Sage Canada partners and customers attracted by Sage’s bold strategy at Transform

Sage’s new product portfolio and strategy had attendees saying this was the most exciting transform in their memory.

Mark Hickman, Managing Director at Sage Canada

Sage Canada, coming off a strong 2023, headed into this year’s Sage Transform event in Las Vegas looking to continue driving that momentum. This was a major Transform, with several major announcements, and others buried in the back of the news columns that in normal years would have been leady.

“As far as overall trends in the Canadian market, we are seeing very strong growth,” said Mark Hickman, Managing Director at Sage Canada. “Business is doing very well. Our Intacct business is accelerating, in both direct and channel. We have had great success in our French portfolio since we launched that six weeks ago. Sage HR for 50 has been launched, as has the Canadian version of Sage Construction Management, which has been doing well. We doubled our growth last year and are exponentially growing again. In field execution, we have a very clear mandate – grow the medium business and grow in the accountant space. Last year was a great year for us, and this year is better.”

Hickman highlighted that at Transform this year, the dominant theme was boldness.

“Absolutely the most important thing is that we are making a very bold move,” he said. “The cloud has peaked. Everything is now AI, dealing with less through Generative AI. We participate in this through all parts of our market. Intacct plays in both small and medium markets. We are the only company who plays in both.”

Hickman, like many Sage executives, partners and customers, consider Sage Copilot to be the most important announcement made at the event. Sage Copilot is a new AI-based productivity assistant, trained to help SMBs make better business decisions with AI focused on accounting rules and best practices.

“Copilot is the most important new offering for all kinds of business,” Hickman stated. “With small business, most who run them aren’t accountants. The ability to do the kind of tasks easily that Copilot helps them with is massive change. In medium-sized businesses, which have real accountants, Copilot takes away time spent on automation, so they don’t have to let people play with solutions and come up with ideas. It provides very concrete solutions.”

The plan is to fold Copilot into the Sage channel program at some point, and Hickman said that point is likely to be sooner rather than later.

“It will be launched into the channel right away,’ he indicated. “Channel partners drive a significant portion of the business.”

Another of the big announcements was an extension of their strategic collaboration agreement with AWS that will see Sage Earth, introduced last year, launched on the AWS Marketplace. The catch for partners in Canada and the United States is that it will take about 18 months to be available in North America.

“We have a strong relationship with AWS in Canada, in which Sage Intacct sits on top of it in Canada,” Hickman said. “But being able to launch it over here is still in progress, so to bring it to market will take a bit of time.”

Sage Earth lets customers measure their carbon footprint, and Hickman indicated that there was some interest in that when Earth was launched last year.

Hickman noted that several upcoming products were also the subject of  curiosity from customers at Transform.

“Canadian customer attendance at Transform was strong,” he said. “Sage for Accountants [SFA] launches next quarter as will the bundling of Sage Small Business into a suite at the same time.”

About 150 partners also came from Canada.

“We had a standing room only partner event, and we also had a lot of US partners selling into Canada from their Canadian sales offices,” Hickman said. “At our Canadian event on Tuesday. The feedback was that this was the most exciting launch from Sage they had been a part of, and some had been coming here for 15 years.”