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Sage Units Move Ahead

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November 11, 2009

One great thing about attending Sage Summit as a member of the press is that you get one-on-one meetings with the company’s executives.

It’s a chance to sit down with those who are leading the divisions and get briefed on what’s happening in their area and what’s to come.

This time was no different, as I was connected with a handful of executives who talked about how their area of the company is moving ahead.

Here’s just a snapshot of what I found out:

Lindy Benton, chief operating officer of Sage’s Healthcare Division, talked about how her whole focus is on the needs of a physician’s practice. The physicians’ main concern, obviously aside from patient care, is getting paid. Benton said 58 percent of physicians don’t know about the government stimulus for electronic health records. Her division has therefore set up a Web site to answer their questions and is spending much of its time educating physicians about the benefits of transferring their records into an electronic platform. She’s expecting a lot of growth in her division.

Connie Certusi, general manager of Sage’s Small Business Accounting unit, said she’s going to be aggressively pursing accountants to join the Sage Accountants Network, even offering free membership during various national events and conferences. Her goal is to provide more online training, including opportunities to earn CPE credit, to help accountants become a better resource for their clients. Currently the network has more than 20,000 firms in both the U.S. and Canada but is looking to grow. Next demographic? The graduating college student. Look out for Sage for Students coming very soon.

If you’ve got a question about payment processing, ask Greg Hammermaster, president of Sage Payment Solutions. His big thing right now is the Payment Card Industry, or PCI, an association that the major credit card networks have formed. Any retailer or company that touches a credit card tool has to be PCI certified. That’s because fraudsters have become more sophisticated and breaches of security are becoming more rampant.

In response, Sage is gearing up to launch a PCI-compliant system called Sage Exchange in February to prevent credit card information from reaching a company’s ERP system. Currently, any company that uses payment-processing software is faced with credit card information going into the ERP system, which can lead to leakage of personal information. What the customer wants is more flexible ways to acquire payments and different ways to integrate, said Hammermaster.

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