In an environment where management decisions must be made on the fly, sales must be actioned immediately and businesses must operate in a more agile, efficient way, outdated business management solutions slow down business growth. This emerged at the Sage Evolution Executive Forum in Sandton recently.

Ashley Pillay, Sage Evolution sales manager, noted that the business environment is changing fast: “We are seeing huge traction in the online space, with companies such as Spree growing 500% in the past 10 months. We find enterprises are increasingly seeking to leverage mobility to streamline their business processes. Cloud is becoming mainstream. So any enterprise managing its business the old way is going to fall behind.”

Ashley Pillay, SageAshley Pillay, Sage

, product divisional director for Sage Evolution, said mobility was a key driver for change in South African businesses. “Customers are asking for solutions that extend their business beyond four walls,” he said. “When it comes to mobile, they are looking beyond email, to solutions that speed up their business processes. They need mobile sales support, CRM, transaction queries and more, synchronised with their ERP systems. Management now wants executive dashboards indicating up to the minute financial data, sales information and inventory tracking. The solutions need to be more than comprehensive, they also have to focus heavily on end user experience.”

Sage Evolution solutions, designed to address these needs while taking into account local constraints such as bandwidth challenges and price sensitivity, are delivering significant improvements to customers across Africa, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, said Mosam. “For example, we have customers who had sales reps only returning to the office at the end of each day to file orders. Now, they are able to issue quotations and fi le orders immediately, from wherever they are, allowing for order fulfilment within hours instead of days.” These efficiencies not only cut operating costs, but also improve customer service, notes Sage.

Mosam noted that while cloud is becoming mainstream, areas of South Africa and large regions of Africa are still challenged by unreliable or costly bandwidth. “To deliver the best of cloud within these constraints, Sage Branch Accounting allows our customers to transact at a local level, even when connectivity is unavailable,” he said.