Insights from Sage Partner Summit: Embracing AI & Empowered Partners
The recent Sage Partner Summit provided valuable insights into the company's strategy, product vision, and technological advancements. With a focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and innovation, Sage aims to enable its ecosystem of partners to scale and succeed in the ever-evolving market. The summit highlighted key growth areas, the importance of partnerships, and the role of generative AI in transforming the accounting industry.
We also had a lot of fun in the process because we’re Venn… if you know, you know. But more on that later. For now, let's dive into the key takeaways from the sessions.
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Keynote Sessions: AI-driven innovation, SMB success, and empowered partners
Each day of the summit included a keynote session with a lineup of Sage executives to speak on the initiatives of the business and the role partners play in each. Here are the key topics that were covered across each of the three keynote sessions.
Market Opportunity and Business Performance
Sage kicked off the summit by outlining the three main objectives for partners throughout the week: gain clarity about market opportunities, deepen understanding of the Sage strategy and product vision, and leave equipped tools and initiatives to foster growth. In the opening keynote, Sage executives showcased impressive performance figures, including substantial increases in year-over-year growth in recurring and cloud native revenue. Furthermore, Sage's penetration of Sage Business Cloud Revenue stood at an impressive 82%, with partners contributing 43% of total revenue.
Expanding into New Markets
The keynotes also highlighted Sage's expansion into new sectors, including bringing Intacct to France growing its presence in continental Europe. Sage is also venturing into pre-construction and project management, as well as manufacturing and distribution. These strategic initiatives align with the growing demands of SMBs and reflect Sage's commitment to providing innovative solutions across various industries.
The Digital Transformation Landscape
The summit included valuable insights from surveys conducted by Sage. The data revealed that an increasing number of decision-makers in SMBs feel confident about their companies' future success, with more than 50% intending to increase technology investments. Partners identified AI, SaaS applications, cloud computing, and security as top priorities for SMBs in the next 18 months. These findings underscore the need for continuous innovation and the potential for growth in the Sage ecosystem.
Enabling Partner Success
Naturally, Sage's commitment to its partners was a central theme throughout the summit. The company's EVP of Partnerships & Alliances emphasized the significance of partners and their role in driving Sage's strategic priorities. The Sage Foundation Partner Program, which saw 30,000 hours of volunteer time in the past year, reflects Sage's dedication to supporting communities and fulfilling its purpose. Additionally, Sage emphasized its efforts to enable partners to sell, build, and implement more through investments in marketing campaigns, technology, and expert services.
Platform Development and Integration
Sage's focus on platform development and integration is evident. The Head of Platform Business Unit Development highlighted the company's extensive in-platform integrations, with more 3,000 integrations and 1 billion API calls per month. Sage's partnership with cloud giants AWS and Microsoft Azure enables a multi-cloud strategy to support this volume at scale now and into the future. The introduction of new service tiers and improved API infrastructure is expected to enhance the partner experience and enable more seamless integrations between solutions.
The Power of Generative AI
There’s no escaping discussions of AI, particularly for B2B companies in the technology space. In true form, Sage's Chief Technology Officer showcased the transformative potential of generative AI in the accounting industry. Through examples and a live on-stage demonstration, attendees witnessed how AI-driven solutions, such as the Sage Inbox and Sage Assistant, can streamline workflows, automate processes, and enhance productivity for finance and accounting teams. The incorporation of generative AI, such as GPT models, offers opportunities for accountants, tax preparers, business analysts, and mathematicians to focus on high-value activities while leveraging AI for repetitive tasks.
Building Trust and Ensuring Transparency
As AI continues to revolutionize the industry, Sage emphasizes the importance of trust and transparency in the process. The company has filed a number of patents for AI trust and remains committed to using AI in a safe and responsible manner. Sage's promise to prioritize quality over capability, adhere to transparent data principles, and never erode customer trust reinforces their dedication to maintaining a strong partnership with customers and ensuring the ethical use of AI.
Overall, the keynote sessions provided valuable insights into Sage's commitment to AI-driven innovation, SMB success, and empowering partners. Keynote and breakout sessions highlighted the company's strong performance, expansion into new markets, and dedication to developing an ecosystem of solutions and integrations. With a focus on generative AI, Sage aims to transform the accounting industry and enable professionals to leverage technology for increased productivity. As Sage continues to innovate, transparency and trust remain at the core of their approach to AI adoption.
