Sage has launched an interface that allows developers to integrate their applications with its new online platform for micro-businesses, Sage One.
Launched in January 2011, Sage One is the business application daddy's attempt to woo sole traders and start-ups that prefer to carry out their accounts and payroll on the go and pay a monthly subscription.
The vendor is now attempting to lure in developers to build on its application programming interface (API) for Sage One, which it unveiled last week.
Talking to ChannelWeb, head of Sage One Nick Goode stressed that – unlike Sage's wider developer programme - there is no fee to join.
"We have been overwhelmed by the response so far as we have had close to 100 partners sign up in the first week," said Goode, adding that developers of CRM, e-commerce, timesheet, hourly billing and point-of-sale applications top his wish list.
Sage One developer partners will receive support from Sage's developer team and help with joint marketing. They can also earn referral fees by signing up to Sage's parallel referral programme for the product.
"The key thing is managing the partners," explained Goode. "It is important that we get a great experience for partners so they can execute properly."
Goode argued that online accounting is coming into vogue as more Brits opt to set up their own firms. Sage One will provide an alternative to Sage's existing desktop offerings such as Sage Instant Accounts and Instant Payroll, he said.
"Increasingly, start-ups are being formed by people used to working online to do their banking and social media," he said. "For people who want to work flexibly from anywhere, online is obviously preferable and it is subscription based, which enables them to manage their cashflow.
"Two thousand companies are created in the UK every day, and this is a 1.5 million target market."
Although Goode admitted the online accountancy software market is fragmented, he argued that Sage is a sound option for developers due to its pedigree and the quality of its support.
"We also provide 24/7 telephone support to customers in the UK, which is key for start-ups that need piece of mind," said Goode, adding that "multiple hundreds" of UK firms are now adopting Sage One per month.
The API is initially available only for the accounts product line of Sage 100, Goode added.
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