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Sage Software Strengthens Channel Commitment With New Educational & Marketing Programs to Help Partners Fuel Business Growth and Save Money

Sage Partner University - 100/100 in 2006 - Saving Money With Sage Among New Programs That Give More Partners Greater Opportunit

DALLAS, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 05/17/05 -- At Insights 2005, its third annual business partner conference, Sage Software (formerly Best Software) announced today new educational, training, marketing and money saving programs designed to help fuel business partner growth and profitability in the coming year. The Sage Partner University, the 100/100 in 2006 program, Saving Money with Sage, and more are being highlighted this week at the company's Insights 2005 business partner conference, which drew more than 3,000 attendees to four days of strategic sales, marketing, technology and product sessions.

"Sage recognizes that every business partner is different, so no one program is going to help every partner achieve great results," said Taylor Macdonald, executive vice president channel and sales operations with Sage Software. "With the mix of education, promotional and cost saving programs we've added to our existing programs, we're giving partners large and small, established and start up, the tools and education to create and maximize sales opportunities and set their companies up for continued growth."

The Sage Partner University -- Education & Training

The creation of the Sage Partner University tops a feature-rich list of new training and educational opportunities designed to increase revenues for business partners. The University includes the newly created Sage Consulting Academy; expanded programs within the Sage Sales and Sage Leadership Academies; key eLearning modules; a comprehensive new course on Managing Salespeople and two new boot camp series: the Sage Alliance Boot Camp and the Sage Project Management Boot Camp.

The new Sage Consulting Academy offers a progressive series of courses designed to help business partners fuel dramatic growth through high-revenue, high-profit consulting and service offerings.

Managing Salespeople is a comprehensive course newly added to the Sage Sales Academy that covers techniques and tools for organizing, motivating and managing a successful sales force.

The Sage Leadership Academy is a series of three retreats over the course of a year for business partners interested in creating a process of continuous improvement in their organizations. Approximately 15 partners will be selected to participate in the series and become the Sage Leadership Academy's class of 2006. The 75 previous graduates of the Academy account for 40% of Sage President's Circle, an honor given to the top producing business partners each year.

Also new are a series of eLearning modules that extend flexible educational opportunities to business partners from the convenience of an office or home. Modules cover topics from within all the various disciplines in the Sage Partner University, and as such, new modules are continually developed. The new Alliance Boot Camp instructs partners on how to create mutually beneficial relationships with other partners, CPAs, law firms and technology firms. The new Project Management Boot Camp focuses on the fundamentals of project management for all software implementation projects.

100/100 in 2006 Program

For the second year in a row, Sage will infuse $1,000,000 into 100 select business partner organizations with the 100/100 in 2006 program. Available to Mid Market business partners, the 100/100 in 2006 program's goal is to add 100 field-trained sales executives to the existing channel in 100 days. Selected partner organizations will receive $10,000 each for recruiting, hiring and training top sales executives, and to subsidize the cost of a lead generation campaign, making the program ideal for established business partners committed to growing revenue and profits.

Fast Track 100 Program

Designed to help small business partner organizations make the leap to a formalized sales and marketing strategy focused on new customer acquisition, Fast Track 100 offers sales and consulting training, lead generation support, partner benchmarking, mentoring relationships, and support for developing a custom sales and marketing plan. Business partners receive $8,000 value in direct training and service benefits for the $5,000 program investment. In addition, business partners can fully recoup their $5,000 investment through credits earned by new customer acquisitions.

Saving Money with Sage

Ideal for virtually any partner, Saving Money with Sage extends corporate resources and leverages strategic vendor relationships to pass along significantly lower negotiated rates for products and services critical to partner success. Sage recently added 17 new offerings such as wireless and teleconferencing phone services, trade show booth rentals, leasing, advertising, web site development, shipping and hardware purchases.

Fueling Business Growth with Marketing Programs

Sage Channel Marketing Programs have always focused on building partner success, and several programs have been added to simplify and enhance marketing performance. Recently introduced are new turnkey programs to help business partners market more efficiently, including Direct Mail on Demand, Turnkey List program and seminar kits. Each turnkey program provides automated marketing tools, including pre-designed and customizable templates, presentation content, scripts, planning checklists and more, all designed to give business partners instant access to proven, successful marketing programs.

Also new to Channel Marketing Programs is a monthly educational Web series, Marketing 101. Marketing 101 is a two pronged educational resource that teaches business partners the value of proactive, targeted marketing programs while familiarizing partners with the extensive online marketing resources Sage makes available. These webcasts cover fundamentals to more advanced marketing concepts and often include guest presenters for expert coverage of specific topic matter.

About Sage Software (formerly Best Software)

Sage Software offers leading business management products and services that support the needs, challenges and dreams of more than 2.4 million small and mid-sized customers in North America. Its parent company, The Sage Group plc (London: SGE.L), supports 4.5 million customers worldwide. For more than 25 years, Sage Software has delivered easy-to-use, scalable and customizable applications through its portfolio of leading brands, including Abra, ACCPAC, ACT!, BusinessWorks, CPASoftware, FAS, MAS 90, MAS 200, MAS 500, MIP, Peachtree, SalesLogix, and Timberline Office, among many others. For more information, please visit the Web site at www.bestsoftware.com/moreinfo or call (866) 308-BEST.

© 2005 Best Software, Inc. All rights reserved.

Press Contacts:

John Schoutsen
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Sage Software
(905) 629-7959, x301
john.schoutsen@bestsoftware.com

Stephen Moore
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Sage Software
(949) 790-2040
stephen.moore@bestsoftware.com

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