Breakout Sessions: Shaping the future of tech partnerships
There were a number of breakout sessions that highlighted the importance of collaboration, the role of solution maps, and the next steps for tech partners. Here are the key takeaways from the sessions our team was able to attend during the summit.
Building a Strong Foundation
Sage emphasized the significance of global orchestration and local execution in its partner ecosystem. The summit showcased the partner charter, highlighting key areas of focus: revenue growth, attachment opportunities, innovation, and adoption. By aligning goals and ensuring end-to-end execution, Sage aims to create a mutually beneficial partnership with its tech partners.
Strategies for Success
Sage outlined three core strategies to drive partner success. Firstly, there is a need to accelerate revenue in the present by leveraging existing solutions and offerings. Secondly, investments should be made to drive revenue growth in the future, ensuring the development of innovative and competitive products. Lastly, the focus should be on driving marketplace scale, expanding reach, and creating opportunities for both Sage and its tech partners.
Sage Tech Partner teams are organized by industry verticals to provide specialized support and solutions. These verticals include Construction and Real Estate, Fintech, Services and NFP, Digital Network Services, MFG and WD, HCM, Accountants, and Retail. This approach allows for a deeper understanding of specific industries and enables tailored solutions to meet their unique needs.
Solution maps, created by Sage's product management, play a crucial role in guiding partners towards success. These maps are multi-ringed, with the inner ring representing customer segments, the middle ring focusing on jobs to be done, and the outer ring showcasing solutions created by Sage or its partners. Understanding how solutions align with the maps can help tech partners optimize their offerings and identify new opportunities.
Sage expressed its commitment to invest in partner marketing in 2024. This investment will include creating white papers, case studies, and other marketing materials to showcase the value and outcomes delivered by tech partners' solutions. Sage also expressed interest in strengthening product marketing efforts, recognizing that customers are driven by the outcomes and benefits they can achieve.
The Sage Partner Summit provided valuable insights into the future of tech partnerships and the role of innovation, collaboration, and solution-oriented approaches. By aligning goals, leveraging solution maps, and investing in marketing, Sage aims to empower its tech partners to drive revenue growth and deliver exceptional outcomes for customers. As the partnership evolves, tech partners are encouraged to embrace the opportunities presented and collaborate closely with Sage to shape a successful future together.
Cue the Venn Fun
Here at Venn Technology, we’re firm believers that integrated business apps and automation can free teams to focus on what they’re best at. Usually, that means teams get more done in a day’s work and could have less to stress about when they’re out of office.
With this in mind, we created a campaign exploring how clients and partners vacation when their systems are automated.
Take a look at some of the awesome submissions we received:
We were so inspired by the submissions that we decided to bring this spirit with us to Las Vegas, wearing a different vacation-themed outfit each day of the summit.
To push the vacation theme just a bit further, we made a travel book of our mascot, Bjørn’s, many worldly–some out-of-this-world–travels.
Win a YETI from a Yeti
In typical Venn fashion, we do a big YETI cooler giveaway at conferences. This year, we decided to switch things up by adding some luggage bags to the mix.
Congratulations to our cool winners!
Partner T-Shirt Giveaway
We appreciate our partners so much, we designed a new shirt for everyone to wear with us at the Summit. The vision for the shirt was in-line with the travel theme for our campaign, but honestly, we wanted to give everyone a shirt they’d actually wear on vacation (or just about anywhere).
Shoutout to our amazing partners for participating in the fun with us:
St. Jude Fundraiser
In 2020, Venn Technology and partner Workforce Go! started a friendly competition to see which team could raise the most money for St. Jude. The team who raised the least would receive a pie in the face by the winning team LIVE at Sage Partner Summit. The 2023 Sage Partner Summit marked our third year competing against Workforce Go! to see who could raise the most money for a great cause.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a nonprofit organization that treats children with cancer and pediatric diseases at no cost to families.
This year’s fundraiser brought in a whopping $20,000—the largest combined amount raised to date. A huge thanks to the Sage Foundation for their contribution which helped us meet our fundraising goal in the end.
Venn Technology, Your go-to Sage Intacct Integration Expert
If you have a need to connect other business applications to Sage Intacct (or know someone who does), we can help. As the only two-time Sage Intacct Marketplace Partner of the Year, we know the ins and outs of the Intacct API and the workflows it takes to connect it to other business applications. We have years of experience diving deep into other organizations' unique processes and tailoring systems to their team’s exact needs. Book time to meet with us to discuss your scenario.