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Sage Sells Its ACT! and SalesLogix Lines
The move represents an effort to divest itself of non-core solutions.
Posted Feb 15, 2013
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The Sage Group today announced plans to sell seven non-core products, including its ACT! and SalesLogix products, for a total of roughly $145 million.

The deals involve three products managed from North America (Sage ACT!, Sage SalesLogix, and the Sage Nonprofit Solutions product suite), and four product suites in Europe (C&I, ATL, Automotive, and Aytos). The company identified all of these products as not core to its central business portfolio.

In North America, Sage is selling Sage ACT!, a contact management solution, and Sage SalesLogix, a CRM product, to Swiftpage, a provider of digital marketing platforms for small businesses and an existing ACT! and SalesLogix partner. It is also selling its Sage Nonprofit Solutions, Sage's vertical software solutions for not-for-profit organizations, to Accel-KKR, a technology-focused private equity firm based in Menlo Park, Calif. The total of these sales is $101.2 million.

In Europe, Sage will sell its C&I, ATL, Automotive, and Aytos product lines to Argos Soditic, a private equity firm based in Paris, for roughly $44 million.

Himanshu Palsule, Sage North America's chief technology officer, said in a statement that none of these sales would impact Sage's core CRM product and that the company remains committed to the CRM market. "Sage CRM has a great track record offering leading-edge features and functionality that SMBs need to succeed in today's market, such as social media integration, mobile and tablet support, e-marketing, cloud CRM, and ERP integration. We will continue to invest in key areas to ensure Sage CRM meets the needs of SMBs today and into the future," he said in a statement.

Swiftpage President and CEO H. John Oechsle said the deals will accelerate the company's strategy to deliver its digital marketing platform to small and midsized businesses worldwide. "Sage's products are great complements to our own email marketing, social media marketing, and contact management platform. Now, with direct access to these established CRM products, and with more technology and more resources, we'll be in the strongest position to help our partners and customers deliver the tools that convert prospects, retain customers, and promote growth."

Swiftpage, which started in 2001 as a software and services provider to small businesses, became a Sage development partner and later started offering integrated, white-label email and social media marketing solutions for Sage ACT! and Sage SalesLogix. The acquisition is an important next step for the company and its products, Oechsle said. "We'll be able to deliver everything from contact management solutions for those just getting started to SalesLogix for medium-sized businesses, so we're with them every step of the way."

Dan Wilzoch, senior vice president and general manager of Sage's ACT! and SalesLogix products, says the deal, which had been in the works for several months, is part of a company effort to redefine its core product portfolio and strategy.

"Sage had three CRM solutions for a number of years that fit different market segments and customer types, and it was kind of confusing," he says.

Divesting itself of the ACT! and SalesLogix products "helps [Sage] focus its attention and resources on that one product," Wilzoch says. "Sage is very interested in continuing that business and increasing its investment in it."

The move, he adds, "is about portfolio management, not an exit of the [CRM] business.

Guy Berruyer, Sage Group's CEO, reiterated that in a statement: "The sale of these non-core products is consistent with our strategy of focusing our business to accelerate growth and demonstrates significant progress in streamlining the portfolio, allowing regional management to focus on the considerable growth opportunities within their core markets."

"ACT! and SalesLogix have achieved great success with Sage, and I am confident that the strategic support of Swiftpage will help us achieve even more in the future," Wilzoch concludes. "It's a win-win for both companies."


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