Our “Sage” Advice to You: Should You Switch?
In our modern age of business and finance, asset management software has become absolutely indispensable. One of the most important programs for companies of all sizes today is Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP is a suite of programs to help coordinate the many financial facets of an organization. According to Statista, the “ERP software market was valued at 82.1 billion U.S. dollars globally” in 2015, and it is projected to grow even more in the next several years.
ERP is essential to twenty-first-century business, a necessity for small organizations and multinational businesses alike. However, not all ERP systems are created equal. Figuring out which brand your business would best benefit from can be an intricate and apparently impossible problem. Fortunately, here at SCS Cloud, we’re happy to help you understand the differences between types of ERP software and figure out which is right for you. Recently, we helped our readers learn more about QuickBooks with our multi-part quiz.
Now, we’re diving into another system: Sage. The following is the first of our series of blogs on this ERP. In it, we’ll teach you more about this software and provide our words of wisdom for companies considering transitioning to an alternative ERP.
What is Sage?
Since we’re going to spend the next several blogs discussing Sage, it’s important first to understand exactly what it is. Sage, or, more formally, The Sage Group Public Limited Company, is a United Kingdom-based software company that currently offers its software services internationally. Founded in 1981, Sage describes its focus as “business management software solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (“SME”), commonly defined as businesses with less than 1,000 employees.” If you own or run a smaller enterprise, you may have heard of Sage, or might even use it personally.
Software Advice points out that Sage has expanded primarily through buying out other, smaller software companies rather than creating new products: “The Sage Group has acquired no fewer than 40 companies over its 30-year history,” and will likely continue to add to this number. The software corporation places a particular focus on “three main vertical markets – construction, healthcare, and nonprofit.” Sage’s ERP system will be the primary focus of our computer-savvy counsel in this and other blogs to come.
Especially when examining financial software, it makes sense to let the numbers do the talking. Here are some key figures on Sage:
- Sage employs approximately 13,000 people and earned approximately 194 million pounds in profit for the year 2015, according to the company’s own annual report.
- The software company operates in 24 countries, including the United States.
- Rather than developing new offerings, Sage has grown by purchasing more than 40 other software companies. This is mentioned above but bears repeating, especially since this means Sage’s offerings are inherently disjointed. While the company spends time and money integrating these applications for basic functionality, they aren’t innovating new features.
- “Over 500 companies have switched from Sage to a cloud-powered solution from NetSuite,” according to a recent report by NetSuite. Many customers have noticed inefficiencies and issues with Sage and successfully switched to more fully streamlined solutions.
- Per a study from Hurwitz and Associates, a cloud-based service such as NetSuite “provided cost savings compared to Sage of 24-59 percent,” as noted by the above report. This statistic indicates that Sage’s ERP isn’t providing appropriate value for the expense incurred by clients.
- Sage ERP X3 received just two out of five stars on Find Accounting Software, suggesting that user experiences are not stellar.
These are just a few of the relevant numbers regarding Sage ERP, but they can give you a general sense of this company’s strengths and drawbacks. We will go over much more in the weeks to come.
Great guidance begins with wise questions. To help you decide if you’re ready to move from Sage to smarter software, we’ll endeavor to answer the following inquiries throughout our series:
- Are you pushing the boundaries of your software? Sage’s ERP often stands alone, limiting its functionality. Many companies outgrow this system for this reason.
- Are you tossing your reports in the trash? Automated reporting is a crucial component of ERP, but only if these inspections and projects are actually up-to-the-minute and useful.
- When was the last time your software actually updated? A common issue reported by Sage users is that this system doesn’t update automatically or accurately, leaving their operations old-fashioned.
- Are you struggling with manual data entry? One of the most frustrating feelings is investing in a seemingly advanced ERP system, which is supposed to save you hassle, and, instead, spending hours entering your information by hand.
- Does the software work across devices and users? In many cases, Sage ERP only functions on one particular computer or for one special user, creating a bottleneck in your business’s finances.
- What are you going to do about it? If you groaned and related to any of the above questions, this may be a sign that Sage just isn’t the right choice for your company anymore.
We look forward to helping you answer these queries in detail and assessing how they could be affecting your business.
If you’ve been using Sage for decades, you might have never even considered swapping out your system. We know that change can be challenging, but the good news is that you have plenty of alternatives to pick from!
Since the field of ERP software is rapidly growing and progressing, there are numerous Sage competitors you could use. At SCS Cloud, we often recommend NetSuite, which is currently recognized as the top cloud business software suite globally. We will work with you to choose a system that suits your needs and preferences. In addition, we offer custom development to help you tweak whichever platform you choose, so it fits your company even better.