Did your passion ignite???

ignite your passionWell we are just about getting over the exhaustion of what was an intense few days in Chicago.

CRM Together was represented by Marc Reidy, Majella O’Connor and Ralph Garthe (German Distributor) for CRM Together)

The summit app was excellent, really encouraged networking for those visiting the show, no divide between Partners, Sage Staff or Customers, Well done to all involved!

Next year it is being held in Atlanta!


So our take on the trip to Sage Summit 2016 day by day!

Sunday downtime in Chicago

We went and registered around 5pm local time and then did some sight-seeing before the storm hit.  Boy! was that some storm, Irish Rain had nothing on it!

IMG_5062We visited a local Irish Bar, Fadó, very nice, good food and lots of choice in beers.  Didn’t see very many delegates, but then we crashed and burned by 9.30pm, 3.30am Irish time.

Thanks to Adam from Ledgerwood for joining us for a few beers!  Apologies to those who came to join us, to find us gone!

Day 1 (Monday) – Partner Day

IMG_5102Honestly, (don’t know any other way to be) We just didn’t feel the passion!

The guys on stage did their best to make it a rock concert type atmosphere but…

Had some “deja vu” moments along with “who would use that?” thoughts. For example the “data cloud/single api thing” was something spoken about way back in 2011. The ability to get the company balance on a phone when in the gym….in what world does that happen?  Would hazard a guess that no business owner requested that particular feature, but maybe we’re wrong.

IMG_5066The road-maps for Sage Live and Sage One have no real impact or relevance (now at least) on the partner channel so felt this was a bit self-indulgent.

The CEO spoke about Sage leapfrogging the competition! However after seeing the Sage ONE road map we feel we may have different definitions for leap-frogging. According to the road-map, Sage ONE, will only catch up on XERO (our internal accounts system) in the coming year.  By then XERO will be streets ahead again.

In our view, Sage still need to up their game in the cloud space and lengthen the frogs legs metaphorically speaking.

IMG_5085The SalesForce lady was an impressive Speaker, very professional in her delivery and good content too though not all of us were impressed with relevancy.

No Trade show open Monday…  If we had invested in a booth, we would have been very unhappy about this, it wasn’t fair on exhibitors at all

Day 2 (Tuesday) – Customer and Partner Day

IMG_5093Day 2 started much better. More people certainly gave the event more of a buzz and the start was fun. Richard Branson was excellent as always, he is very real, no airs or graces with some great stories.

The trade show floor looked great, we heard mixed reactions to the footfall, it certainly seemed busy, Richard_Bransonbut speaking from experience when you are working a booth, 10 minutes alone feels like 60 minutes at least.

There were enough people there to make organizing meetings a challenge, the only downside to not having a booth is not having a base to direct folk towards.  In the end we managed to meet 80% of who we wanted to so not bad all things considered.

Sage CRM did get a mention

We attended the Sage 100 session and saw the new UI for Sage CRM. It looks great. The dodgy photo we have below doesn’t do the Sage CRM_1presentation credit so apologies to the guys on that.

In the evening we attended some partner events many thanks to Cornerstone and Dataquest for including us in their Summit Celebrations.

Some of us retired early but were forced to get dressed again and hit a local blues bar by others..  no names being mentioned but anyone who knows us could probably guess!

Day 3 (Wednesday) – Our last day.

IMG_5069Heard a bit of the Gwyneth Paltrow and Zooey Deschanel talk. Nothing gained from the time spent on that one. Apparently Ms Paltrow has now disassociated herself from Goop, read more here...

We attended the Iciniti “Order Desk for Sage CRM” talk. This was given by Jeff and Dave https://www.iciniti.com/about/news/2016/04/08/order-desk-for-sage-crm.  Looked really impressive and the lads did a great job presenting.

MarcOn our last day, we hung out under The Exchange sign on the trade show floor, let people know we were there and it worked a treat, should have probably done it earlier so folks could find us at our pseudo stand.

The Takeaway

We get that Sage CRM is no longer a stand-alone product in the Sage World. It’s part of the ERP systems and will only be sold in that vein. Fundamentally this is not a major change but we still feel the message is not getting through the channel and to customers that it is ok to continue to invest in Sage CRM.

There is a new skin/UI update coming soon with development of Sage CRM continuing, this is what we have been told and what we are going to work with..  The focus of future development is with regard to the older ERP systems (X3, 300, 200, 100).

IMG_5087If you are using Sage Live, it’s Salesforce all the way, this in itself continues to cause concern in the channel (no point pretending it doesn’t).  Others take the view of the rate of change in Sage (very slow) and the value/cost of Sage CRM vs SalesForce.

Most of our partners see them serving different markets. If you have on-prem ERP Sage CRM is the obvious and easy choice. That won’t change anytime soon.

We still see new Sage CRM implementations and are involved in Sage CRM projects that have made sense for 5+ years and will continue to do so. We do think Sage need to clearer about the plans though for the product (Sage CRM Road Map would be nice!).

Till next time Sage Summit, it was fun!  Some more pics here...

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