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RKL Grows Sage 500 Practice

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Long-time Sage North America partner RKL eSolutions has effectively expanded its Sage 500 ERP practice, primarily by taking on former consultants, executives and product customers from Portland, Ore.-based Sage partner ISM.

While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the transaction did include ISM vice president Stuart Blumenthal joining RKL, along with three former ISM Sage 500 consultants: Becky Keene, Donna Gallardo and Joshua Gettman. As part of the deal, RKL will service the majority of ISM’s Sage 500 customers – close to 100 – while ISM will retain a select few.

In addition, Dean Jones, a Sage 500 developer formerly with Eide Bailly, has joined RKL eSolutions as a Sage 500 ERP programmer based in Utah and further expands the company’s presence west of the Rockies. These new team members will be located in Arizona, California, Missouri, and Utah to support RKL’s Sage 500 business in those areas.

Sage North America had previously announced future plans to sunset new development of Sage 500, however RKL president Joe Noll sees the product’s repositioning as a new opportunity.

“We have been vocal on [Sage’s] position on 500 and we are saying that we are here to support it until it is no longer,” said Noll. “Nothing imminent; Sage 500 is still on the roadmap for the next few years and after that there’s X3. We realize not every 500 person will be an X3 fit, so our job is to educate our customers and find them the right solution.”

Noll also noted that the firm has “strong partnerships” for customers interested in other Sage products, including 100 and 300 ERP as well as CRM and HRMS. “We are being the experts at what we do and partnering for the rest,” he noted.

RKL eSolutions also represents Sage X3 and until recently NetSuite, which they decided to discontinue in favor of focusing on their 500 and X3 business.

ISM will still represent Sage 100 ERP and X3, as well as NetSuite and Swiftpage CRM product SalesLogix.

Since Sage announced future plans for Sage 500, ISM had discussed the product’s future at the firm as well and decided to focus more on other existing products. Some ISM staff, however – particularly Blumenthal -- had wanted to stay in the Sage 500 business and serve those customers, according to ISM president BJ O’Reilly.

“Stuart had wanted to stay with 500 and after some discussion we he decided that if the product was going to go he would go with it. He’s been tied in to those customers, many of which he’s served since it was Acuity, so we came to a conclusion to make a change,” said O’Reilly. “Joe [Noll] is very invested in it, probably as much as Stuart is and we worked out a deal. Stuart felt RKL was the best place to go; he knows Joe well and has had a [Sage 500] development relationship with the firm.”

O’Reilly also said that he offered options to stay to the few other consultants that left, but they had decided to stay with the product and support the customers as well. He also noted that all departures were amicable. 

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