Sage sees the new offering, which is likely to be sold primarily, though not exclusively for the X3 platform, as a strong opportunity for channel partners.
Sage has announced the launch of its Sage People solution in Canada. Sage People is a cloud-based Human Capital Management solution targeted at mid-sized enterprise.
The solution comes through an OEM deal with Fairsail. Fairsail is a British-based specialist in Human Capital Management [HCM] solutions. Sage first partnered with Fairsail in 2015, and then last year significantly extended that partnership, including taking a 20 per cent ownership stake in the company. At that time, Sage previewed the present announcement, stating that Fairsail would become its HCM solution to accompany Sage’s X3 Business Management Solution, and that Sage itself would use the Fairsail solution internally.
“Fairsail plays heavily in the HCM space, and works nicely in concert with the broader Sage story,” said Mark Horne, Sage’s VP of Product Marketing. “This is something that’s new for us. The X3 platform does have some HCM capabilities, but this is a whole new level of people management. It’s that next level of capabilities, and a true complement to our existing portfolio.”
Horne also indicated that Sage People is not limited to being an attach to the X3 platform.
“We see this primarily as a natural evolution of X3, but we are not limiting ourselves to that,” he said. “It’s a good fit in any organization which is now focusing on people at its core. This will include organizations who are not presently Sage customers at all.”
Horne stressed that Sage People is much more than a traditional Human Resources [HR] solution, as it provides payroll, talent acquisition, talent management and people planning in addition to core HR functionality.
“It really is a true people platform, and not just an HR platform, and quite frankly, that’s why we picked it,” Horne said. “It is built in the cloud, and built on the Salesforce platform, so has great capabilities from that. Its mobile capabilities are strong, so you don’t have a separate system for mobile. It all brings together HR, people analytics, talent acquisition, payroll compensation benefits and other elements to architect a single source of truth across the enterprise.”
Horne said that the market has multiple players, but that the Sage People solution is well positioned to succeed in it.
“The market presently includes smaller companies like Bamboo who are focused on HCM, as well as larger companies who have come in from other areas, particularly the payroll space,” he said. “It’s an up and coming area in terms of solutions. The category is there already, but we expect to be a dominant player within it.”
Horne said that Sage People will be a strong channel play.
“This is the kind of product where having the local knowledge of the customer is so important, and the channel is best equipped to provide that knowledge,” he said. “The fact that it’s built on the Salesforce platform is also a really nice door opener for the channel. In talking with partners about this, we got a strong response not just from the solution itself, but how it can help them position their business in new and exciting ways. If you sell Salesforce and do the CRM side, you can go back to that base and talk to them about the people side with this.”
Horne also indicated that two new solutions will be available in Canada at some point later this year.
Sage One with Pegg leverages the Pegg accounting chat bot that was introduced and publicized highly at Sage Summit last year. It acts as a smart assistant, that lets users track expenses and manage finances through popular messaging apps.
“This is Pegg’s first commercial rollout, following a lot of great work to improve the AI as it went from beta to a commercial solution,” Horne said. “This is a fascinating first step for us towards a new world of bots and AI in a variety of different things.”
Sage One with Pegg is now only available in the U.S., but Canada is part of the global rollout planned for 2017.
The other new offering is an integration of Sage 50c with Microsoft’s Office 365. This new version is initially only available in the UK. Again, however, Canada is part of a further rollout planned for 2017.