New Sage MD raises the stakes

Link: Sage expands European reach

Adrian Grace has just completed a mammoth restructuring of the accountants group, which culminated in the resignation of Jerry Luckett, the former general manager of the division.

‘We have some very high expectations,’ explained Grace. ‘We believe we can achieve a much higher level of service than we do at this moment in time.’

He said he wanted to ‘introduce Newcastle practices’ to the accountants group. To do this he ‘replaced the management team – to put in proven Sage people who have a track record of providing the type of customer service we wanted to give to the accountant community’.

A large number of practising accountants recommend Sage software to their clients, and servicing those customers is hugely important to the future success of the company.

John Oates, deputy chairman of the ICAEW IT Faculty and a partner at Baker Tilley, said he was ‘very pleased’ to hear what Sage had embarked upon, but only time would tell whether the company had pleased its accountant clients.

‘In three to six months’ time people will be able to measure how Sage has done,’ he said. He added that an IT Faculty usage survey would reveal the relevant independent figures.

Grace would not reveal Sage’s current customer satisfaction levels, saying only that it was ‘less than 90%’, and said that he preferred to concentrate on future targets. ‘We are determined by hook or by crook to make sure that we get those levels of service up to our required levels,’ he said.

The IT Usage in Accountancy Practices 2002 survey showed that only 41% of current Sage Time and Fees users would recommend the product.

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