IT Science: How Sage Improved Workflows Using Low-Code Platform

Sage, which runs a cloud-based payroll and account services cloud, needed to standardize its operations and centralize workflows because it was getting unwieldy after acquiring a list of new companies.


Here’s the latest example of a new occasional feature in eWEEK called IT Science, in which we look at what really happens at the intersection of new-gen IT and legacy systems.

Unless it’s brand new and right off various assembly lines, servers, storage and networking inside every IT system can be considered “legacy.” This is because the iteration of both hardware and software products is speeding up all the time. It’s not unusual for an app-maker, for example, to update and/or patch for security purposes an application a few times a month, or even a week. Some apps are updated daily! Hardware moves a little slower, but manufacturing cycles are also speeding up.

These articles will describe industry solutions. The idea is to look at real-world examples of how new-gen IT products and services are making a difference in production each day. Most of them will be success stories, but there will also be others about projects that blew up. We’ll have IT integrators, system consultants, analysts and other experts helping us with these as needed.

Short and Clean, and with ROI Information

We’ve published similar articles to these in the past, but the format is evolving. We’ll keep them short and clean, and we’ll add relevant links to other eWEEK articles, whitepapers, video interviews and occasionally some outside expertise as we need it in order to tell the story.

An important feature, however, is this: We will report ROI of some kind in each article, whether it’s income on the bottom line, labor hours saved, or some other valued business asset.

This article is about Sage, which runs a cloud-based payroll and account services cloud, needed to standardize its operations and centralize workflows because it was getting unwieldy after acquiring a list of new companies. The company answered eWEEK’s questions in its own words here:

Name the problem to be solved: When its parent company added 22 new companies to its portfolio, Sage’s Payroll Services team needed a way to standardize and unify customer, corporate and payroll data that was trapped within disparate databases, and stored in multiple on-premises and cloud systems.

Describe the strategy that went into finding the solution: Sage Payroll Services knew it needed to find a solution that could aggregate data from nearly any source, and enable the business to drive digital transformation. When the demand for a data consolidation solution presented itself, Senior Director of Technical Operations and Training Joe Scola was confident that no-code platform Quick Base was the right solution. He had used it before his company was acquired by Sage and was impressed by the platform’s flexibility.

Describe how the deployment went, perhaps how long it took, and if it came off as planned: According to Scola, deploying any new system or CRM initiative is a challenge that many organizations fail despite major investments. Because Quick Base is specifically designed for business users without formal coding skills, the company saw a high amount of early user participation, allowing it to quickly roll out this new deployment.

Describe the result, new efficiencies gained, and what was learned from the project: Quick Base has become Sage Payroll Service’s system of record and aggregator of all key business data. It automates workflows to standardize processes across multiple sites and companies, and replaced Goldmine as a more intuitive, scalable CRM. With Quick Base, the team has learned to close process gaps quickly while also ensuring the right governance and controls are in place.

Describe ROI, carbon footprint savings, and staff time savings, if any: Quick Base gave Sage Payroll Services the flexibility it needed to centralize key data, and build applications/workflows that automated 90 percent of the payroll request process. It also led to a 33 percent increase in accounts per rep, a 50 percent reduction in report generation tasks and improved insight into payroll performance and revenue company-wide.

Other reference documents:

Editor’s note:  If you have an IT Science story you’d like to share, email the author at [email protected].

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...