Sage has launched a mid-market offensive using the channel as its primary weapon, and will split into two separate divisions to give it greater focus.
At its Sage Visions 2003 event last week, the financial software giant admitted that it had taken its eye off the ball, and announced that its two new divisions will focus on both SME business and mid-market growth.
The new mid-market division will concentrate on specific product lines including CRM, business intelligence and reporting, aimed at vertical markets.
Sage has also appointed 'channel champion' Nick Brown, who previously worked for Microsoft's Business Solutions (MBS), and will launch its new Mid-Market Solution platform.
"We can no longer afford to sit back; we have to raise our game, push our message and deliver what mid-market customers and channel partners want," said Paul Stobart, managing director of Sage UK.
He added that the vendor will be targeting specific verticals such as manufacturing, construction and retail, and will be paying more attention to the channel.
"There have been big changes in our competition. Microsoft and SAP are determined, and that has woken us up. We have big, bad, ugly, gorilla-like competitors out there and a lot of work to do," he said.
Jon Hughes, director, authorised partner group, at Microsoft, said: "MBS is well established in the mid-market and we will continue to invest.
"A priority is our partnering strategy, both in terms of helping existing partners and recruiting new ones."
Tim Osman, head of SMB at SAP UK and Ireland, said: "Sage will always be a major UK competitor, but mainly in the SME sector rather than the mid-market.
"But as a business grows and becomes more complex I believe we do have an advantage in terms of product range and ability to implement over Sage."
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