A number of Accpac resellers attending Sage Software's Insights reseller conference last month had the same comment -- a lot of the new Sage ideas were old Accpac ideas.

It was easy to notice the fact that Sage is adopting Accpac CRM, which looks the same on the Web as on a server. That product is being refined and rolled out as Sage CRM. It was probably less obvious when Sage chief executive Ron Verni announced that the company is going to become database agnostic.

For those not into the nuances of the accounting software wars, database agnostic essentially means, "Take that Microsoft." It means that Sage, which uses its Provide-X database in its MAS 90/200 software, is willing to also adopt non-Microsoft databases in its products. Verni did not announce the names of any engines that it is considering, other than stating the company will look into the open source MySQL product. But database choice has long been an Accpac trait as Accpac's Advantage Series supports Microsoft SQL Server, IBM's DB2, Linux, and Oracle.

Then, there was Sage's talk about end-to-end computing, which was not necessarily taken from Accpac, although that company has long espoused the same concept.

One of the things the conference underscored was just how good some of the decisions were that were made by David Hood, Accpac's CEO, before that company was acquired by Sage. Hood took a struggling company and kept it afloat long enough to be acquired. He wasn't the most popular guy while he was there. But he got things done.

It also showed that Sage is not a company that buys other organizations and says, "You are going to do things our way." It is, apparently, quite willing to learn.

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