Sage launches Partner Cloud Program to facilitate migrations to Azure

The program, which covers the U.S. and Canada, covers Sage 100 and Sage 300, which in Canada will overwhelmingly be Sage 300.

Mike Edgett, Director, Product Marketing,  at Sage

Business software vendor Sage has launched the Sage Partner Cloud Program in the U.S. and Canada. Its purpose is to accelerate the migration of the SMB-focused Sage 100 and Sage 300 to the Azure cloud. At this point in time, no additional Sage products are on a road map to be added to the program, nor is any plan in place to add additional public clouds, although either of these could change at some point in the future.

“The capability here comes from a provisioning portal  that we used internally,” said Mike Edgett, Director, Product Marketing,  at Sage. “We are now making the provisioning portal available for partners so that they can help their customers deploy into the cloud. There is no cost for this. There is some training required, and there is no cost for that either. There is some time commitment for the training, but it is not huge.”

The purpose of making the portal available is to make it easier for partners to move customers to Azure. Cloud migration, like other aspects of digital transformation, is something that many customers have talked about for years, and some have dabbled in. With the COVID pandemic however, many of these customers have greatly accelerated these efforts.

“This is something that customers have said that they wanted to do this for years, but COVID has got them actually ready to do it,” Edgett said. “What we have done is let partners use the provisioning portal to help them get customers to the cloud more easily and quickly. The design provides partners with a consistent capability to do that.” It lets them easily integrate with other applications on Azure as well, to bring in other ISVs to meet the needs of specific customers.

Sage expects that smaller channel partners will be most interested in this to migrate their clients.

“We think it’s a good opportunity for all partners to make it easier for customers to get to the cloud,” Edgett said. “For larger partners, it’s a ‘nice to have’ thing. But we think that for smaller ones, it’s almost a ‘must have.’ Many partners provide hosting themselves, and this wouldn’t stop that from happening.”

While the Sage Partner Cloud supports the migration of both Sage 100 and Sage 300, in Canada, the expectation will be that it will be basically a Sage 300 play. Sage 300 was originally ACCPAC, a Richmond B.C.-based company which Sage acquired in 2004. While ACCPAC always sold internationally, it historically had a very strong presence in Canada, and Sage 300 has retained that under Sage.

“We don’t sell much Sage 100 in Canada,” Edgett noted. “In Canada, this will be basically for Sage 300.”

At this stage, there are no plans to extend Sage Partner Cloud to other Sage products.

“Sage X3 is likely the one we would consider, but there is no plan to do it at that point,” Edgett said.

Edgett also indicated that the decision to go with Azure rather than AWS or Google Cloud came from past experience with Azure, not an intrinsic preference for that cloud.

“We have deployed this on Azure in other parts of the world,” he said. “It was a logical decision to go there as a result. It’s not because of any advantage of Azure over AWS or Google. It’s because of our specific experience with Azure around this.”

Expansion of Sage Partner Cloud to these other platforms is a possibility at some point, but nothing has been decided.

“Both those expansions are under consideration, but right now there are no firm plans to do either,” Edgett said. “We have a relationship with AWS around some products in our portfolio. If we get enough requests or find a technical reason would warrant going down that route, we would consider that.”

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