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Posts Tagged ‘sage x3 erp

Sage Insights and Summit Conferences, Wellington 2012

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Introduction

This year Sage had its regional partner conference for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands in Wellington, New Zealand. This is the first time this conference has been held outside of Australia and was a great success. Since we were there already, we also had a customer conference a day before the partner conference started. The customer conference is Sage Summit and the partner conference is Sage Insights. After Wellington, Sage had two more customer Summit conferences in Sydney and Melbourne.

Wellington is located on the southwestern tip of New Zealand’s North Island. It has a population of around 400,000 people and is the capital of New Zealand. Wellington is a very compact city with the downtown nestled between the harbor and some hills. I took the picture above from the top of Mount Victoria looking back on downtown. You can easily walk from one side of the main downtown area to the other. It’s a fun place with a very vibrant arts scene, café culture and nightlife. While we were there the city was gearing up for the global premier showing of the new Hobbit movie which will be a giant party, unfortunately we were ten days to early. Certainly Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit are playing a large part in New Zealand tourism promotions and attractions around the country (see the picture at the bottom of the giant Golum over the cafeterias at Wellington airport).

Weta

The guest speaker at the gala awards dinner was Wayne Stables from Weta Digital. Weta did the special effects for movies like Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Prometheus, The  Avengers, Tintin and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Amazing work and many academy awards received. Interesting to see their development processes. They are preparing for the work on Avatar 2 right now, working on what is really their DevOps process to streamline the production of software into the video workflow. Interesting to think about their tight deadlines and how they have to deliver top quality each time. Since they are a separate entity from the studios, they have no job security from job to job. In business software we aren’t producing anything as beautiful as Avatar, but at the same time we want to produce screens with an excellent user experience, but at the same time deliver software to end users very quickly. I think that we can learn a lot from the movie and video games industries on how to deliver higher and higher quality user experience, but still stick to tight deadlines.

ISVs

The Sage ISV community is very active in Australia and New Zealand. Some local representatives exhibiting were Technisoft, Pacific Technologies, Enabling IP, Orchid, Redmap, BSP Software, InfoCentral Solutions, Modulo Software, Netfira, On Center Software, Wageeasy and XM Developments.  Then there were a number of exhibitors that had travelled from other regions including Iciniti, AutoSimply, Accellos, ACDEV Software, Accu-Dart, Altec, Enbu Consulting, Global Software, idu Software, Netstock, Tema Business Systems and Vineyardsoft.

There were several new SDK modules on display. It’s great to see accounting modules for new verticals making it to market and new bits of functionality being added to the existing solutions. Plus there were several additional ISVs that attended but didn’t have booths.

Redmap is an interesting ISV. They became an ISV by becoming a Sage customer first. They were originally a Netsuite customer, but the spiraling costs of Netsuite drove them to look for another solution and they chose Sage ERP X3 (see the articles here). Redmap creates a document automation and management solution. Now that Redmap is a Sage customer they decided to integrate their solution to Sage 300 CRE, Sage 300 ERP and Sage X3 ERP and to market this solution globally.

Hybrid Cloud

As part of the keynote, myself and Mike Lorge the Managing Director talked about the Sage Hybrid Cloud and showed off a number of connected mobile services running against this cloud. I blogged on the Sage Hybrid Cloud here.  It’s always nail biting to demo something at a keynote that relies on an internet connection. I demo’ed the Service Billing connected service from my iPhone 4S, I just turned on data roaming for the demo, since then I didn’t need to worry about hotel Wi-Fi and the 3G seemed to work fairly well in Wellington. Keith Fenner demo’ed the Sales Manager service on his iPad connected to hotel Wi-Fi, which actually held up. So we got through that with the connections from the devices to the projector working and the internet connectivity working. Certainly adds some new challenges to giving presentations. On the other hand we are telling businesses that these are reliable services that are available 99.9… % of the time, so we should be confident they will work during keynotes and other demos. We also showed the Sage Connected Services Vision video which is on YouTube here.

Products

The keynote also covered the latest releases of Sage CRM, Sage 300 ERP and Sage ERP X3 along with some peaks as to what will be coming in future versions. Sage 300 ERP 2012 has just been released in this region, so people are just starting to get it. So this was a good time to highlight this release and point out all the various features, plus we also talked about the roadmap for the next 3 years. Sage CRM showcased some exciting developments with CRM running optimized for mobile devices as well as showing the next generation of social media integration. Sage X3 ERP highlighted many relevant features in the current version and gave a video of the Syrapedia feature coming in version 7.

