Sage beefs up Canadian capabilities on heels of Transform event

Today Sage is announcing a renewal of its sponsorship of the Canada Games movement, following up on the announcement that Sage Membership and Masterclass is now available in Canada.

Mark Hickman, Managing Director, Sage Canada

Last month, Sage held their annual Transform event in Orlando, which is focused around their flagship Sage Intacct software for medium-sized businesses. Since then, they have been active in extending enablement for customers in Canada, and providing channel partners with additional opportunities.

Sage is emphasizing the importance of strategic sports alliances, and today they are announcing the extension of a long-standing one. Sage Canada has renewed its commitment to the Canada Games Movement through 2030, as a National Supplier of the Canada Games in 2025, 2027 and 2029.

“This marks ten years of Sage supporting the Canada Games,” said Mark Hickman, Managing Director, Sage Canada. Sage will continue to supply their Sage Intacct platform with its financial management and analytics capabilities to the Canada Games, along with training and support.

The Canada Games announcement follows up on a significant new partnership with Major League Baseball that Sage announced at Transform.

“The partnership with Major League baseball will see us providing analytics, which will pop up on telecasts with the Sage brand, and provide things like an estimation of what pitch is coming next,” Hickman said. “We are doing the same thing with Six Nations Rugby.”

Since Transform, Sage also announced the availability of Sage Membership and Masterclass in Canada, something that was previously available in the U.K and the U.S. It provides insights through talks and articles from leading experts and trailblazers on the challenges that are most important for businesses today.

“This is a focused effort to deliver pertinent relevant content to the customer which will help them throughout their business, not just with their technology,” Hickman said.  Sage Member Masterclass Season 1 will focus on the competition for talent and empowering the workforce of today and tomorrow, with topics including how to create a deeper connection with your people why successful recruitment doesn’t end with onboarding, and how to spark inspiration and create a positive culture. Season 2 is expected to launch in Canada in early 2023 and will focus on Unlocking Productivity. While Season 1 is currently only offered in English, the French-Canadian version will be launched before the end of 2022.

As it kicks off in Canada, Masterclass is open to any business, regardless of being a Sage customer or not. In the future, the Masterclass will turn to an exclusive offer to Sage customers only.

“We want to make this content initially available to the whole marketplace, and will limit access to Sage customers as we add and curate more and more content,” Hickman indicated.

While Masterclass is focused on customers, Hickman said it will also be helpful to partners.

“It makes the Sage ecosystem more relevant,” he stated.

The Transform event itself, Hickman said, emphasized the growth of the Sage digital network, particularly around Intacct.

“This continuing journey to the Sage digital network and growth of our Intacct solution in the medium business segment is significant,” he said. “We saw major growth in North America with Intacct. It is bought by medium sized businesses of 25 employees and up, in areas like financial services and non-profits. We will also be bringing out Intacct Essentials, which is aimed lower down in the SMB market.

Hickman stressed that Intacct Essentials is not intended to retire older Sage products like Sage 50 and Sage 300 that play in that part of the market.

“It’s not a replacement for our lower end products, which appeal to needs of specific customers,” he said. “Sage 300 still sells well because it meets specific needs better in some use cases.”

Multiple product enhancements to Intacct were announced, although some of them are not available in Canada today. The one new solution in general availability in Canada now is Sage Intacct for Construction and Real Estate, which is also in the U.S. and Australia.

Sage Intacct Manufacturing, which was already released in France and the UK earlier in 2022, is being expanded into the U.S, with early adopter access available now and general availability planned for the middle of 2023.

“Canada is likely to be next after that,” Hickman said.

Sage Intacct Lease Accounting and Sage Intacct Accounts Payable Automation, which were announced for the U.S., are likely to take longer to get to Canada.

“We are usually quick to follow behind the U.S., but the U.S laws in these areas are quite different from Canada,” Hickman said.

Hickman also indicated that Lockstep, a provider of cloud native technology that automates accounting workflows between companies, and which Sage acquired this summer, would also be coming to Canada later this year.

Sage also broadened their important partnership with Microsoft to provide customers with the option of hosting Sage Intacct and Sage Active on Azure as well as the capabilities through the Sage Intacct App for Microsoft Teams to submit and approve certain processes directly through the Application.

“We already announced we were giving Sage customers the ability to work through the Teams interface, and we are continuing to broaden that out with this new Azure support.” Hickman said. “We also have now delivered on our capabilities with Teams.”

Finally, Sage announced a new acquisition, Bristol U.K-based Spherics. They make a carbon accounting solution that helps businesses easily understand and reduce their environmental impact.

“Sage has a major commitment to sustainability, but this also speaks to our focus on driving digital networks,” Hickman said. “We think that adding this will be very good for both customers and partners.”

Out of the gate, Spherics will be sold as a separate solution, but Hickman indicated he would not be surprised to see that change.

“I see this as a logical candidate to be integrated into all of our solutions,” he indicated.

While many technology shows this year have been light on customer attendance compared to before the pandemic, Hickman said that Sage was an exception to that rule, which spoke to customer excitement around what Sage is doing.

“We had 3500 customers at the event,” he stated. “We think its going to be a big year for Sage in Canada.”