Sage North America executives, including vice president of channel management Tom Miller and VP of marketing Dennis Frahmann, spoke with hundreds of partners today explaining exactly what products will change, what will remain the same, and how Sage plans to assist with marketing efforts behind the renamed product lines.

As announced in July during Sage Summit, the majority of Sage’s product names such as Accpac, MAS, Timberline, and even Peachtree will soon become a memory as major rebranding efforts will result in much of the software becoming simply the company name and a number.

Sage North America chief executive Pascal Houillon had stressed that across Europe the Sage brand is widely known, and its products all have the Sage brand followed by a number. The company’s goal is to have North American products more in line with the rest of Sage, solidifying the company’s identity among its customers.

Product name changes in North America are expected to begin as early as April 2012, which will usher in Sage 100 Contractor to replace Master Builder and Sage 300 Construction, which replaces Timberline. Throughout the rest of the year up through November the following changes will occur:

•    Sage Peachtree and Simply Accounting will become Sage 50 in the U.S. and Canada, respectively
•    Sage MAS 90 and 200 will become Sage 100 ERP
•    Sage Accpac will become Sage 300 ERP
•    MAS 500 will become Sage 500 ERP
•    Timberline Office will become Sage 300 Trade Specialty
•    Sage Fund Accounting will become Sage 100 Nonprofit Accounting

In addition, Miller noted that several brands will not be changing in the foreseeable future. These include: Sage ACT!, SalesLogix, ERP X3, BusinessWorks, BusinessVision, DacEasy, PFW, Pro, and Millennium.

“We realize how big this is and people have to digest and understand it. 

“The more this evolves, the more tangible evidence we can give, the more educated they can be, the more they’ll endorse it,” said Miller. “Dennis [Frahmann] and I have done lots of one on ones [with partners] up to now and taken all of that feedback into account. My confidence in our ability to execute this plan is the fact I am confident in Pascal [Houillon], he’s been through it already, and in Dennis. He is an astute brand expert and he’s been through it at the enterprise level as well.”

One of the main concerns around the rebranding occurring expressed by some partners was the costs associated with updating all product marketing materials associated with each brand.  To assist with the process, Miller detailed the following processes and programs for all of its partners to follow in regards to the impending brand changes and the marketing implications they bring:

•    Materials will be provided to Sage Business Partners to assist with marketing, including: brand transition handbooks, transition checklists, branding guidelines
•    Complete electronic brand-transformation tool kit including logos, Web panels, and supporting files
•    All tools will be available electronically via the Partner Marketing Resource Center
•    Automatic Web site updates
•    Product names and logos automatically delivered through Sage Partner Marketing Platform
•    SEM/SEO optimization best practices
•    Co-funding up to 100 percent for eligible brand transformation activities, following current co-op marketing requirements. This will be for claims submitted within 60 days of launch, with proof of changes

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