30 years young

We’re celebrating our 30th birthday this year and you can join in the celebrations too by entering our competition to win an iPad or Kindle.

Humble beginnings

1981. The year Greece entered the EU, the first London marathon was run, the first test tube baby was born and The Police had a hit with Every Little Thing She Does is Magic. But while Sting and pals were storming the charts, something even bigger was about to emerge from the North East of England – Sage. Sage 30th Birthday Logo

Three decades on and what began as a brainchild in the backroom of a Newcastle bar, is now an organisation with products and services used by 6.2 million companies worldwide. The name Sage is known in over 100 countries and is a brand which continues to grow day by day, built on talent, hard work and a touch of good luck. Why good luck? Because we were there at the beginning. Although nobody knew it at the time, a computerised revolution was about to take place. Like the Victorian industrialists before us and the nautical explorers before them, we were there at a moment when technological knowhow and mass-market demands were unusually aligned.

Neon eye shadow, big hair and accounts

As the early 1980s progressed, people who’d once known computers to be larger than houses were beginning to appreciate the positive impact these new tools could have on a business. In 1984, Amstrad launched the first desktop PC, paving the way to introduce Sage to ever more customers. The decade passed in a whirl of newly efficient work systems, increasingly accurate accounts, neon eye shadow and big hair. By the time the 1990s dawned business owners knew that computers were here to stay. However, few had foreseen how the internet would totally transform how we process, share and consume information.

The Sage journey has run parallel to the computerised revolution. Like the geeky kid at the back of a physics class, we’ve been paying attention, updating our products and services so our customers can enjoy complete assurance.

Understanding business

Over the last 30 years we’ve dedicated ourselves to understanding the businesses that use our software as thoroughly as possible.  We’ve moved with the times, monitoring customers’ changing requirements and responding accordingly to provide greater efficiency, more control and a software that is simpler to navigate. Your can see this in our software and services like our latest release of Sage 50 Accounts, with its free mobile app or Sage One which offers online accounting to start-ups.

We have a reputation for being an organisation businesses can trust; a name with both the knowledge to solve technical issues and the experience to give valuable business advice. Last year, we conducted 700,000 business conversations with our accounts customers alone.

And it’s not just our customers who appreciate our work.  We’ve were recently shortlisted for the Software Satisfaction Awards 2011, which grades organisations on four key areas: reliability, functionality, value for money and ease of use. In that pub, 30 years ago, as Sting’s voice boomed from the jukebox and the first ambitions for what Sage would become were jotted on a beer mat, those may well have been the exact attributes we’d have wanted to achieve.

Sarah Woods, Small Business Team