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Sage Payroll and HR Software Review

3.5 stars Average rating: 3.5 (from 126 votes)

Sage HRMS Sweet Spot

Sage's previously-cited six million clients spread across the globe effectively cover practically every industry vertical. That said, analysis of the Sage client base shows some sectors as being better represented than others; namely: healthcare; construction; manufacturing; accounting; and retail. As to client size, Forrester Research have judged in the past, "Sage HRMS . . . is the leading on-premise HRMS option for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees" and it is fair to say that without ruling out either smaller or larger prospects, Sage does target the lower end of the SMB market (from 50 to 500+ employees).

When you’re looking for a payroll solution, shortlist Sage if:

  • You're a SMB organization with limited scope outside of North America and are seeking an HRMS solution with similar international support reach.
  • You're a growing organization seeking an on-premise HR software solution that provides functionality which is scalable and available in an a la carte module selection.
  • You're an organization already leveraging or planning to leverage additional Sage solutions such as ERP, Financials, or CRM.

Alternative Solutions

Payroll and HR software buyers may wish to look further afield if:

  • You’re looking for a best-of-breed Payroll (and HRMS) software solution.
  • You're an organization that looks to leverage an especially innovative payroll/HR solution.
  • You’re seeking the flexibility and efficiency of a true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or cloud HR solution.
  • You're an organization that needs a solution capable of addressing vertical market issues which fall outside of Sage's purview, target market or industry support.

Sage HRMS Competitors

Given the SMB target market for Sage HRMS, the company’s main competition comes from HR software vendors that are similarly-focused; including Ultimate Software, Microsoft, and Spectrum. But for buyers looking for a broader (more ERP-related) integrated option, Epicor and Infor (including Infor's Lawson) are likely strong competitors with the Sage payroll/HR product suite. For those looking to host their payroll/HR solution off-premises, the raft of SaaS providers also come into play, particularly Workday, which has changed a great deal of what the market has come to expect from cloud solutions.

Concluding Remarks

On the plus side, Sage’s HRMS system is easy and intuitive to use, offers impressive flexibility and customization options, and provides multiple integration points for ERP and accounting software (especially Financials) that most mid-size businesses will not only find appealing but also may not find elsewhere. On the other hand, the software is missing significant functionality (such as international support and social technologies) which other vendors have long since added. Additionally, the company seems to have adopted a the "wait-and-see" strategy to emerging technologies which has damage the Sage reputation, particularly in the North American market.

To date, the only application in which Sage has been on the cutting edge would be in its accounting solutions. If the company is to retain and recover its presence in other markets, a more aggressive investment approach and R&D that is more closely aligned with market demand is required; an acquisitions strategy alone will no longer suffice. In payroll and HR, technologies such as cloud, social, mobile, analytics and so on are emerging as strong purchasing criteria in the Sage target market. Failing to capitalize on these and other disruptive technologies or an acquisition strategy that fails to deliver significant synergistic benefits from the integration of portfolio products will result in Sage falling behind in the competitive market. Particularly in an environment in which SaaS has made it much more financially viable to undertake full-scale "rip-and-replace" initiatives for systems that are outdated, outmoded, or simply failing to achieve desired goals. Sage’s current competitive advantages – including a sizeable and mature cadre of partner programs that operate globally – must be bolstered by giving the market what it wants: an increased commitment to innovation.

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