After two years of trying to establish a reseller network for Sage Simply Accounting, Sage North America discontinued support of the program effective Oct. 1, with support for existing solution providers extending until Sept. 30, 2012.

Simply Accounting partners were officially informed via a notice from Sage’s vice president, partner programs and channel sales Jennifer Warawa, though many were also called prior to the notice, she said.

The original decision to establish a partner network for an established accounting product that was long sold direct came over two years ago after many requests from Simply Accounting consultants. But despite their interest, there were difficulties in transitioning from a purely consulting role to that of a sales organization as well, coupled with trying to sell a Sage accounting product with a comparative low price point, according to Warawa.

“We had such a small number of people actively selling [Simply Accounting], even what they were selling was not significant,” she said. “We looked at all of the effort and money we put into a community that was just not taking off, so we decided if we could redirect efforts to [Simply Accounting] consultants it would be a bigger win for them. Peachtree had been successful at this already and we wanted to respond to what [Simply consultants] asked for, but in the end it just didn’t work out. The partners we have will get the margin we have set for the next year, and we will do all we can to help them through the transition.”

She also refuted speculation that this recent move was indicative of other Sage partner program discontinuations, stressing that for Peachtree in particular there are “aggressive growth targets” that Sage and its partner network for that product plan to meet for next fiscal year.

Warawa also noted that Simply Accounting had its final stand-alone conference last week in Las Vegas and it will merge with the larger Sage Summit next year. That announcement was not made at the recent event, as the attendees were not a part of the partner network.

Warawa declined to reveal exactly how many consultants and traditional Sage VARs joined the Simply Accounting partner network, but stated it was “a very small amount.”

There are approximately 12,000 Sage Accountants Network members who are Simply Accounting consultants, many of whom are in Canada, al though there is a small network in the U.S.

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