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Sage to ‘revolutionise accounting’

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The UK holding company of South Africa’s accounting software leaders has announced a range of apps and partnerships that it says will revolutionise the way accountants operate around the world.

At the Sage Summit in New Orleans this week, Sage continued its quest to use technology to reinvent accounting. Sage is the UK-headquartered enterprise software company that acquired South African market leader Softline and its Pastel Accounting system in 2003.

Among its announcements, it unveiled a major new mobile app for customers of its Sage View business intelligence dashboard in the United States. The launch represents the first in a rolling programme of innovations and partnerships announced by Sage as, it says, “it works with accountants to revolutionise the way they operate around the world”.

The Sage View mobile app enables accountants to harness mobility to serve their customers anytime, anywhere by providing access to predefined alerts and an easy-to-view recap of client key performance indicators (KPIs). This empowers accountants to deepen client relationships, regardless of their location, by providing actionable business advice based on real-time financial data. It is available now to U.S. customers of Sage View in the Google Play and the Apple App Stores.

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Sage announced the launch of the app at its global Sage Summit in New Orleans today along with two significant new technology partnerships with eFileCabinet and ICB Global. These are a few of the many installments included in the Sage roadmap of forthcoming technology innovations, driven by customer demand and rapidly cocreated with accountants. Additional launches slated for this summer include two new apps on Sage Impact, a fully customizable online hub that brings together everything accountants need to run their business.

Speaking from the Sage Summit stage, Jennifer Warawa, global vice president of product marketing for accountants at Sage, explained: “When we launched Sage Impact in May, we set out to review and rethink the changing role of accounting professionals, and we haven’t rested for a moment since.”

“We’re absolutely committed to putting customers first and helping our accountants put their customers first as well. This summer’s partnership and product announcements show that we’re constantly working with our customers to find the best products that suit their needs,” added Warawa. “We know every customer is different, and if a product doesn’t exist that best suits them, we’ll either cocreate one with them or partner with the best in the business to provide a solution. It’s that simple.”

Sage highlighted three major new innovations for accountants to watch out for:

* Sage Match will be a new app on Sage Impact that allows accountants to market their practice online, be matched with new clients and expand their business in a streamlined, easy-to-use format. Sage Match will help accountants improve their market reach and connect with new clients in a targeted way, matching them with small businesses looking for accountants with their specific skills and expertise.

* Sage Value, another new app on Sage Impact, will help accountants to combat the commoditization of their services. It includes a powerful pricing tool to support value-based billing, more productive cost discussions with clients and the ability to measure the profitability of clients to optimize practice performance and revenue.

* Sage Small Firm Payroll is a solution for accountants and bookkeepers in the United States to provide payroll services to their clients using a single, scalable platform, allowing them to grow their practices and be more efficient. Accounting professionals will be able to configure in the solution what parts of the payroll process their clients can access based on the services they provide.

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Huawei goes ultra-premium

Porsche Design and Huawei have launched the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS in South Africa exclusive to MTN and retailing for R 26 459.

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The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS boasts features like the world’s first dual fingerprint design, including an in-screen fingerprint sensor, the world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) processor and Leica triple camera with 40MP image capture.

“After the overwhelming success of the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Pro in South Africa, we now bring you our latest offering, a perfect blend of innovation in a smartphone and luxury design,” said Likun Zhao, Vice President of Huawei Consumer Business Group Southern Africa. “From three-point security feature including facial recognition, rear fingerprint scanner and the new innovative in-screen fingerprint to the Leica triple camera system. it culminates in an unprecedented experience for our customers.”

The device incorporates Porsche Design’s signature design language and Huawei’s breakthrough technology.  The phone has a 6” 2K curved OLED screen and symmetrical look, minimalist feel and 8-edged 3D curved glass body.

High performance is symbolised by the naming of the smartphone: the term “RS” in the world of Porsche motorsport stands for outstanding racing performance.

Huawei provided the following information on The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS benefits and features :

·         The world’s first dual fingerprint scanner for enhanced convenience, allowing users to wake and unlock the device simply, thanks to an in-screen fingerprint sensor. Hover to wake the device, touch to unlock it

·         The winning combination of Leica triple camera with 40MP RGB sensor technology and exceptional photography powered by Master AI. This combination puts effortless, eye-catching photography at the fingertips of those looking to immortalise their favourite moments. Combined with 5 x hybrid zoom, and the world’s first AI image stabilisation on a smartphone camera ensures photography lovers can capture the best shots with exceptional clarity in almost any situation

·         The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS is the first Huawei handset to allow quick wireless charging, making it even easier to keep the phone topped up and ready to go and, thanks to its long lasting battery, users will easily be powered through the busiest of days

·         An ‘intelligent’ smartphone, the powerful AI processor automatically tailors the performance of the phone according to how it is used – constantly learning, understanding and anticipating needs, it is the perfect personal assistant for the pocket

·         256GB of internal storage means those constantly on the go and constantly on their phone can be worry free

·         Dual SLS (super linear system) speakers with DOLBY ATMOS enable users to have a superior experience, with the best immersive surround sound and entertainment on the go

·         Splash, water and dust resistant, which means there is no need to worry about damaging the device in the rain or accidentally dropping it in water

Jan Becker, CEO Porsche Design Group, said: “Both Porsche Design and Huawei seek to imagine and develop products that stand for precision and perfection, intelligent functionality and highly sophisticated design. Our aim was to create an outstanding device that goes one step further. We believe we have reached this goal by taking our partnership to the next level.”

Porsche Design and Huawei have worked in tandem to develop a smartphone that fuses together the two brands’ DNA, wealth of experience in design and technology, industry-leading expertise and exceptional performance. Through the use of colour in the device’s body, software themes and accessories, the new handset is accentuated with Porsche Design’s distinguished aesthetic and purist, minimalist feel.

The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS will be available to purchase exclusively from MTN at R 26 459.

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Cross-channel chat launched

Clickatell has launched a cross-channel live chat service, Touch Go, that transforms omni-channel customer care.

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It enables live chat across a company’s website as well as social platforms (Twitter and Facebook) and mobile apps, bringing customer care and engagement into a single business platform.

“Today’s consumers expect to engage with your brand on the digital channel of their choosing,” says Deon van Heerden, Clickatell Engage CEO and Group CFO. “They want to message your business and instantly have queries resolved, find the information and services they are looking for, without the need for a voice call. Clickatell’s Touch Go makes that happen with the right level of capabilities for businesses of all sizes.”

Businesses can start using Touch Go immediately, with a free Starter option. Touch Go requires no credit card for sign-up and is fully featured with a simple setup process. It offers customisable branding, a unified chat desk business application as well as reports and analytics.

As the business scales up its digital customer care, it can opt-in for the Touch Enterprise offering. Touch Enterprise is designed for scaling up customer care efforts through advanced capabilities including AI driven virtual agents, sentiment analysis, automated workflows, enterprise integrations and in-channel mini-applications.

“Customer care has become a defining factor for sustained business success ” says Nirmal Nair, Clickatell Engage EVP Product & Marketing. “In an ever-increasing mobile native world, customers often choose to interact digitally, but they also expect to be able to reach a human immediately, should they need. Monitoring multiple channels and providing immediate action becomes challenging with siloed deployments. Touch’s unified solution allows businesses of all sizes to provide the customer delight in a simple modular approach.”

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