Sage Summit 2017 in Atlanta just wrapped up! Our team had a great time attending and wanted to share a brief recap of the major announcements.  That way, even if you couldn’t attend the Summit, you’ll stay up to date with all things Sage!

Day 1 – A New Direction For Sage

The first day of Sage Summit Atlanta was focused on partners and accountants.  It started with Sage CEO Stephen Kelley and Managing Director Nancy Harris welcoming the audience.  They attempted to quell the fears of partners by renewing their focus to strategic partnerships.  In a moment of self-reflection, Stephen Kelley admitted that for too long Sage had been stuck in the past, even calling the company “cloud-deniers” in the past.  But Sage is getting its “technology mojo” back with 52 new product and version releases spanning 30 countries.  They’re refocusing on innovative cloud technologies while still promising to invest in their existing portfolio of legacy, on-premises solutions and even hybrid solutions like Sage 100c.

Along those same lines of technological innovation, VP of Bots and Artificial Intelligence, Kriti Sharma (who became a staple of the summit, making an appearance in every day’s keynote) held an all-day BOTlanta event in which she discussed all things bots and AI.  From creation, to ethical implications, to risks around the latest trend in technology.

The Future Of Sage 100

Throughout the day, Sage representatives continued to reinforce the fact that they will continue to invest in their current portfolio, as well as introducing new products.  They emphasized the fact that Sage 100 is their most used product in the US, and so they will continue to support and upgrade the product for many years to come.

During the Sage 100 roadmap session, they focused on the modernization efforts and simplified user experience in the new Sage 100c framework.  Payroll and Job Cost modules have been updated to this new framework and Work Order will be updated in 2018.

Day 2 – Business Builders, Build On!

Day two started with another keynote from Stephen Kelley, Nancy Harris and Kriti Sharma.  However, there was a slight shift in messaging away from technological innovation and towards the business builders themselves.  Appropriate considering much of the crowd for day 2 and 3 was made up of Sage customers and prospects.  Mayor Kasim Reed joined Stephen Kelley and co during the keynote, highlighting Sage’s history in Atlanta, their North American home.

EVP of Product Marketing Jennifer Warawa and EVP of Product Management Nick Goode gave a live product demo of Sage Live, Sage 50c Microsoft 365 integration and Sage One.  They also revealed the 12-month product roadmap for all Sage North American products.

When Kriti took the stage, she did a live demo of Sage’s Pegg chatbot with the Amazon Echo through conversational voice commands.  On the show-floor, Pegg was given physical manifestation in the form of a robot that passerby could converse with.  Pictured below is ACC’s President Sean Atkins posing with Pegg.

Nearby on the show floor, our team manned a booth where we had a great time talking to our fellow Sage partners and business builders.

Day 3 – “Never Stop Fighting” And Giving Back

The final day of Sage Summit Atlanta started off with a bang.  George Foreman gave a heartwarming, inspiring speech about his own journey as a fighter who didn’t want to fight, a father and a business builder.  Some memorable quotes from his speech: “However, never stop fighting and… if you go down, always pick yourself up and be ready to go another round.” And, “If you learn to sell, you will never starve.”

After driving home the theme of “Just keep fighting,” it was time to move on to giving back.  The Sage Foundation hosted a Philanthropitch called The Big Give Live on Day 2 of the Summit.  It was a Shark Tank style live show where three local charity partners, Junior Achievement, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, and Hire Heroes USA all pitched their non-profits to a panel of partners, Sage colleagues and CEO Stephen Kelley for a chance at a Sage donation.  At the end of Day 3 of the summit, it was announced that The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta had won $15,000!

Finally, Kriti made her third and final appearance on the big stage to bring the Summit full circle back to the future of technology, AI and bots.  She was joined by AI experts Josh Browden (Founder of DoNotPay, the free chatbot that helps motorists appeal parking tickets) and Hassan Sawaf (an AI veteran with more than 25 years of experience in AI and chatbots).

After, Robert Terseck took the stage to discuss digital disruption and vaporization.  He advocated for small businesses becoming early adopters of digital services.  He provided specific examples of future applications of digital disruption within the retail industry and explained that this type of disruption will quickly permeate throughout our society.  Small businesses that adopt early will set themselves up for success and have a competitive advantage over those slower to adapt. A fitting message to close out Sage Summit 2017 in Atlanta.

Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about our consulting servicesSage 100(c), or Sage 100(c) training!

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