In a channel wide announcement not many saw coming – Sage just eliminated their Sage Simply Solution Provider program (No new enrollments as of October 1, 2011, program winds down September 30, 2012).
The Sage Simply Solution Provider program was an extension of Sage’s Accountants Network and added the ability for interested members to resell Sage Simply. The reselling portion of the program started two years ago.
Because most members of the consulting program were CPA firms Sage found that many were not looking to resell and as a result the Solution Provider program was not viable.
Sage’s Accountants Network members may continue to consult on and have access to Sage Simply resources as part of the program since only the reselling will be eliminated effective September 30, 2012 .
According to Jennifer Warawa, Sage VP Partner Programs and Channel Programs, the total consulting channel (Sage Accountants Network) for Sage Simply numbers about 12,000 and of those “99.9% ” were not re-selling Sage Simply.
Sage made a decision to do away with the reselling portion of the program in favor of direct sales. While rumors on LinkedIn had “layoffs” happening at Sage Simply headquarters Jennifer Warawa stated only one employee was impacted.
As this announcement was delivered Sage had just finished hosting their Sage Simply Partnership conference September 22-24 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Unofficial attendance estimates were in the 500 range and reportedly the main topic of note was the Sage re-branding.
When asked why this announcement wasn’t made during the conference, Warawa replied that the details had not yet been finalized and that most of those attending were consultants and not resellers.
In addition she added that this was an isolated change and that no similar changes were contemplated for the Sage Peachtree program or other channel programs which she manages.
The Solution Provider program allowed for consultants – mostly accountants – to resell Sage Simply product as outlined on Sage’s website:
The Solution Provider Program (Reseller program) for Sage Peachtree & Sage Simply Accounting was designed for consultants who recommend and sell Sage Peachtree and /or Sage Simply Accounting to their clients, and who wish to make a margin.
Sage Solution Providers are given achievable quotas, and work with an Inside Partner Advocate to develop business plans and map successes to maximize profitability selling their favorite small business accounting package. For under $1000 you can become a Sage Solution Provider for Sage Simply Accounting or Sage Peachtree, including in-depth product training.
One participant said the Solution Provider program was nearly the same thing in Canada as the Sage Accountant Network is in the USA. Sage expanded the program to include reselling Sage Simply during 2005.
The notice sent to participants reads:
After careful analysis of the performance to date and the respective costs of running this program, we have decided to discontinue the Sage Simply Accounting Solution Provider program, effective October 1, 2011.
However, we are committed to supporting all of our current Solution Providers through our 2012 fiscal year, which runs October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012. In addition, beyond Sept. 30, 2012, we will work with each of our Solution Provider partners to determine the most beneficial way for both parties to continue to work together.
One participant in the Sage Simply Solution Provider Program noted that the program seemed newer than 2 years and Sage had as recently as last October been making a big enrollment push. They added that since the effort to sell Sage Simply was almost equal to that required to sell the larger (and more profitable) Sage Accpac they weren’t surprised to hear of the news.
Update – Statement from Sage via LinkedIN (click to enlarge):
Image: Soma Small Business