As anticipated, the briefing featured a series of announcements related to AI and other noteworthy product updates. Sage’s seasonal present to industry analysts comprised the customary updates on artificial intelligence, but it distinguished itself from ERP rivals by consistently improving all its products. In contrast, some competitors are opting to reserve AI advancements exclusively for their cloud solutions—a strategy that prompts laborious, precarious, and costly mandatory upgrades for other products.
Sage is steering away from the common industry trend of threatening to discontinue product lines or coercing users into migrating between different offerings. Instead, Sage has adopted a customer-centric strategy that allows users to stay on legacy solutions while still benefiting from advanced capabilities.
The company is actively pursuing five strategic priorities, with a significant focus on enhancing the value of existing product lines:
A pivotal tool in fortifying the small business engine is Sage Assistant, a sophisticated digital assistant seamlessly integrated into Microsoft Excel. Positioned within a sidebar, this intelligent tool empowers users to pose questions such as, “What will be our cash forecast for the next couple of months?” The Assistant goes beyond mere inference from spreadsheet data, offering insightful suggestions to enhance available cash on hand—like exploring options such as factoring receivables. What sets it apart is, its capability to provide a transparent explanation of the values it generates.
The fruits of this endeavour are evident in a tool designed to identify ‘outlier’ transactions within general ledger applications. This tool adeptly pinpoints atypical journal entries or balances, detecting mismatches between credited and debited accounts, as well as unusual dollar amounts in comparable transactions. Notably, the Outlier technology is actively employed by nearly 1,900 customers, reviewing a staggering 15 million transactions weekly and flagging approximately 2,000 transactions each week.
Adding to Sage’s arsenal is the Sage Network and its Inbox—a versatile capability accessible to all Sage customers irrespective of their base system. This inbox streamlines communications between Sage users and their customers and suppliers. Powered by AI, it gauges the intent of emails and suggests language for users to accept or reject, expediting email responses. Moreover, the software autonomously attaches requested documentation, such as invoices or statements, on behalf of the user. Set to evolve into a portal-like functionality for UK and international customers in January 2024, this technology holds the potential to facilitate invoice status checks, payments, and even contribute to automated workflows. The future promises further developments in this exciting space.
Additional tools compatible with one or more Sage product lines encompass banking technology. These solutions facilitate automated account reconciliation, payments, and more, with Sage boasting a comprehensive suite of 34 banking products catering to customers in 11 countries.
The fuel for the continuous enhancement of AI tools lies in the data exhaust generated from communications, transactions, and other activities within the Sage Network. This invaluable data allows AI tools to evolve over time, gradually becoming more intelligent and contributing to the ongoing refinement of processes and workflows.
A variety of customer/vendor workflows are seamlessly integrated into Sage’s offerings, encompassing essential processes such as AP automation, collections management, AI-suggested responses, AR workspaces, AP workspaces, approvals management, and ageing of receivables and payables.
Beyond these intelligent add-on capabilities, Sage extends its suite to include HR, Payroll, and various vertical apps/extensions tailored for its diverse product lines, including Sage Intacct, X/3, Sage 200, Sage 50, Sage Active, and Sage Accounting (a specialised solution for accounting firms).
Another cross-product line example of sharing is that Sage Intacct’s Planning module will become available to users of other Sage product lines. Contact us at Akuna Solutions and explore with a Sage Intacct implementation specialist how to leverage the most modern technology available today to support your organisation’s mission.
Photo above by Austin Distel on Unsplash