Sage repositions ACT! - moves from CRM group to Value group

I was aware of Sage's decision to move ACT! from David van Toor's CRM division to Sam Hunter's Value Business.

van Toor presently has North American management responsibility for the Sage North America CRM line which until now have included: Saleslogix, SageCRM and ACT!.

The responsibility for the ACT! product line will now be transitioned to Sam Hunter as per this announcement which was posted on David Van Toor’s blog at the Sage Community Forum for Act!.

What Does moving ACT! to Value Products Mean?

On the surface this may appear to be only an offloading of responsibilities from one busy general manager to another. However Sam Hunter is the GM who supervises the Value Business line at Sage North America.

According to Wayne Schultz, "The Value Business line is widely understood to include those products that are not strategic to Sage North America and therefore would not typically be first in line for research and development or marketing resources.

"We don’t think this signals that ACT! is being downplayed by Sage in any way. It almost certainly will continue to be funded and developed. Rather what is more likely is that instead of receiving further development efforts to integrate ACT! to existing Sage ERP systems it will continue as a standalone CRM product sold primarily through resellers and retail."

But, the big question is what this means to the CRM 2010 project?

The plan of CRM 2010 is to drive interoperability between ACT! and Sage CRM and Sage SalesLogix. This was to enable:
• Users in separate departments to use different products, yet interact through synchronized or shared databases
• A seamless transition from ACT! to Sage CRM or Sage SalesLogix, without requiring a one-way, one-time migration of data

Is it possible that this move signifies a change in this strategy? I guess we'll have to wait for more information to come from Sage on this matter.

All in all, I think ACT! suffers when it's managed in the same way as the big CRM solutions... so it will be interesting to see how Sam Hunter addresses this market. I think we all wish him well.