• February 22, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

The Sage Group Takes a Local

Sage Software has opened a new Localization Center of Excellence in Dublin to streamline R&D and to improve product delivery time for the company's European and Asia/Pacific customers. The company also announced the creation of a European data center in Dublin. The data center will host Sage's on-demand products and will provide backup and disaster-recovery operations for customers. The announcement represents the first step of its new globalization initiative, dubbed Freedom of Choice, which Sage announced in October. The new localization center and data center are being developed through the expansion of existing Sage facilities in Dublin and is supported with a grant from IDA (Industrial Development Agency) Ireland. Sage will use the undisclosed grant amount to build and staff the localization center, accelerate the development of localized CRM products, and help implement the European data center. Dublin was selected because the city offered the best opportunity to leverage human capital and would be most appealing to its global customers, according to Dave Batt, general manager and senior vice president, Sage CRM Solutions. Sage's primary goal with the localization center is to combine the independent R&D lines of its three products (ACT by Sage, Sage CRM, and Sage CRM SalesLogix) to "build synergies and remove latencies from delivering local products to our European customer base," Batt says. "Before, we would release an international English version of our products and then wait several months for the Spanish, German, or French version. The localization center will bring our products to our international customers faster; in weeks instead of months." With 42 percent of its customer base residing outside the United States, 90 percent of which are in the UK, Ireland, and Continental Europe, Batt says the two centers represent a "strategic initiative" for Sage. "Our global business model is based off of localization. Every time we deploy in a country, we deploy local support services as well. As a result, all of the product localizations were done independent of each other. These two centers will build synergies across all of our product lines." "They've been an international company for a long time" says Laurie McCabe, vice president of SMB insight and business solutions at AMI-Partners. "A big part of their push is the localization of their global efforts. It's important to not just throw a vanilla CRM product out there. A vendor just doesn't need to provide translation but also localization in terms of culture and marketing." Sage's strategy toward its transatlantic customers is representative of other CRM vendors, McCabe says. "A lot of vendors, such as Netsuite and Salesforce, are beefing up their European operations. Though Europe isn't growing as fast as the Asia/Pacific, it's a much more mature market, especially for a technology like CRM." Related articles: Mobile CRM Is Warming Up for Spring
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