At Sage Summit, Sage’s annual customer conference, it’s all about, well, the customer.

In a welcoming session on Monday, Jodi Uecker-Rust, president of Sage’s Business Solutions Division, expressed gratitude to the approximately 2,000 conference attendees participating in the weeklong event.

She encouraged audience members to learn from people who come from different industries.

“This is our single biggest opportunity to get feedback,” she said of the summit. “We need to work on what’s working well and what’s not working well. We are here to make it easier for you, our customers, to do your business processes.”

Sage, which has more than 14,000 employees and 5.8 million customers around the world, decided to continue its annual customer conference because of the importance — despite the growing world of social networking — to physically come together, look each other in the eye and build business.

Uecker-Rust talked about three trends shaping the market: the mobile workforce, social media and business intelligence.

She spent most of her time talking about the explosion of social media and asked the audience how many had Facebook accounts. The crowd texted their answers, and nearly 80 percent said they had Facebook profiles.

Sixty-two percent of the crowd revealed they lacked a Twitter account, a finding that surprised Uecker-Rust. “I thought we would have more people using Twitter than Facebook,” she said.

Over the next year, Sage plans to make significant improvements to the online communities of many of its product lines.

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