Archive for the Session Summaries Category

Absence/PTO and Benefits Management: Keeping Costs in Check

Posted in Session Summaries on November 12, 2009 by Monisha

The SMB Employer’s Agenda track wrapped up this afternoon with a session on “Taxable and Non-Taxable Fringe Benefits,” presented by Hope Williams, CPP, from the American Payroll Association (APA).

Tom Tillman, director of product management for Sage Employer Solutions, says, “A good example of the value of this year’s HR/payroll-focused agenda for Summit comes from today’s peer-to-peer roundtable with several of the third-party industry experts who served as session speakers. Customers discussed several cases encompassing benefits, absence, wage and hour compliance, and payroll. Many typical employer challenges involve multiple HR and payroll aspects such as these.”

Speaking of absence, Liz Hickok, a director of HR for Sage, presented “Boosting Productivity & Profits with Effective Absence Management & PTO Reporting” to Sage Summit attendees this morning.

 She discussed a seven-step process for effectively managing absence, plus offered tips and tricks for keeping PTO (paid-time-off) liability as low as possible. One tip: Employ vacation caps to keep liability in check

 Liz also showed attendees how to create an action plan to efficiently manage absence and associated costs.

On Tuesday morning, Michael McKenna, president of Partners Benefit Group Inc., presented “Strategically Controlling Employee Benefit Costs.” He first explained the reality employers are facing:

  • There have been more than eight years of double-digit increases in regular medical benefit costs due to such factors as rising prescription drug costs, aging Baby Boomers, advancements in medical technology, and more.
  • The average traditional dental health plan is marked up more than 70 percent, with ~$480 in collected annual premiums per employee and only ~$280 in actual expense per employee.

Michael then dedicated the session to showing attendees how to create benefit plans that will allow them, as employers, to “gain an advantage on the positive aspects of [their] employee base.” He stressed the importance of employers and employees “sharing the risk.”


Sage Healthcare customers wrap successful week of education, networking

Posted in Session Summaries on November 11, 2009 by Monisha

This morning’s closing session for the Sage Healthcare general attendees featured Mike Mosquito, Christopher Kunney, and Denise Hines from HealthNovations, and James Mathews, a vice president of business development from Sage. The popular topic was “Economic Stimulus: The Path to Meaningful Use.” The capacity crowd learned more about the steps a practice will need to take to achieve meaningful use.

After the session, winners were drawn for two paintings created during the opening general session, as well as a variety of valuable prizes from Sage and our partners. Prizes included a Wii and Wii Fit combo prize, a $100 AmEx gift card from Stratus, an iHome from Fujitsu, and a Motorola Flip camera from Alpha II.

Social CRM Session Highlights

Posted in Session Summaries with tags , , , on November 11, 2009 by ryanzuk

Brent Leary presented Social CRM trends during his morning session at Sage Summit today. Brent is a CRM industry analyst, advisor, author and blogger. His presentation covered a variety of useful advice for small and mid-sized businesses looking to incorporate social media into their marketing and sales strategies.

Brent discussed a logical way to think about social networking: create compelling content that, through sharing, sparks conversations on the social Web – these conversations create friends, and some of these friendships over time can turn into meaningful business relationships based on common interests, needs and goals.

He also explained that communities – and how they openly share and benefit from information – are what drive Social CRM. These communities help give traditional CRM a Social LIFT – Lift being his acronym for Listening, Inspiring, Facilitating and Transforming. You participate in such activities to create and retain long lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with customers, regardless of what social media tools or technologies you are using. (“Social networking isn’t about the technologies, it’s about people connecting and conversing.”)

Then Brent compared the Obama and McCain presidential campaigns’ uses of social media. The Obama campaign, as many are aware, exhibited the most thorough and innovative uses of social media. For example, Obama’s campaign officially made about 2,000 YouTube videos for sharing which encouraged an additional 442,000 citizen-generated You Tube videos. The campaign also developed an iPhone app which guided users to contact and influence their voting friends in the most heavily contested battleground states. And the rest, as they say, is history. Brent co-authored a book, Barack 2.0, with more specific details about how social media participation played a key role during the 2008 presidential voting season.

“If you want to improve customer experience, facilitate a great community experience” was the key theme resonating throughout Brent’s presentation. He talks about this and other social media concepts regularly on his Social CRM Blog and Sage will have a replay link from the live Webcast of today’s presentation available soon on the Sage SalesLogix Community at

Session Summary: PR 101 – Key things you need to know

Posted in Session Summaries on November 11, 2009 by Alex K

This afternoon, two PR managers from my team presented a session on Public Relations with tips on engaging with the media and improving company image. Topics included how to identify the right publications to target, the do’s and don’t of writing news releases, interview speaking tips, leveraging social media and much more.

As an example, they listed ground rules for engaging with the media:

  • Know media’s business; know your audience
  • Read their publications; read their stories
  • Know their audience: consumer, business, specialty
  • Build relationships

Overall, it was a fun and interactive session!

Healthcare EDI educational sessions a hit

Posted in Session Summaries on November 11, 2009 by Monisha

If you’ve followed the healthcare debate at all, you’ve heard how difficult it can be for physician practices to collect on a patient’s insurance – even for covered services. The complexities of coding, different insurance carrier requirements and more all conspire to cause a claim to come back DENIED – in which case the practice must start all over again.

 Sage and our partners, including Emdeon Business Services, offer a variety of tools that help the practice administrator or billing staff reduce the number of denied claims, maximize their claims success and reduce their days in accounts receivable.

 For example, Mark Martin, Senior Director for EDI product management, and Emdeon hosted an educational session on a free service, Vision for Claim Management. This service gives practice professionals detailed insight into their claims status at every step of the process.

 Other popular sessions include Revenue Cycle Management for Community Health Centers (CHC), EDI Update on Regulatory Issues and Migrating to Sage Intergy and Sage Intergy EHR.


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

Posted in Session Summaries on November 11, 2009 by aimeeertley

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!

Gupta Keynote: Women at the family’s healthcare “gatekeepers”

Posted in Session Summaries on November 11, 2009 by Monisha

CNN senior medical correspondent for health and medicine, Sanjay Gupta, MD, delivered the keynote address at this morning’s Sage Summit breakfast. 

Sage customers packed the Georgia Ballroom at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta despite the early hour. The chief operating officer of Sage’s healthcare division, Lindy Benton, introduced the speaker. 

Dr. Gupta shared some of the lessons he’s learned in his dual surgeon-journalist career – the most significant of which, he said, is the importance of communication in the patient-doctor relationship.

 Dr. Gupta also talked about the relationship between our long-term health and the choices we make. He pointed out that America’s average dinner plate size – in a country where obesity is rampant – is twice that of the average dinner plate size in Japan. He suggested following the Japanese tradition of hara hachi bu – eating until 80% full and leaving 20% for hunger. He also suggested consuming 7 different colored foods each day – and said that jelly beans don’t count!

 Other suggestions from a man that was considered for the Surgeon General position:

  • The human body was made to move, and upper body training is important for health.
  • For a longer life, maintain a sense of purpose, or ikigai, as they call it in Okinawa.
  • Taking supplements? Vegetables are better. 

After the general session, Dr. Gupta met with some Sage physician customers and healthcare practice professionals for an exclusive small-group event.


Dr. Gupta