After a few minutes spent looking around the conference held for reseller’s of Intuit’s QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions, the question seemed obvious. “Where’s the Sage reception?” I asked.It didn’t take long at the conference, held earlier this week in Dallas, to see a number of faces that are familiar from the Sage reselling world. Many of them are already displaying the fact they carry QBES on their Web sites.

The channel is realigning. Many of the larger VARs have been moving up market to sell Dynamics AX or Sage Software’s MAS 500, which are offering increasingly powerful features at lower prices than buyers of Tier 1 products are used to paying.

This is the new look of the reselling market and it’s going to move away from the way it has operated for much of the last 20 years into something new that we don’t quite recognize.
These included IncorTech and Forepoint. And there are other familiar names that haven't publicly declared their new allegiance. For example, within a few months this year, regional accounting firm Clifton Gunderson, which has been a large Sage reseller, acquired the Washington-area office of UHY Advisors, moving into Deltek’s line for government contractors. It then sold a Wisconsin MAS 90 practice and then soon announced it would resell QBES. The same market forces have pushed resellers to seek vertical market products, which have fewer competitors and higher margins. Many of the Sage resellers who are picking up QBES have also chosen to handle Deltek’s Vision, which is aimed at project-oriented companies. They are going for a lower-end, more general product and a higher-end vertical offering. Similarly, QBES puts the same pressure on Sage’s MAS 90 and the low end of the Dynamics GP market. It’s a common technology evolution in which lower-cost products get more features and power, and prices collapse. For example, the switch from mainframe-based service processing for tax preparation to the use of desktop software didn’t produce a small change in pricing; it was enormous.

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