Sage Software has introduced version 5.8 of its CRM application, an upgrade that includes new customization, data management and user administration functionality. Its marquee feature is the Dashboard, or user interface, Elaine Therrien, North American product manager for Sage CRM, told CRM Buyer.
Other enhancements in version 5.8 include new embedded report components, improved user templates, better visibility as to which users are accessing the system, and improved list management.
Customization by Dashboard
The Dashboard — essentially a user interface technology — has become the latest “must-offer” feature for CRM vendors. A Dashboard displays information or data specific to the individual user’s performance or job role. A CFO’s Dashboard, for instance, would monitor accounts receivables.
Sage’s new dashboard capabilities offer users a number of ways to display data components, including favorite reports, embedded charts with drill-down capabilities, saved data searches, customer snapshots, lists of hot leads and high priority customer support issues.
Users are also able to maintain multiple dashboards.
Data Management Enhancement
Sage has built out its data management capabilities, giving users more flexibility in importing and converting data. Also, enhancements to its lead-to-opportunity conversion processes let users retain historical communications.
A new report management feature introduces customization options. Users can group frequently used documents in a “My Favorite Reports” category or access them directly from a personal dashboard. Enhanced target-list functionality converts key lists into CSV files in the document library for expanded list management.
Sage has also added default templates to allow system administrators to create new user profiles from existing baseline security and role-based settings. It also provides new monitoring features for managers to measure system usage at team or individual user levels.
Usage reports include historical session duration, user activity, access methods and more. New log-on features include configurable ID and password strength checks to ensure system security.
Growth by Acquisition
The UK’s largest publicly traded software company, Sage is the perfect poster child for corporate growth through acquisition. It has a number of recently purchased companies under its umbrella, the most recent being Verus Financial Management, acquired in January for US$325 million in cash.
Although many of these companies specialize in accounting software and services — Verus, for instance is a payroll application — Sage has said that its line of CRM applications is the fastest-growing part of its product lineup.
Sage CRM is available for $595 per user for on-premises licensing and $69 per user per month for on-demand SageCRM.com deployment. A special Sage Accpac CRM edition provides integration with the Sage Accpac ERP accounting and business management application.