Sage takes path towards Web 2.0 connected CRM

Sage has announced a strategy revamp which it hopes will take the CRM debate beyond hosted-versus-on-demand.

Sage has announced a strategy revamp which will see Web 2.0 functionality merged into its CRM products in an attempt to take on stalwarts Microsoft and Salesforce.com.

Sage's new CRM products, which will be available as in-house or SaaS deployments, will incorporate Internet and Web 2.0 standards, enabling businesses to draw information from external sources such as LinkedIn.

The software will also be able to interoperate with ERP software both from Sage and other vendors.

Mobile CRM is a large part of the strategy according to Sage ANZ business solutions managing director, Mike Lorge. "In Australia we've found mobility is an increasingly important consideration for customers when it comes to their business software purchasing decisions," he said.

The user's device choice should be irrelevant according to Lorge: "The key to competitive advantage in CRM is the ability to deliver a consistent user experience on the customer's tool of choice -- regardless of where and when they are using it."

The new capabilities will be delivered incrementally between now and 2010, Lorge said, with some coming in this calendar year. "For all three of Sage's CRM product lines, ACT! by Sage, Sage CRM and Sage SalesLogix we've already introduced Internet mash-up capabilities in 2008 and you can expect even more in this area," he said.

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