An exciting month for business builders: 3 takeaways from Sage Summit U.S.

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I’m thrilled to introduce the new Sage.com! We hope you’ll find the resources, insight and inspiration you need to help you work smarter and keep your business running.  Here at Sage, we are passionate about making our customers’ lives easier so they can focus on the parts of their businesses they love most.

The excitement of this website and blog rollout comes on the heels of our most inspiring event of the year, Sage Summit U.S. A couple of weeks ago, we welcomed thousands of business builders, heard from customers and partners about key elements that are vital to growing their business and gleaned insights from renowned thought leaders, including Olympic gold medalist and notable entrepreneur George Foreman

There was no shortage of learnings from our prospects, customers and partners. I walked away from an exciting week with a few lessons learned myself. Here are my three takeaways:

Never overlook the power of people’s stories

At Sage Summit, we experienced three days hearing from an impressive line-up of entrepreneurs with truly remarkable stories, including George Foreman, Amazon’s AI lead, Hassan Sawaf, a local women entrepreneur and owner of Marketwake, Brook Beach, a true hacker and founder of DoNotPay, Joshua Browder, and many more.  There is so much to learn from these stories of triumph, failure, determination to succeed—even sometimes against all odds – and what happens when we think outside of the box.

Hearing our customers’ inspirational stories is one of my favorite aspects of my role at Sage. At Sage Summit, we shared a story of Black Mermaid’s Bath and Body. Denise, the Founder and CEO, is using Sage to invoice her customers, forecast cash flow, and she is not only surviving in her business but thriving. She taught us that “your ‘why’ has to be stronger than your ‘what’,” which was a truly powerful statement for everyone. The passion she brings to her business, products, and her community is commendable and contagious! We are proud to help Black Mermaid’s Bath and Body focus their energy on sharing their passion for high-quality bath products with their customers.

Bots and AI are in the present, not the future

During Sage Summit U.S., Kriti Sharma and Stephen Kelly presented how our very own accounting chat bot, Pegg, integrates with Alexa. In addition, we heard from Joshua Browder, the founder of DoNotPay, a ‘digital lawyer’ service provider that helps motorists automatically appeal parking tickets. These messages were eye-opening – bots and AI technology provide access to services that we never before imagined.

After hearing these keynotes, exploring the tech zone on our tech show floor, which housed our bot, and talking with customers and partners about how they are embracing technology, it became  clear that companies of all sizes are now exploring how they can leverage this kind of technology to improve their services, products and customer experience. The sooner companies and business builders embrace what’s next in today’s ever-evolving tech world, the quicker and more efficiently they can run their company – and outpace competitors. Watch out for more exciting conversation around bots and AI here!

Atlanta’s business ecosystem is thriving and growing

The third takeaway I have from Sage Summit is how the tech business community is growing rapidly here in our hometown – Atlanta. This past week it was very evident that Atlanta has a thriving business and technology ecosystem, one of which I’m proud Sage is a part. I had the pleasure of meeting with local government leaders, entrepreneurs and even Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to hear more about how Atlanta has become a hotbed for technology innovators and business builders.

And the city’s roots of growing some behemoth brands underlines the attractiveness of building businesses in Atlanta. For example:

  • The small aerial crop dusting company that blossomed into what we know today as Delta Airlines
  • The local pharmacist, John Pemberton, who invented a bubbly drink later dubbed Coca-Cola
  • The serial entrepreneur, Ted Turner, who launched the first 24-hour cable news network known as CNN

Today, Atlanta is a leading tech powerhouse in the Southeast. In the last few years, global companies such as The Home Depot, Panasonic Automotive, AT&T and NCR have established R&D and innovation centers here. Metro Atlanta is the third city in the country with the most Fortune 5,000 headquarters and ranks No. 1 for the fastest growing hotspot for women entrepreneurs. With Georgia Tech almost next door and 14 accelerators and incubators and a thriving start-up scene, Atlanta is the perfect spot for Sage to develop roots and grow.

We were honored to have Mayor Kasim Reed address our attendees on behalf of the city. Mayor Reed also highlighted the growing technology sector in Atlanta, including a new driverless car pilot program which will soon be implemented in the area.

“Atlanta is a city full of innovators and disrupters. We are fertile ground for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, because we are innovating in everything we do,” said Mayor Reed. “We are immensely proud of our partnership with Sage and we look forward to building on that relationship in the future.”

In sum, we’re focused on supporting and sharing the stories of our customers both right here in Atlanta and across the country. Sage Summit U.S. created the ideal environment for us to hear from business builders, our customers, partners and the local community about how they are keeping their businesses relevant. We hope to continue this conversation right here on Sage.com

We have amazing things in store here at Sage – these are exciting times, and we look forward to you coming on this journey with us!

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