Sage joins the Cloud – but keeps one foot on the ground!

So Sage has joined the Cloud with the launch of their new attempt at a cloud product – Sage One. Lets not be cynical here and repeat an earlier comment – if you can’t beat them etc – and congratulate them on recognising that the Cloud is here to stay and that Sage, as the leading SME accounting software provider, must be part of it to remain credible.

Having said that however, I am curious as to what exactly their thinking is behind this. I find it interesting, for example, that an accounting practice needs to be a member of their Accountants Club to gain access to the administrators module. This presupposes that the accountant will have the on premise version and that, therefore, Sage One is not meant to be a replacement for Online 50 but an add on to improve communication with the client etc.

Fair enough as it stands but it would seem to be a somewhat half hearted approach. Also, the functionality and reporting is somewhat limited (to be fair, Sage have announced that enhancements will be forthcoming) but there are so many well developed and sophisticated offerings in the market place, what is the point of releasing something substandard unless it is meant as a spoiler for everyone else.

I wonder as well at what market place they are aiming. Are they intending to hit the Xero and KashFlow base – if so they will have an uphill struggle. And then, of course, there is the next level occupied by E-conomic and  Twinfield whose competition is as yet uncertain as they sit in what I call the sub enterprise level.

So it will be interesting to see what develops. I will put aside my cynism for now and welcome them to the club.