Acumatica has taken a very aggressive marketing approach over the past couple of years with some crazy stunts, but I guess that’s what you do when you are a small company looking for recognition. Last week at Sage Summit, the annual Sage conference in the US, Acumatica once again took an “in your face” approach by offering free coffee at the event.
This time, however, Sage fought back. Here is the news as told by Bob Scott:
I guess Sage is in a tough position because they know that they have aging products and here is a pesky newcomer on the scene showing current Sage customers a modern alternative. So, Sage decided to threaten Acumatica with a lawsuit. Which of course makes it a news story and gives Acumatica exactly what they were looking for: free press. If Sage actually follows through with this, it’s going to make it an even bigger news story and lend further credibility to the fact that Sage feels very threatened by Acumatica.
In the past couple of years Sage might have viewed Acumatica as an ERP outsider who wasn’t going to amount to much, but now Acumatica continues to gain steam and so the lawyers might be getting involved. That’s basically to say: “welcome to the big league Acumatica.” I’m sure everyone at Acumatica is hoping that this lawsuit goes through because it will probably be one of the least expensive publicity stunts to date for Acumatica.
If the lawyers do get involved, they will of course be limited to the judicial court system. They have no influence in the more important court: the court of public opinion. Even if Sage sues Acumatica and wins, it’s going to cost them a lot more in the court of public opinion, especially here in the US. Why especially here in the US? Because Americans love the underdog. Just look at the American sports stories from the past decade. Even if an athlete commits a terrible crime, if you give it a couple of years, they will find popular support again. Americans love rooting for the underdog, the David over the Goliath. We definitely have a David vs. Goliath story here: the bulky “right hand doesn’t know what left hand is doing” Sage versus the much smaller, much more nimble Acumatica. If Sage does pick a fight, I wonder how much the battle lines will be drawn on generational lines with Generation X on the Sage side and Generation Y on the Acumatica side.
I have a vested interest in this because the ERP product that I know best is Sage 500 ERP. Sage 500 used to be called MAS 500 and it’s an example of one of the many Sage products that has been dying a slow death for the past decade. I’ve been learning Acumatica in my spare time in anticipation of Sage officially dropping Sage 500 in 2017. The sad thing is that MAS 500 was a great product (one of it’s biggest strengths, the customization platform, is also one of Acumatica’s biggest strengths). But Sage mishandled MAS 500 and lost the trust of many in the community. I’m sure that I’m not alone in looking outside the Sage camp for my next ERP product. I also wonder if the Sage 500 customers are the ones that Sage is most concerned about and the primary motivation behind the $10,000 coffee bill.
It will be interesting to see if Sage goes ahead and brings in the attorneys. I honestly hope that they do, because it will help to solidify Acumatica’s place as a contender in the world of mid-market ERP.