At Sage Insights, Sage North America’s annual partner conference being held this week in Denver, the company announced its first cloud based CRM product. This is a significant event for the company for a couple of reasons. First, until this point Sage did not have any cloud offerings and second Sage sells through a partner channel which sometimes lags over adoption issues. In this case, over 50 partners are participating in a pilot program for Sage SalesLogix which is an indication, perhaps, of the interest in the partner community.
The offering is hosted on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud™ (EC2™) infrastructure which gives partners the chance to sell a hosted offering without most of the deployment issues that would be associated with a conversion to a SaaS offering. According to the press release this offering will be available in June at $65 per seat. Most of the attributes of the conventional SalesLogix offering will be maintained because the deployment will be single tenant. For instance the architecture maintains segregation of company data and control over update release cycles.
This is a big deal for Sage and its partners. For several years the partner community appeared to be lagging the general market in acceptance of the cloud model but recent economic conditions may have convinced some to take the chance. Partners that offer SalesLogix as a cloud-based service will be able to offer a lower total cost of ownership solution and the possibility of additional connected services such as Sage’s email marketing service and other services in the pipeline.
This announcement needed to happen and it is another manifestation of Sue Swenson’s leadership as she tries to update all aspects of the company and products.