Sage: A company with incredible strength, breadth and depth of product portfolio

Interview | Sponsored | Technology

Nick Goode is EVP of Sage X3, a global market leader in cloud-based business solutions. He lives in the UK, and works with Sage customers around the world to drive the business forward.

Can you run us through your career history?

I’ve been at Sage just shy of 10 years, but have been in the software industry for 25 years.

Over the years I’ve held different roles at Sage; I led the Sage business cloud accounting product, I’ve led product management, also product marketing worldwide, and I was recently leader of marketing for the UK, Sage’s home region. Since the beginning of this fiscal year I’ve been the global leader of Sage X3, which is Sage’s medium segment financial and ERP solutions.

Can you tell us more about Sage X3?

One of the key strengths of Sage X3 is its flexibility; we are very strong in what we call product-centric organisations. Companies that make, build, ship, service products – be that in food and beverage, hard goods, chemicals, just as some examples – each of those types of customers has complex and bespoke needs, so you need a solution that can adapt quickly and extremely flexibly to suit. What we see over and over again is the ability for partners to extend and customise the applications in the way that customers need. That’s extremely powerful.

When you moved into your current role, what was the brief?

We have a global operation with Sage X3; through partners we have deployment in over 80 countries. We have been on a strong growth trajectory, so moving the business to a recurring revenue model is a priority. That’s a big part of the brief, alongside continuous innovation in the technology itself and driving cloud adoption of the solutions.

Recurring revenue saw big growth last year. Is that a big focus?

Very much so. In plain terms, this is moving away from the old school perpetual licence, big payment up front and then renewal, to a monthly subscription.

This is what our investors are looking for, and what our customers are looking for, and something we’ve adopted very successfully across the business.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced at Sage?

Sage is a company with incredible strength, breadth and depth of product portfolio, and we trade in many, many countries through hundreds of partners as well as direct sales force. Moving a company of that size, from what used to be a perpetual desktop business to a cloud subscription business, is a journey that we’re on, and it’s going really well – all the metrics are going in the right direction. There are few companies who have made that transition.

You mentioned the importance of continuous innovation. How does Sage stay ahead of the curve?

We’ve made a strategic, significant investment in technology over the past few years and that will continue. Steve Hare, our CEO, announced a £60m investment in R&D and we’re really spending that extremely wisely.

Sage does a lot of philanthropic work. How important is that to the company?

The Sage Foundation was built on the notion that Sage is a company with very strong ethical standards. Many of our customers are small businesses and really what we consider to be the heroes of the economy, and we wanted to find a way to give back to communities in which we work in a way which is not just giving money, but giving time and expertise. This has really snowballed in a positive way into an absolute force for good.

People say time and time again that Sage Foundation is one of the key reasons they love working at Sage. It is a win-win, because it helps a lot of people, but also helps us attract and retain talent. It’s a real differentiator.

What are your ambitions going forward?

Sage’s ambition is to become a great SaaS company; that’s our stated aim and we’re very much on that journey. With Sage X3… full subscription, high revenue growth, high adoption of the latest technology, working closely with our partners, and being a fully modern platform able to integrate fully with anything our customers need… I think if we can achieve all of that we’ll be in a good place.

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