Summary

All the partners, customers and staff from our Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands region are very enthusiastic and dedicated to what they do. It is always very energizing to attend such conferences and have the chance to interact with so many people. I have tons of feedback to bring back on our products and our processes that hopefully we can incorporate to keep a real positive feedback loop going.

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Written by smist08

November 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Sage Vision 2012

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Cambodia

The Sage Vision 2012 conference was held in Siem Reap, Cambodia this year. This conference is for Sage business partners located in Asia. Siem Reap is an UNESCO heritage site for all the various Hindu and Buddhist temples from the Khmer Empire in the 9th to 15th centuries, including the ancient wonder of the world: Angkor Wat.

Modern Cambodia is a terrific place to visit with very friendly people and some really impressive things to see. It’s amazing that Cambodia has progressed as much as it has, since it was really only re-formed as a kingdom in 1993 after suffering so many years of the Vietnam war, Pol Pot and various civil wars. Visiting the war museum was really an eye opening experience to see the suffering that the people endured.

Conference

The majority of our partners in the region are from Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. But many other countries were represented. Right now we are actually seeing the most growth from Indonesia. This conference focused on the Sage 300 ERP, Sage CRM and Sage ERP X3 products. There were intensive training tracks on each of these. Then there were also general sessions on various aspects of all these products.

The conference started with a keynote address that was introduced by Gee Sing Low, Sage’s General Manager for the regions, followed by Keith Fenner for Sage X3, then Lorcan Malone for Sage CRM then myself for Sage 300 ERP, and then Charles Cheng showing off our revamped partner portal web site. This was then followed by the trade show for ISVs and then a cocktail reception by the pool.

There were then two days of sessions and then wrapped up on the last night with the partner awards gala dinner.

The keynote went well; it was nice that we could weave a story where we cover the ERP market from the lower to higher midmarket with Sage 300 and X3. How we have a number of shared components tying things together like Visual Process Flows, shared connected services as well as linking to a common front office solution with Sage CRM.

ISVs

About a dozen ISVs were at the conference. They had sessions on their products as well as booths in the trade show area. Some of the ISVs present including: Pacific Technology SolutionsTechnisoft, Norming, AutoSimply, Peresoft, XM Development, AcDev and iCube.

Sage provides the core ERP solution and then ISVs provide solutions for various vertical industries. To a large degree an ERP package is a development platform first, and a business application second. We provide the core applications and then ISVs provide specialized solutions for various vertical markets. Generally the success of an ERP package depends both on the strength of the core solution combined with the strength of the ISV community.

Community

I’ve attended many Sage 300/Accpac conferences over the years starting with the series of CA-Worlds in New Orleans. I’ve now attended many South African, Asian, North American and Australian Sage conferences. I’m always struck by the sense of community among all the Business Partners. Many were involved in the original Accpac Plus days. Many have been fierce business rivals for over twenty years, but it always seems like a family reunion at these conferences. Generally a lot of strong friendships and tight bonds have developed over possibly thirty years of working in the Sage 300/Accpac community.

Internet Connectedness

I gave a demonstration of our forthcoming Service Billing connected service running on my iPhone during the keynote presentation. Currently this is an HTML/JavaScript application written with the Argos SDK. At present this has no offline ability, so must be demonstrated while on-line communicating back to a server hosted in Microsoft’s Azure US West Coast data center. In Cambodia, I could rarely get data connectivity with the provider that Roger’s partners with over there, so I had to use the hotel Wi-Fi for the demo. Generally this is a no no, especially at technology conferences where all the attendees are connected to the Wi-Fi as well.

To me, it’s amazing that this demo actually went quite well. It really demonstrated that we do live in a very connected world. I was easily entering service tickets into my ERP while on the road ten thousand miles away in Cambodia. If things work here, I tend to think they really should work anywhere.

Summary

Sage Vision 2012 was another fun and informative conference. I have lots of feedback to bring back home. I visited many interesting sites around Siem Reap. I accumulated many air miles. I find all these conferences are always a worthwhile endeavor.