Sage merges Web 2.0 tech into CRM line

The company will incorporate Web 2.0 functionality gradually until 2010, in a bid to better take on Microsoft and (By Suzanne Tindal of ZDNet Australia)

Sage Software has announced a strategy revamp which will see Web 2.0 functionality merged into its CRM products in an attempt to take on stalwarts Microsoft and

Sage's new CRM (customer relationship management) products, which are produced by the company's Contact Management & CRM Solutions division, in Scottsdale, Ariz., will be available as in-house or software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployments. They will incorporate Internet and Web 2.0 standards, enabling businesses to draw information from external sources such as LinkedIn.

The software will also be able to interoperate with ERP (enterprise resource planning) software both from Sage and other vendors.

Mobile CRM is a large part of the strategy revamp, according to Mike Lorge, Sage ANZ business solutions managing director. "We've found mobility is an increasingly important consideration for customers when it comes to their business-software purchasing decisions," he said.

The user's device choice should be irrelevant, according to Lorge. "The key to competitive advantage in CRM is the ability to deliver a consistent user experience on the customer's tool of choice, regardless of where and when they are using it," he said.

The new capabilities will be delivered incrementally between now and 2010, Lorge said, with some coming in this calendar year. "For all three of Sage's CRM product lines--ACT by Sage, Sage CRM, and Sage SalesLogix--we've already introduced Internet mashup capabilities in 2008 and you can expect even more in this area," he said.

Suzanne Tindal of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

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