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Sage HR Software Review

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Sage HRMS Best Fit & Competitors

Sage HRMS Sweet Spot
With 6.1 million clients globally, Sage's customers occupy positions in nearly all industry verticals; however a disproportionate amount of those customers fall into the markets of: Healthcare; Construction; Manufacturing; Accounting; and Retail. Further, by the company's own admission, Sage targets the lower end of the SMB market (from 50 to 500+ employees), a fact that has led to Forrester research indicating "Sage HRMS . . . is the leading on-premise HRMS option for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees". However, it should be noted that the company does not qualify out of sale opportunities that go above or below that target.

Short list Sage HRMS when:

  • You're a SMB organization with limited scope outside of North America and are seeking an HRMS solution with similar international support reach.
  • You're a growing organization seeking an on-premise HR software solution that provides functionality which is scalable and available in an a la carte module selection.
  • You're an organization already leveraging or planning to leverage additional Sage solutions such as ERP, Financials, or CRM.

Alternative Solutions
HR software buyers may be best advised to consider alternative HCM software products when:

  • Seeking best-of-breed HRMS and/or Payroll software solutions.
  • You're an organization that looks to leverage a market leading and/or especially innovative HCM solution.
  • Seeking the flexibility and efficiency of a true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or cloud HR solution.
  • You're an organization that needs a solution capable of addressing vertical market issues which fall outside of Sage's purview, target market or industry support.

Sage HRMS Competitors

Because of the fact that the Sage HRMS software primary target for prospective customers is the small to medium business market (i.e. 25-500+ employees), the solution's main competition comes from HR software vendors that service this same group—namely Ultimate Software, Microsoft, and Spectrum. However, given the ERP market that the company has also courted, Epicor and Infor (including Infor's Lawson) are also in strong competition with the Sage HR product suite. HRMS solutions industry-wide are also now facing stiff competition from applications built from the ground up as SaaS—namely Workday; which has changed a great deal of what the market expects from these cloud solutions.

Concluding Remarks

Sage HRMS is an easy-to-use and easy-to-leverage HR software solution, offering multiple integration points for ERP and accounting software (especially Financials) that most mid-size businesses will find appealing. That being said, the payroll and HR software suffers from functionality gaps that most other vendors within the space have had shored up for years (in particular those of international support and social technologies). Further, the "wait-and-see" approach that the company appears to have taken to date regarding emerging technologies has not helped position the company well; especially in the U.S. mid-market—a key area that the company targets.

Though Sage Group has never been on the cutting edge of technological advances within any of its solutions' (save for Accounting); the fact of the matter is that Sage must begin a more aggressive investment approach in R&D that more closely aligns with market demand and not just an acquisitions strategy. The enterprise software market is evolving at an accelerated pace—with new emerging technologies such as cloud, social, mobile, analytics and more—representing significant buy criteria among the Sage target market and industry in general. An R&D strategy that fails to capitalize on disruptive technologies or an acquisition strategy that fails to deliver significant synergistic benefits from the integration of portfolio products will fail to keep pace with the competitive market.

While the company has adopted a reinvigorated approach to customer service (a contributing factor to the company's strikingly low customer churn); some acknowledgement must be given to the nature of the current market—a market that is facing a monumental shift in customer expectations and behaviors. Specifically, it is no longer unheard of for companies to undertake full-scale "rip-and-replace" initiatives for systems that are outdated, outmoded, or simply failing to achieve desired goals. SaaS and cloud solutions make the replacement of outdated legacy systems much more palatable from both cost and effort perspectives. Sage does have some significant competitive advantages to leverage against this constant erosion (including a sizeable and mature cadre of partner programs that operate globally), but those advantages can only last for so long and take the company so far if not also committed to true innovation—the currency of the current age.

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