Sage X3 moves enterprise ERP solution into the cloud

The new Sage X3 is the company's top-of-the-line product in what the company is no longer calling ERP, a term it has announced it is abolishing because it has historically imposed Expense Regret and Pain on customers.

Bill Rietz Sage 300

Bill Rietz, VP of Product Management at Sage

NEW ORLEANS – Today Sage is announcing the rebranding of its enterprise ERP Solution, Sage ERP X3, to Sage X3 – as part of its new abolition to abolish the term ERP from its lexicon. For the first time, Sage X3 is also available as a cloud solution, as well as on-prem. Sage X3 will be available as a cloud service, hosted by AWS, starting July 31 in the United States and Canada. It will then roll out globally over the next year, beginning with the United Kingdom later this summer.

“Putting Sage X3 in the cloud offers you a lot of benefits, Sage North America CTO Himanshu Palsule told the Sage Summit audience. “It is an easy, customizable cloud solution, which combines the power of Sage X3 with the accessibility of mobility and social.”

Sage X3 is aimed at what the company defines as midsize companies, but its’ target market is somewhat broader than that.

“It really starts at organizations with over 100 employees and greater than 10 million in revenue, and goes up to enterprises, but it’s really less about the size of the company and more about its business needs,” said Bill Rietz, VP of Product Management at Sage. “Customers have to deal with corporate-type needs like multi-company accounting and reporting, and multi-site operations, as well as global compliance issues. They have inefficiencies across their business, and X3 lets them collaborate across their organization and manage their infrastructure.”

Rietz said that the core product is exactly the same as the on-prem, with very minor differences, and that while the complementary on-prem solutions are not all available at launch, they soon will be. Five of nine (Payments, HRM, Fixed Assets Management, Payroll and Business Intelligence) are available now.

“The intent is to deploy the others [CRM, WMS, Treasury Management and Project Job Costing] in the very near future,” Rietz said. “For some verticals within the services industry, we don’t yet have the add-on functionality for specific industries around job costing as well.”

The rebranding – and the abolition of the ERP concept – is something that Sage Group CEO Stephen Kelly told his keynote audience is absolutely fundamental to their business.

“We will no longer use the term ERP to describe any of our products,” Kelly stressed. It is a 25 year old industry term characterized by cost overrun and business ruin imposed on you – expense, regret and pain. It has been a big padded meal ticket for the Big Five.”

Rietz acknowledged that Sage is getting into the cloud in the area formerly known as ERP later than its competitors, but not critically so, and he said that their competitive advantages over those vendors still hold.

“For business management software like ERP, the adoption curve is well behind office productivity and CRM,” he said. “Sage did need to enter the cloud business though to meet the needs of customizers, because our core competitors now have cloud solutions or hybrid cloud solutions.”

Compared to cloud competitors at the lower end of the market, like Intacct, Acumatica, Plex and Microsoft Dynamics, Rietz said X3 simply has more functionality.

“They are also too limited to scale, and we have more vertical and horizontal scalability,” he said.

Rietz said that compared to Infor and Epicor, which he said they encounter in the middle of X3’s market range, X3 has more customizability, while at the upper end of the market, NetSuite and SAP are more expensive.

Rietz also said that over time, X3 will expand more downmarket than the on-prem product played.

“Initially, the main advantage is that it will give us a cloud choice in our core market, but for those customers who need a cloud solution, it will broaden our market,” he said. “If they didn’t have the appetite to make the infrastructure and IT investment in on-prem, it does give us the ability to go downmarket and give them the freedom to focus on their core business.”

Sage’s pricing model has an introductory base cost of $USD 90, 315 and 945 a month for a finance, distribution and manufacturing customer, respectively, plus $198 per user per month.

“We believe our pricing model has a superior time to value, because it is simple, with comprehensive out of the box capability, and easy to consume. With other enterprise ERP vendors, there are a lot of add ons that cost extra. We have more that’s core to the box.”