Sage Software is unveiling a fresh infrastructure that aims to shift its business units more closely to its customers needs, creating two new business divisions as well as a new chief technology officer position.

A Business Management Division will bring Sage accounting, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and related businesses under one umbrella, while the Industry & Specialized Solutions Division will provide industry-specific solutions for businesses and organizations in the construction, real estate and nonprofit industries, alongside other employee management solutions, such as human resources and online payroll services.

The former division will be headed up by Doug Meyer, currently president of Sage Software’s Small Business Division. Nina Smith, Sage’s chief marketing officer, will serve as president for the latter division.

Those two divisions will be added to another pair of units -- the Healthcare Division and the Payment Solutions Division, which supports merchants’ payment-processing needs.

Previously, Sage had structured its offerings as either for small or midsized businesses.

“What we realized when we spoke to our customers was that wasn’t how they thought about the business,” Sage Software chief executive Ron Verni told WebCPA. “If they were going to get larger and all of a sudden need a new product, they would have to leave a division [and] create all new relationships in a new division, which didn’t make sense to them. What we decided to do was to line up our product portfolios by the way the customers think about us.”

Verni said that Sage’s sweet spot for customers remains small and midsized businesses, though Sage also accommodates operations with upwards of 1,250 employees. Globally, parent company the Sage Group serves 5.4 million businesses, about 2.8 million of which are located in North America.

“We realized as we became a larger company a couple of things happened,” explained Verni, who has been personally working on the restructuring for nine months. “We were becoming slightly customer-disconnected because of our scale. What we wanted to do was become customer-connected, so we created these business divisions so we can push all our activities as close to our customers as we can.”

The new chief technology officer position will be filled by Jim Foster, a former executive vice president of the company’s Mid-Market Business Units.

“We didn’t do this for operational efficiency, or excellence -- that wasn’t our goal,” Verni said of the reorganization. “We’ve eliminated that centralized marketing. But we’ve pushed all those people into the business. So in some cases, there may not have been a fit between the person and the position so there will be literally a handful of people who might be leaving the business. We’re trying very hard to put them in other positions.”

Sage Software’s restructuring will go into effect starting June 1, but Verni said it will take until the company’s new fiscal year in October for the changes to be fully operational.

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