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Sage claims UK first with hosted CRM

Mid-range software supplier now offers a hosted version of SageCRM at a flat-rate price of £50 per month

Sage, the UK SME software supplier, launched a hosted version of its CRM package on Tuesday.

SageCRM will cost £50 per month and is available in a number of versions, including a "Rent to Own" version that lets customers own the package after a set period.

SageCRM is based on the company's Mid-Market Edition. Uniquely, the hosted version is supported by the large network of local partners in the UK that Sage has built up, while other hosted systems such as the one supplied by Salesforce.com have no such network.

In an attack on Salesforce.com, Sage maintains that it is giving customers greater freedom of choice by "freeing companies from the 'no software' model" by giving them "a way back from a hosted package to an onsite system". With Sage's Rent to Own package, businesses can review their priorities and, as they change, move to an in-house system if it makes more sense for the business.

Salesforce.com only offers a hosted service, but argues that this allows it to introduce more frequent improvements to their system without charging the customer.

According to Richard Bee, director of CRM for Sage UK: "Some customers, particularly smaller businesses, are suited to a hosted CRM solution, others who are perhaps larger with more complex integration and customisation needs require an on-premises version".

SageCRM is available from Tuesday as the Rent to Own version; a Self-Starter Pack which is recommended for users with some familiarity of CRM systems who "just want to get going with minimum fuss"; and the Expert Advice Package, which is recommended for users new to CRM.