Entrepreneurs are the business builders of the future. “This community is the most powerful driver of economic prosperity in the African and Middle Eastern economy, creating more than two-thirds of all jobs,” says Anton van Heerden, Sage MD and executive vice president of Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, the Sage Summit aims to “support them with the technology of tomorrow and seek to give them a voice on the world stage”.
Sage partners and customers gathered at the Sandton Convention Centre from 7-9 March 2017 and learnt about digital transformation and why small business marketing should centre around adapting to digital. This is the first year the Sage Summit was held in South Africa and the auditorium was buzzing with enthusiasm and excitement. It was a proud moment to be a part of the Sage family.
Peter Ndoro, a master of ceremonies at the Sage Summit, opened the 8 th of March session powerfully saying, “Digital disruption and digital transformation. We’re in it; we’re in the eye of the storm. Linear thinking is gone, it’s exponential. Cloud is the new norm.” This summed up the theme of the event and we couldn’t stress enough the fact that businesses should be paying more attention to digital transformation. Keith Fenner, Sage vice president Enterprise Africa and the Middle East, stated that for him digital transformation was all about bettering the customer experience. “We need to teach our customers that going down this route will boost innovation,” he said.
Fenner also mentioned that we must be, ‘’designed for digital”. Digital transformation is ongoing and at the epicentre of it all is the Cloud. There’s a lot of chatter surrounding the use of Cloud accounting and what it boils down to is the ability to access your accounts from anywhere. You will no longer be tied to your desk when you need to refer to your accounting data. With our new product feature Sage Live, you can control your accounts from the palm of your hand. Did you know that the average business owner spends 52 hours a week on admin? Sage believes that accounting shouldn’t be a chore. We want you to accurately breeze through admin tasks.
A focus on learning from our customers
The client landscape has changed, thanks to digital transformation. If you think about how we used to do banking … you would write down on a piece of paper the amount you wanted to withdraw and hand it to a bank teller. Today we don’t think twice about using online banking. Sue Goble, Sage executive vice president Services says, “our focus is on reducing customer effort.” That means listening to them, paying attention to our customer’s unique requirements and adapting to their changing needs.
The role online plays in the customer experience
Customers are very willing to share their experiences with businesses online. A good example of this interaction is posting reviews on TripAdvisor. The site provides the platform for travellers to add and share their travel experiences. Think of the business impact of these reviews. People may choose not to visit your resort based entirely on them. When searching to fulfil a need, the first thing a potential customer does is search through products and services online. That means we need to ensure we are providing reliable information they can consume and encourages them to make an informed decision about our business.
Patrick Hannah, Sage vice president Partner Marketing says, “I am confident that Sage are making all the right choices. We are a future-orientated business. Just existing or being present isn’t enough.”
Ultimately, we want to delight our customers and move forward together.
To get on top of the digital transformation trend, your journey can start right here at Sage Online Tools. As our name suggests, we provide the right tools to help your customers find you online. Become a business builder and start your free 30-day trial here.