Sage Group Integrates Its CRM with ERP X3

Sage North America, a provider of management software and services to small and midsized businesses (SMBs), today announced the integration of its CRM system with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) offering, Sage ERP X3.

By combining CRM with ERP, Sage aims to streamline information for companies and save them from having to re-enter the same data in multiple locations. Ultimately, this will enable them to interact more effectively with customers. For instance, an employee on the phone can look up the status of a customer's order and refer to past call notes logged into the system. Likewise, that employee can direct customers to their existing account profiles, order history, or any goods the company has in stock.

For Sage, which focuses primarily on the midmarket segment, the integration demonstrates an ongoing commitment to customer experience. "Connecting Sage ERP X3 and Sage CRM provides companies with greater visibility into their business," Doug LeBahn, senior vice president of Sage product management and marketing, said in a statement. "It enables their accounting, operations, sales, marketing, and customer service teams to have a single consistent view into their customer relationships so they can deliver a great customer experience."

In its statement, Sage points to Aberdeen Group's "2014 Business Management and ERP Benchmark Survey," which found that "best-in-class...organizations are 79 percent more likely to have integrated ERP and CRM systems."

Nick Castellina, research director of business planning and execution at Aberdeen Group, agrees that connecting data in a central depository is vital. "There's been a big focus on customer experience management and servicing the customer, and connecting that with more of your operational data will allow your organization to be more effective when it comes to those tasks," he says. "As with any essential technology running an organization, it's important for it to be integrated effectively with ERP if not contained within the ERP package itself."

The benefits of integrating CRM with ERP may be widely known by now, but for smaller businesses, the solutions haven't traditionally been easy to come by, Castellina says. As technology continues to progress, customer experience will become even more important to companies of all sizes. "Managing the customer is going to be how small businesses differentiate themselves as the pace of business changes, and as the addressable market changes. If you have a small business, you're not just competing with people in your town or state; with the Internet, you're competing worldwide, so you have to find ways in which to differentiate yourself, and oftentimes that's with managing the customer," Castellina says.

"Anyone who's worked in business or purchased anything from a business knows they're going to purchase something from a company that knows them and their needs and can please them, and utilizing this technology makes that a lot easier for organizations of all sizes," Castellina adds.

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