Not Your Typical General Session: real-time connection with customers

In the opening general session last night, we kicked off with something a little different.  Instead of the classic, lecture-style seating, the audience sat at tables organized by product line, encouraging users of the same product to interact and talk about their experiences– the interaction didn’t end there!

Kicking off the general session, SBS Marketing EVP Susan Searle asked the audience to keep out their cell phones and blackberries, vs. putting them away, then proceeded to ask the audience a series of questions, to which they texted responses.  Topics ranged from who had been using Sage products the longest (a seller of Hops for 23 years, and another customer at 25 years), to the business that had been operating the longest (an Indian Tribe around for 220+ years), plus one table that has been using Sage products collectively for 262 years!

Next up, Sage Business Solutions president Jodi Uecker-Rust welcomed the audience to Summit and invited them to get the most out of the conference:  learn, build relationships, and make memories.  She also talked about three trends on which Sage is focusing:  mobile workforce, social media, and business intelligence.

Sage is doing some cool things on the mobile workforce front, including the recent announcement of Sage Product Lifecycle Management, with more to come.

Jodi polled the audience regarding social media:  under 40% of the attendees use Twitter, but nearly 80% are on Facebook.  Who knew?   She referenced the various Sage product communities, and talked about how Sage is connecting with customers on Twitter, highlighting a recent interaction with accounting student Andrew Yellis, who says that Sage is, “hip to the funk.”

No matter the interaction, you can’t get much better than that!

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