Australia is not only an early adopter of the Cloud subscription model, but also helped to pioneer it for ERP software provider, Sage.
Sage ERP Africa and X3 AAMEA (Africa, Australia, Middle East and Asia) sales senior VP, Keith Fenner, made the observation based on the uptake of the vendor’s ERP X3 solution.
“There is a demand in the market for subsciptions and Australia pioneered it, so we ended up sharing that model with other regions in AAMEA,” he said.
Fenner said the Cloud was a big enabler for ERP, enabling clients to use ERP X3 throughout the world by merely subscribing to it.
When it came to providing the Cloud to clients, Fenner said that Sage’s partners ended up becoming the hosting entity.
“They add the infrastructure piece to the subscription and deliver the Cloud to their customers,” he said.
ERP X3 is designed to handle ERP from end to end, whether it is distribution, manufacturing, or finance, over the Cloud, and Fenner admits it has been disruptive.
“Our earlier 300 ERP product was a modular batch based system, but ERP X3 is a web based, multi language and multi legislation solution,” he said.
With a 100 per cent channel business, Fenner said the challenge for Sage was transitioning partners from one product model to the other.
“We have to empower the partner to do the job and deliver the solution, and that is not a two week process,” he said.
“We need to look after our existing partner base, and we did that by asking who wanted to be an early party of the rollout of ERP X3.”
Fenner said that some Australian partners have already been successful as early adopters, having achieved “great deals and implementations.”
As for where Sage sees untapped opportunities, Fenner points to big data, the “harnessing of a database and proactively giving advice to customers.”
Another Trend he is keeping an eye on is mobility.
“I don’t know anyone who has not come to a meeting without a tablet,” he said.
“The average now is 2.5 devices per person, usually a smartphone paired with a tablet, and that is the reality of how people are living their life today.”
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.