Starting to sell single-tenancy hosted apps
Accounting software house Sage Group plc is to have a second crack at launching an on-demand software services by piloting a cloud edition of the Sage SalesLogix CRM suite for commercial availability in early 2010.
Sage, which provides business management software and services to more than 5.8 million small and midsize businesses worldwide, pulled its earlier SaaS offer, a single-entry cash accounting product known as Sage Live, after being in beta for less than a month.
Issues over data security of multi-tenancy shared applications was reportedly the problem with the first SaaS attempt, something Sage appears to have side-stepped with its latest ‘private cloud’ offer.
Its latest venture, which it describes as a full-featured, ‘single-tenant’ cloud edition of Sage SalesLogix, is to be hosted using Amazon’s EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud).
“Businesses retain ownership of all their data and processes with full reuse and compatibility on-premises – a benefit not provided by most current multi-tenant SaaS CRM alternatives,” Sage said.
Its foray into cloud-based software services will be being closely monitored by the industry.
The move could help validate the delivery model as a preferred option among smaller and medium-sized businesses. It is not the first into the online bookkeeping and accounts space, but is the biggest supplier by far.
Market researcher Pierre Audoin Consultants puts Sage as one of the top ten European software businesses. It can boast a client base of 5.7 million customers worldwide and has a broad financial software portfolio ranging from accounts, payroll and business intelligence to customer relationship management.
Over 63,500 organisations and 3.1 million users are said to rely on the company’s CRM software.
Sage is also demonstrating Sage SalesLogix in the cloud this week at the Gartner CRM Summit in the US.
It is selling it as an agile way of running CRM, with options over the timing of software upgrades and flexibility in deployment.
Sage SaaS users can choose when to trigger an upgrade to the latest cloud computing edition of Sage SalesLogix, rather than have a vendor’s upgrade schedule and any unwanted features forced upon them.
And while it offers the benefits of a hosted, on-demand solution, it’s possible to migrate to an on-premise deployment should needs change. Likewise, on-premise Sage SalesLogix customers will be able transition to the cloud aka hosted edition.