While the highly-visible slogan on every presentation slide, every wall, and every booth at Sage Summit this year in Las Vegas was “Grow From Here,” the core theme underlying everything was really more one of recurring reinvention of Sage NA the company, its customer and partner ecosystems, and its offerings.

In the event kickoff keynote, CEP Pascal Houillon and CTO Himanshu Palsule both emphasized the “re-invention” of Sage NA, with CEO Houillon stating frankly that “What we have built the company into up to now is not enough,” and that Sage “must redefine its business to serve customers better.” This includes laying out a strategy and plan to shift toward being a more services, support, and information provider for SMBs, with the tagline, “Not software, Sage.”

Saugatuck sees this as a very visible example of how Cloud truly changes everything having to with business and IT, from the provider side to the buyer/user side and everything in between. To have any chance of long-term success in Cloud-first, digital-business environments, ISVs must not only innovate in business and technology, they must also regularly and recurrently re-think, review, redefine, revise, and re-invent anything and everything from business structure to offerings to processes to relationships.

Why is it Happening?

What Sage is learning, and doing, reflects the core strategic business shift among all sizes and types of firms in all markets: Cloud has morphed into Cloud Business, which is becoming Digital Business, which requires not just a transformation of the firm, but a recurring rethinking and re-invention of the business. This in turn requires a changing and growing array of tools and technologies, including business management software that enables business growth, extension, transformation, monetization, and management of all this. Business software ISVs (and their offerings) must in turn grow, extend, transform, monetize and manage accordingly. And as Saugatuck’s recent global research program on Cloud and Digital Business has clearly shown, practically every firm is at least attempting some form of Digital Business (CITE).

Figure 1: The Endless Business-IT Innovation Cycle

IT innovation Cycle

Sage this week has provided examples of ISV transformation at multiple levels in order to keep pace with changing and accelerating customer expectations. The company is transforming/extending its core model from being an SMB business software vendor into being a trusted provider of business information, guidance, software and services (“Not software, Sage”). Meanwhile, like Microsoft, NetSuite, SAP and other business management software providers, Sage is adding/extending/integrating more BI capabilities to enable better and more frequent business decisions, enabling better and less-complex business software connectivity, and enabling flexibility and choice of software functionality in a variety of hybrid environments. Sage is in effect providing a microcosm of Cloud-enabled, Digital Business transformation by an ISV, driven by what Saugatuck originally called the endless cycle of ISV and business user innovation, shown in figure 1.

Click here to read the Market Impact.

Originally published by Saugatuck Lens360 Blog on July 31, 2014. Published with permission.

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