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CRM a focus at Softline Enterprise partner conference


The Softline Enterprise business partner conference was an international affair this year with an impressive line up of speakers from Softline’s parent company Sage PLC as well as development partner Defacto, and third party product partners Datalinx and Version One.
Held at Sun City, the conference also included business partners from South Africa, Australia, Kenya, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Botswana.

Ashley Ellington, MD of Softline Enterprise says: “One of the aims of the conference was to acknowledge the commitment of our business partners to the company and our products: Sage Line 500, SalesLogix and Sage 1000.”
Ellington says the company also used the conference to discuss the vision and approach to its flagship CRM product, SalesLogix as well as the success of its business management solution Sage 1000. “As a result of the focus on customer loyalty and market analytics, CRM is becoming more popular and we predict significant growth opportunities in Africa.”
He says Sage 1000 has generated renewed interest in integrated business management solutions. South Africa is viewed as an emerging market by Sage, but Ellington says that the functionality introduced in Sage 1000 is exactly what local businesses are looking for and in most cases the customer demands are similar, if not identical to those required by UK based customers.
Representatives from Sage UK, David Pinches and Jo Fuller provided conference delegates with highlights of Sage 1000’s key achievements whilst also outlining further development plans.
Focus areas included customised views, quick quotes, and improved credit management functionality, easier conversions from prospect to customer or quote to order functionality.
“The Sage 1000 integrated business management solution approach works well because it is a one stop solution for the significant aspects of any business such as sales, marketing and communications, which are critical for business growth and client retention,” says Ellington.
“Equally important is proper business management at an operational level such as manufacturing, debtors and creditors, all of which are just as crucial to ensure stability and profitability of the organisation. Sage 1000 provides the ideal platform to facilitate the merging of several of these functions, giving cross-departmental views.”
A 2010 roadmap of SalesLogix was also presented outlining the key development focus areas for the product. Driving this evolution are five key CRM elements from Sage PLC: customer and business delight; systems that work the way I do, enable a flexible workforce, systems without borders and systems I can afford and manage.
“There is a distinctive vision for SalesLogix and users will see these five key elements at play now and well into the future product design,” says Ellington.