Sage is reinventing its relationship with independent software vendors (ISV) to make it easier and faster for them to energise the success of small and medium businesses (SMBs) around the world. The programme is the first in a series of changes intended to make it easier for Sage partners to solve customer problems with powerful solutions that are tailored to their exact needs.

The new ISV programme replaces multiple agreements that vary depending on geography, product and company. It replaces them with a single programme that allows ISVs and Sage partners to deliver the perfect combination of software, tools and integration to customers that previously would have to make do with stock products. A number of major ISVs have already signed up.

“At Sage we believe in a customer for life – and that means supporting partners who share the same goal of helping their customers for the life of their business,” said Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage. “Small & Medium Businesses represent a global opportunity for ISVs, and we want to make it possible for Sage customers to find the right solution with the right partner, regardless of where they are.”

The new ISV programme is the first of a series of changes to the Sage partner organisation intended to recognise partners as an integral part of the Sage offer and demonstrate Sage partners’ ability to answer the needs of customers.

The next stage of the Sage channel reinvention will be the launch of a fresh Global Partner Program in October. In the meantime, Sage will support partners through marketing support, marketing development funds, enhanced training and certification.

The new programs reflect a changing market in which customers increasingly demand solutions that are flexible to their needs, delivered on-premises through the cloud or as a hybrid of the two and which are tailored to their specific needs. These changing needs in turn demand a channel ecosystem that works collaboratively and where order fulfilment is replaced by more complex, integrated solutions.

“It is our intention to build an industry-leading channel program, combining both on-premises and cloud, by 2016. In fact, we plan to leapfrog the competition in this area. We and our partners will provide customers choice, flexibility and service for life,” says Alan Laing, executive vice-president, global strategic partnerships and alliances at Sage. “We will do this by delivering market-leading programs, business growth and sales and marketing support that give our partners the conditions they need to succeed, grow and thrive.”