Accountancy ERP software specialist Sage has upgraded its Application Integration Server (AIS) product, with improved connectors between front- and back-office applications. Experts said the move should further strengthen the vendor's appeal to the upper end of the mid-market.
The latest version of AIS enables integration between Sage's mid-market customer relationship management (CRM) solutions and its back-office enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and accountancy products, such as Sage Line 200 and 500 and its Financial Mid Market Solution (MMS).
David Pinches, director of accounting and ERP solutions at Sage, said the integration feature could help firms reduce maintenance costs and gain a single view of data. "You can give sales teams a clear view over how much a customer is worth," he added.
The upgrade is part of a wider push to woo firms looking for alternatives to larger vendors such as SAP and Oracle, according to Pinches.
"Most [ERP and CRM] products will now do what the customer wants. So the differentiator is in how quick the product can be deployed, its price and how easy it is to use - all areas where Sage is traditionally strong," he added.
David Bradshaw at analyst firm Ovum said that vendors such as Sage and CRM rival Salesforce.com are proving it is possible to break out of the small and medium business market and appeal to larger firms. "There is a lot to be said for simple-to-use CRM systems at firms of any size," he added.
Sage, which currently boasts British Nuclear Fuels among its large national customers, also plans to upgrade accountancy suites Line 50, MMS and Line 500 to share the same user interface.