Transition v Non-Core


Please explain how Apple was able to discuss future product plans on their recent earnings call – using the vague term ‘transition’ with few additional details –  to describe products which may be nearing end-of-life or due to be refreshed – yet Sage during their Investors Day appeared to openly call out under performing non-core products businesses for competitors, prospects, the channel and employees to see.

Sage doesn’t call business segments or products “under-performing” – instead choosing the label core or non-core . And to be clear – Sage denies that non-core implies that those products will definitely be sold.

Forget for a minute the  post meeting explanation of core vs non core and how it really doesn’t mean what you think (why use such descriptive phrases then?) – and how everyone should  attend a conference to learn the context and details of what core v non-core really mean (what was Investor Day for?)… and Sage doesn’t intend to comment further.

Sage’s explanation?  Non-core business doesn’t mean a product will be sold – only that non-core products “do not share common characteristics such as customers, technology, partners and costs across rest of the Sage portfolio”.

Well that’s comforting.

What does it mean?  Could it mean less R&D? Less attention being paid to an upgrade path? Less efforts to sell more licenses? Fewer new features?  Sage’s announcement seems to hint at that but there’s no way to tell for sure and quite a bit is left to individual interpretations.

According to Sage –  “non core” businesses are best served with a singular focus rather than folding them into a broader “core” structure and encumbering them with commonalities that may not exist.

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