Seems like only yesterday I was at Sage Summit 2011 and heard an unusual (and rare) loud cheer roll down the hallways. I was later told it was partner reaction to former Sage VP Larry Ritter’s announcement that Act! would no longer be sold at retail. Following up during the press conference I was assured that Sage Act! hadn’t been sold at retail for some time – and indeed was being relegated to channel sales only.
Fast forward a year. Larry Ritter departs in May 2012.
Now Sage makes an unusual after-the-fact weekend announcement that effective June 1, 2012 Sage Act! Pro 2013 is headed back on store shelves — beginning with Sage Act! Pro 2013.
As an accomodation Sage agrees to steeper discounts but only if the partner agrees to “significant quarterly volume/purchase commitments on behalf of a participating ACC”.
Good move? I think so. It probably creates more opportunity for Sage Act! consulting firms to sell services to purchasers of Act! .. that is provided the companies purchasing Act! at Staples don’t expect a free or low cost hand with the implementation.
Full email follows.
From: Taylor, Alex
Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2012 6:37 PM
To: Taylor, Alex
Subject: Sage ACT! Pro’s Return to E-Tail/Retail
Dear Sage ACT! Channel Partners,
After a one-year hiatus, Sage ACT! will be returning to e-tail/retail effective 6/1/12 offering Sage ACT! Pro 2012 only with four strategic goals:
1. Acquire net new customers
2. Achieve revenue target’s in line with the business unit’s expectations for H2FY12 & beyond
3. Re-establish then expand Sage ACT!’s footprint in the e-tail/retail marketplace while minimizing revenue cannibalization from existing channels
4. Continue to build Sage ACT! brand awareness
Mindful of our existing channel partners and the value you add to Sage ACT!, tighter pricing, promotion, and rebate controls are now in place in order to attain revenue goals while minimizing cross channel conflict and disruption. Sage ACT! Pro 2012 will be offered initially on e-commerce/e-tail sites effective 6/1/12 with Sage ACT! Pro 2013 being sold physically in retail stores along with their corresponding e-commerce sites.
Put simply, we are confident in attaining the revenue goals Sage’s shareholders require of the business unit, maximizing new customer acquisition while greatly reducing cross channel cannibalization and conflict with our approach in returning to E-tail/Retail.
Lastly, given we’re getting back into retail, I’m finishing up an ACT! volume purchasing agreement that I’ll offer exclusively to ACC’s where you too can play/compete in the E-tail arena if you choose. The volume purchasing agreement will offer more generous margins on Sage ACT! 2012 Pro but also with require significant quarterly volume/purchase commitments on behalf of a participating ACC. (Just like we require of our retail partners) As most CC’s sell only Sage ACT! Premium, I don’t anticipate many takers, however in the spirit of partnership/fairness/competitiveness, I wanted to extend this to you all in light of our return to E-Tail/Retail.
Thanks very much and please let me know if you have any questions.
Sr. National Channel Sales Manager – ACT!
Sage North America, CRM Division
8800 N. Gainey Center Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85258