Sage makes bold moves with tech investments

Sage builds on 2015 investment with announcements around Salesforce and Microsoft partnerships

Sage CEO Stephen Kelly said: "We are working on making concepts like the IoT, machine learning, blockchain and data sciences into a reality for businesses, accountants and partners. This is way more than cloud and mobile-first. It's designing and building technologies that truly power businesses, freeing entrepreneurs to grow and win."

One new offering highlighted during the company's annual user conference, Sage Summit 2016, was a new admin bot, Pegg, a smart assistant that allows users to track expenses via their chosen messaging app.

Sage claims that by digitising information at the point of capture, it takes away the pain from receipts and expenses, eradicating the need for paper and data entry.

In addition, Sage has partnered with Slack, which will act as one of the core messaging channels connected to Pegg. "With the rise of freelancing and the sharing economy, the number of small businesses is growing exponentially. Most of these business owners use messaging apps, and with Pegg we aim to bridge the gap between these apps and work,rendering accounting invisible to the end user and making running a business as simple as sending a text," said Sage's global director for mobile product management, Kriti Sharma.

Announced with a demonstration live on stage, the accounting industry's first bot, Pegg is available now in Beta.

Meanwhile, Sage's new EVP of product marketing, Jennifer Warawa, demonstrated the integration of its real-time accounting solution, Sage Live, and TomTom Telematics. The new software integration allows businesses with fleets of vehicles to record mileage and automate expense reports. As Sage Live runs on the Salesforce platform it can use existing integrations with third parties such as TomTom WEBFLEET. Via the fleet management, service journey data is automatically available in Sage Live.

Finally, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined via video to announce the coming together of Microsoft Office 365 and Sage 50 making Sage the first ever software company to partner with the platform.

Sage has also become an Office 365 reseller and first-line support provider under the Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) programme. As a CSP partner, Sage will be one of the first global ISVs to bundle Office 365 with their own solution and resell it to SMBs globally.

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