Sage Summit 2012
Sage Summit is Sage’s North American conference which was held this year in Nashville, Tennessee at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Pascal Houillon the CEO for Sage North America gave the opening keynote along with Himanshu Palsule, CTO. They outlined how the world is changing with the proliferation of mobile devices and how these are changing our lives. During the keynote, a video was played that showed how all the various mobile connected services Sage is developing could affect a businessperson in their daily life. The conference ran from August 12 to 17 with the first half being for partners and then with the customers joining on Tuesday. There were many announcements, demos, town halls, tutorials, labs and presentations. This blog posting looks at a few of the items that I felt were most significant (at least to me).
The customer half of the conference kicked off with a new idea called “Sage City”. This was held in a giant meeting room with a circular stage at the center surrounded by seating for all attendees. Then around this were a number of “villages” that were dedicated to individual industry areas like manufacturing, distribution and accounting. After an initial keynote and introduction, everyone moved to a “village” of their choosing and within the village joined a focus group of 7 or 8 people to discuss common problems and to share and brainstorm solutions to these. Then all these topics and outcomes were written up and posted around the outside of the room. There were two sessions of this separated by a break where drinks and food were brought in. This was a very interesting and innovative networking session and hopefully many good ideas resulted.
Mobile Connected Services
One of the major announcements at the conference was the progress being made on Sage’s mobile connected services initiative. Several shipping mobile connected services were demonstrated along with a number that are currently in development. Below are a couple of screen shots from the Sales Management application that was show during both the partner and customer keynote speeches. This is a native iPad application that communicates back to a cloud service using SData. Note that the applications that I have screen shots here for are in the “experience testing” stage where they are getting a large amount of customer feedback including at the UCD lab at the conference, then after all this testing, a more final form of the product will be specified, so expect these to look quite different when they ship, since they will include all this feedback.
There was also a Service Billing application demonstrated that is written using the Argos SDK and which runs on all smart phones. This application was demonstrated integrated to Sage 50, 100 and 300 ERPs showing how the services charges entered in the mobile application make it back into the ERP as A/R transactions.
Below is a picture of the high level architecture that is being used to develop these applications:
I’ll be going into a lot more detail on what this all means and how it is put together in future blog posts, to explain how we will integrate to on-premise products, how we develop these applications in the Azure cloud and how ISVs can integrate into this platform.
Sage 300 ERP 20120 Release
A very highly featured product at the show is the forthcoming Sage 300 ERP 2012 release. This is coming in September, so there were many sessions highlighting all the new features it contains and several demo stations in the trade show where people can have a look at it. Beta 2 is currently shipping which gives a pretty good look at what this product looks like. If also blogged quite a bit on everything going into the release which is summarized here. Below shows the Sage 300 ERP Desktop driven by the Purchase Order Visual Process Flow rather than the usual tree of icons.
This was a very quick overview of some of the goings on at Sage Summit. I’m sure these themes along with others will be intertwined in all my blog postings over the coming year. Looking forward to the next Sage Summit 2013 at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center in Washington DC.