Sage produce business software and services. The range includes software to manage business' finances, run the payroll, manage customer and supplier relationships, plan the business and support your HR function. In the UK, they provide software and services to over 760,000 small and medium-sized businesses.
This software ranges from accounts, payroll, forecasting and business intelligence to customer relationship management, e-business and help for start-ups.
Sage's services include Excel Support, HR Advice, Health and Safety Advice and training courses.
It is the world's third largest supplier of enterprise resource planning software (behind Oracle and SAP), the largest supplier to small businesses, and has 6.1 million customers worldwide.
Paul Walker joined the company by accident 20 years ago. Born and raised in Sheffield, he qualified as an accountant with Arthur Young, “doing bits and bobs to do with computers”. He soon felt the urge to try something more entrepreneurial.
In 1984 Walker was introduced to David Goldman, who had spent 20 years running a printing business in Newcastle. He had seen the business potential of a book-keeping software package created by academics and students at Newcastle University.
That's right, Sage was set up on the back of the intellectual property of a state-subsidised body.
Sage’s co-founders included Paul Muller, an American computer specialist who worked on the Apollo moonshots. Muller set up a computer business while lecturing on astronomy at Newcastle University.
He worked with students including Graham Wylie, who created the first piece of Sage software. Muller became Sage’s technical director, leaving the marketing of the business to Goldman.
Paul Walker joined Sage in 1984 and was appointed Chief Executive in 1994. He stepped down with a reported £21M exit settlement in October this year. He had earlier join the boards of Experian and Diageo.
Just before he left Sage, on 18th October, Paul Walker signed an open letter calling on the Chancellor to continue the coalition government's plans to reduce the public finance deficit in one term, plans which included swingeing cuts on the poorest members of society and which risk pushing this country into a double-dip recession, the likes of which has not been seen since the last time the tories took power and tanked the economy in the early 80's.
For this reason Paul Walker is considered a fully signed up member of the Big Business Society and we urge people to boycott all Sage products and services.
This is an easy one to boycott unless you run your own business or are an accountant, as Sage is a standard accountancy tool. There are however alternatives available including the aforementioned Oracle and SAP.