What I Learned at Sage Summit 2013
Members of the Mantralogix team were thrilled to participate in this year’s annual partner and customer North American Sage conference (Sage Summit 2013) held in July in Washington, D.C. Sage Summit is a week long conference entailing training (over 500 sessions), networking, and hearing from Sage executive on the view forward and successes over the past year. This year’s message was clearly on mobility and the cloud! There were approximately 4000 people in attendance with a common goal – to learn tips and tricks on how to become more productive and hear what’s working for others.
Mantralogix has been attending the Sage Summit for many years, although this was only my second year as an attendee. I was very curious as to why different people chose to attend and I found the answers were as varied as the people I spoke with. There was diversity in the countries people travelled in from (yeah for the Canuck event one night hosted by the Sage Accountants Network!) and the positions they held in their companies, some that were partners and others that were customers. Here are a few reasons I heard:
- Want to see what new products Sage is working on and the technology behind it
- Came to earn continuing professional education (CPE) credits
- Want to learn more about the Sage solution we already have directly from Sage experts
- Learn what other partners/ customers do to make themselves successful so I can do the same
- Meet other people from my industry and see how I can leverage what they are doing
- Network with new people and meet up with others that I only get a chance to see once a year
- To pick up additional technical/ professional skills
- To feel rejuvenated – to take a break to think about my business – rather than always working on it
- Have some fun!
I personally attended many sessions and they too were quite varied in their subject matter. I really enjoyed the fact that there were many external speakers along with the experts from Sage. External speakers brought in best practices from other industries and I felt inspired to find ways to incorporate them into our business. And I will! Maybe you can too!
I attended a session on key marketing and sales successes of Sage ERP X3 (what an amazing solution!) and the speakers reminded me of The Golden Circle – don’t lead with the product; lead with why the customer needs help. At a session on the value of consulting I learned that the number 1 reason any IT project fails is the lack of commitment from an executive sponsor and the value of organizational readiness (it’s not about the software!). It’s important that we give attention to the technical issues at hand but also the emotional well being of our customers. The session on Sage CRM was really exciting – all the possibilities just buzzed in my head as our speaker educated us on the return on investment with a CRM implementation. According to Gartner in 2013 CRM is the top software investment companies are choosing to make in terms of software applications.
One of the true highlights in terms of sessions was Moments of Magic – a truly exceptional speaker reminding us of all the seemingly easy things we can do to WOW our customers (regardless of industry). He told us the story of a taxi driver who had cold water, a neatly folder newspaper, and a desire to make sure the customer experience was top notch! We learned The Platinum Rule – treat people the way they want to be treated! Another stellar session was related to the power of public relations and telling our respective stories by engaging with local reporters/ media.
Beyond the value of all this learning was the opportunity to meet many colleagues who I have only spoken to over the phone. Relationships were definitely deepened and I enjoyed so much meeting others that do what we do. I was inspired by a few younger people I met for the first time, filled with so much enthusiasm and excited as newcomers to the industry.
Having the Mantralogix team together was super! We learned together, played together, and yes laughed (a lot!) together! Oh yes, we also scored some great prizes together!
Here are a few quotes from our team members:
“In my mind the most compelling thing for customers in attending Sage Summit is that their voice shapes the products’ future. Those that attend get a very neat opportunity to contribute to the evolution of the features. Sage Summit is the perfect place to share their ideas and feedback with Sage directly. The other value is networking with peers and hearing about product roadmaps and hearing all this information first hand.” – Kerry
“Sage Summit was amazing! Being able to witness the presentation of the “what’s up in the coming year” is really cool. What’s more, the presence of all industry specific Sage partners helps a lot in being able to see several options all in one floor.” – Michelle
If you attended Sage Summit you’ll likely agree it was a great success regardless of what objectives you came with. Now if all of this wasn’t exciting enough, Sage has already announced details for Sage Sage Summit 2014 – to be held at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas from July 27-Aug 1, 2014. Care to join us? http://na.sage.com/sage-summit/