us leveraging the multiplying power of our partner ecosystem and Sage together.

Spring indicated that this philosophy will apply broadly to partners, and include ISVs, strategic partners, and VARs, with service providers and strategic partnerships being particularly important in terms of where they are looking to grow the number of partners significantly.

The new ISV program is a global one, which replaces what had been multiple previous agreements that varied depending on geography, product and company, with one united ISV program.

“It’s not just a global partner program, but is Sage operating in a global way,” Spring said. “Sage was very siloed before, not just with respect to partners, but also internally, and in terms with how we operated in the market. What we are doing with this program is consistent with everything else Sage is doing now. Our ISV program is one of the big focal points here.”

Sage also announced what it expects will be the first of many new solutions by ISV partners for its new platforms, with Kimble for Sage Live. Kimble, which makes PSA [Professional Services Automation] solutions, signed a partnership agreement with Sage two months ago, and in that relatively short time has developed a preintegrated solution for consulting organizations for the newly-announced Sage Live offering. Sage said that a wide range of ISVs is also building preintegrated vertical solutions with Sage on the Salesforce1 platform, taking advantage of Sage Live’s open APIs.

“Our new ISV program will welcome our partners in a different kind of way than they may have been engaged in in the past,” Spring said.

The new ISV program is only the first of a series of changes to the Sage partner organization intended to recognize partners as an integral part of Sage. It will be followed by the launch of a fresh Global Partner Program for its other partners in October.

“When I joined this company, I asked, ‘why play catchup when you can leapfrog,’ said Sage Group CEO Stephen Kelly. “We want to address a world in which people run their business from the palm of their hands, and a world which blurs business and consumer experience. That requires a commitment to customer service, and it requires a commitment to our partners.”