Sage Pastel launches campaign

The Sage Group will combine forces with newly-acquired Pastel to give added impetus to its assault on worldwide accounting solutions markets beyond the UK and USA.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  April 5, 2005

Following its acquisition of South African based Softline Pastel, the UK-based Sage Group is announcing that it will combine the strength of the Sage and Pastel brands to create Sage Pastel accounting solutions and business management applications for all international markets outside the USA and South Africa. Pastel’s unique flexibility and customer focus had not only attracted new customers, but had also drawn the attention of the UK-based accounting giant, the Sage Group. Having noted the strength of the Pastel brand and the forward-thinking design of its software, Sage acquired the Softline group with the intention to make Pastel its product of choice to lead its charge into international markets. Jeff Lewis, director of Sage Pastel, explains that Sage has taken the decision to combine both of the brands, as this strategy enables the company to leverage market awareness and adoption more quickly and effectively. “Based on the incredible success of each separate brand the combined brand, Sage Pastel, will truly be the world’s leading accounting solution,” he says. Sage has taken the decision to utilise the Pastel product, brand and strategy to penetrate into this growing market share. One of the factors that lead to this consideration is that while Sage has a broad range of accounting solutions, it has not as easily maintained international markets, such as Africa, because of the requirements per country. Unique legal requirements call for country-specific localisation, according to Lewis: “Pastel Accounting is designed to meet customers’ unique needs, and we have operated in these markets for some time.” The Pastel development team has made it simple to write customisations specific to each territory and include them in the package. The serial number that users enter when installing Pastel, for example, contains location-specific information that unlocks functionality specific to the country in which it has been installed. Pastel operates a quarterly update cycle, unlike the majority of other companies that only carry out updates annually, and this also makes it easier to get country-specific updates and modifications into the market quickly. Sage Pastel has valuable experience and market knowledge critical to succeeding in the international arena. It has cultivated a strong global partner base as the two combined companies are skilled in dealing with the accounting market. “The combination of Sage and Pastel has therefore created an even stronger global accounting software player,” concludes Lewis. He predicts that with Sage now ingrained in the international program, the company will see between 30% to 40% growth in the coming year. Adding value beyond the technology itself is crucial to Pastel’s success on a worldwide scale and over the past year the international division has trained and certified over 1300 people. These learners have not only gained insight into how to use the accounting packages, but Pastel has also focused on teaching them good accounting principles. Together with Sage, Pastel’s focus over the next year will be to make further inroads into the southern hemisphere, hoping to realise the full advantage of the strength of the combined Sage and Pastel brands, “We see huge potential in emerging markets,” says Lewis.

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