Financial software firm Sage Ireland has launched a new division in Cork and already hired 27 of the planned 30 new jobs there.
Sage Ireland’s Professional Services Division is located in Little Island Technology Park on the outskirts of Cork City. The new unit will be responsible for the complete suite of accountancy products and solutions, while acting as a training facility in the southern region for all Sage products.
Slightly confusingly, the new division will not offer professional services, as the name might suggest, but rather will target professional services firms – primarily accountancy practices but also engineers and architects – with the full suite of Sage products. The Cork office will include professional accountants, tax consultants, customer support, account managers and research and development staff.
Speaking at the launch in Dublin this morning, Liam Mullaney, managing director of Sage Ireland, said it had “always been my aspiration” to have a branch in Cork as there was significant demand for a local representation from Sage resellers in the region. But he also acknowledged that the decision to locate the office in Cork was determined primarily by the fact that SSAP, a supplier of taxation software to larger accountancy practices and acquired by Sage earlier this year, is located in that city.
Noel O’Regan, former managing director of SSAP and now general manager of the new division, noted that his old company had had intimate knowledge of the accountancy market but lacked the scale to achieve lasting growth in the market or offer an integrated software packages to its accountancy customers. As part of Sage, it could now do both, he said.
He added that the new division employed three qualified consultants (two in tax and one in accountancy) to help support customer implementations. Sage sees accountancy firms as particularly important because of their important software referral role to clients. For this reason, O’Regan predicted that the new division would act as a strong revenue driver for the overall Sage business.
Mullaney said that the new division would form the third pillar of Sage’s business, along with the small business and mid-market units, which are based at Sage’s headquarters in Citywest Business Campus, Co Dublin. He added that Sage had always been a significant player in the professional services market, but its business had never scaled to match revenue growth expectations. He asserted that the creation of a dedicated unit, built on the acquisition of SSAP and another recently acquired software firm, Coretime, would give Sage the critical mass it needed in this sector.
Commenting on the training services provided at the centre, Mullaney said: “At entry level, our software is intuitive but as you go up the range, you need to be trained and qualified in the use of the software.” He revealed that Sage was in discussions with a number of educational institutes about the possibility of launching an accredited training scheme for the firm’s products – creating a Sage Driving Licence, in effect.
Sage Ireland has 220 employees and more than 50,000 customers for its accountancy, business management and customer relationship management software.
By Brian Skelly