Sage Teams with Salesforce on New Cloud Offering for SMBs

U.K.-based Sage, which provides accounting apps, enterprise software and other services to small and midsize businesses, has joined forces with CRM giant Salesforce to offer a new cloud-based offering for sales and customer service management. The partnership builds on a global agreement the two companies announced in February.

The new working relationship also fuels speculation that Sage and Salesforce might become even more closely joined through a merger or acquisition. Salesforce has engaged the help of financial advisors to weigh purchase offers after one potential buyer contacted the firm, according to published reports.

Under the new strategic partnership announced Tuesday, Sage will begin offering its customers a solution called Sage Life that is built on the Salesforce1 platform-as-a-service offering. Sage Life is aimed at helping SMBs streamline their customer, supplier and employee data management and bring that information into the cloud.

'Always-On' Collaborative Network

"Small business software no longer has to represent different systems or layers of complexity -- it'll be simple, collaborative, and real time," said Sage CEO Stephen Kelly. "With Sage Life, we are delivering social, mobile, cloud-based innovation, powered by real-time accounting." Kelly said the new offering will make running a small business "as easy as updating your Facebook status."

Described by Sage as an "always-on collaborative real-time network," Sage Life lets users access business data via PCs, tablets, smartphones or smart watches. It provides "social scoreboards" that enable employees, suppliers, customers and accountants to view and share information in real time, and also features a shared and persistent workspace for asynchronous notes, collaboration and decision making.

Sage Eyes Years-Long Transformation

The average small business uses anywhere from four to eight software systems to manage company operations . . . "creating complexity and hindering their ability to gain a single view of customer, employee and supplier information," according to Sage.

Sage Life...

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