A look back on 2017 - impressive numbers and inspiring events

A look back on 2017 - impressive numbers and inspiring events

As Datel starts another busy year, our Executive Chairman, Alan Simpson, takes a look back at 2017 and what our team of 174 employees delivered for our valued customers.

It has been incredibly pleasing for me to reflect on what Datel achieved last year, and here are some very impressive numbers: 32,505 support tickets closed, 202 attendees at Connect 2017, 77 implementations of Sage, 65 new customers and 24 free online training courses delivered. What is more important than the numbers is that I know how closely we worked with our customers to help them gain real benefits in their businesses.

As we move forward into 2018, we will continue to work closely with our customers to understand their needs so we can assist and support them in their business journey.

Our highlights for 2017 demonstrate the scale and manner in which we operate, and I would like to share more detail on my top five picks:

Alan Simpson

98% satisfaction achieved in Support and Managed Services

Our support department is revered throughout the Sage ecosystem. We now have 43 support consultants who are all accredited to the highest Sage standards and, to put it simply, are brilliant in the way they interact with and help our 900 Sage ERP customers.

During 2017, we totally refreshed our Managed Service offering. We now have a growing subset of our support customers who are benefiting from this enhanced service.

We are open in publishing the feedback for our support services.

Each month, we publish our achievements against our demanding Service Level Agreements (SLAs). In 2017, we received nearly 6,000 surveys from customers who gave us high scores in all our areas of measurement: initial response, update frequency, technical knowledge and closure feedback. When we combine these to get an overall level of satisfaction, we achieved an incredible average of 98%.

As a live monitor of our service, we ask customers when they are closing a support ticket to give us feedback on the consultant they dealt with, their attitude, technical knowledge etc. These scores and comments are published live on the Datel website. Take a look: I know you will be impressed with the feedback.

65 new customers, 77 'go lives' and 72 upgrades

Whether we are working with existing customers or new prospects, we put a huge amount of effort into understanding their requirements. We take the time to demonstrate and explain the software and then follow our proven implementation methodology to ensure the project delivers the benefits we agreed upon.

Following this approach, we welcomed 65 new customers to Datel in 2017. Most of these businesses purchased new Sage 200 or Sage X3 software. The remainder moved their system support to Datel from another Sage Partner, and we are proud that they are so impressed with Datel’s services.

To help you understand why so many companies are choosing Datel, we published deal announcements from companies such as BusinessWatch Group, Barrettine, Schloetter, James Troop and GM Coachwork. A common theme stands out: companies are investing in new software from Datel, a partner they trust, to support the growth of their business.

In 2017, 77 businesses went live on a new Sage system, and 72 customers upgraded their existing system. We also implemented countless add-on solutions from Datel’s Fusion range and trusted third-party authors, which delivered functionality to help enhance and make the most of their systems.

Connect 2017 - 202 attend the Sage event of 2017

Connect 2017 and the Inspiring Business Awards dinner were my personal highlights of 2017. We brought together 202 users and potential users of Sage with experts from Sage, Datel and 14 of our trusted third-party authors.

Nick Goode, Sage’s Executive Vice President of Product Management, provided insight into Sage’s global strategy and explained how this is supported by product roadmaps. He stressed that Sage wants to offer choice: customers can remain on their existing products or upgrade to Sage’s newer, exciting options when it suits them. Alex Watson from Sage People explained how the new Sage People application will help many of our customers in the areas of HR, recruitment and talent development.

It was a pleasure to mix with delegates and understand their issues and aspirations - the buzz throughout the day was amazing.

In the evening, we launched our Inspiring Business Awards. The winners of the four categories were Quanta Dialysis Technologies, SVM Global, Seal It Services Ltd (t/a Bond It) and Nichols PLC.

You can understand why these customers stand out by viewing videos on our coverage of the award.

Maintaining Sage accreditations - 287 days invested in training

I am proud of our staff at Datel. We have the largest and most able team of Sage experts in the UK. We are committed to ensuring that they are trained to the highest level and are empowered to deliver exceptional customer service for our customers.

It is part of Datel’s DNA that we will always look after and be honest and open with our customers.

Our teams keep growing. During 2017 we added six new Support Consultants, two Application Consultants and three Project managers. We continue to invest in our R&D team, which now has 12 ‘gurus’ developing the Datel Fusion add-on range.

We will continue to invest to set Datel apart from the Sage Partner community.

Helping customers get more from their systems - 24 free online training courses

For years, Datel has delivered free online training for customers. We updated these courses in 2017 to include the latest versions of software from across our portfolio. First Friday tutorials are held on the first Friday of each month, and are designed to help new system users get up to speed or help experienced users get that little bit extra from their solution.

In 2017, First Friday topics for Sage 200 and Sage 1000 ranged from stock control, sales ledger, and cashbook to projects, sales order processing and system administration. We also understand that not everyone is available for each First Friday. To ensure our training materials are available to all our customers, First Friday courses are stored on Datel’s online Customer Portal for easy and convenient access.

In 2018, the First Friday family will continue to grow with the debut of First Friday training for Sage X3 users on February 2nd - exclusive to customers.

Continuing into 2018 with Sage and our customers

As 2018 gets underway, we have a busy year planned at Datel. We are focused on getting our new and existing customers live on their purchased solutions, continuing to deliver exceptional support and launching new products from our R&D team. We also have a calendar packed with events and training to bring our customers together with people from Sage and Datel.

I am privileged to be joining Sage’s top-50-performing partners in the world at this year’s Sage CEO Circle. This event helps me understand what the leading Sage Partners are providing to their customers and gives me direct access to Sage Group’s global executives. It provides the ideal opportunity to build relationships that I can call upon to help Datel and, more importantly, our customers.

2017 was successful and impressive. We look forward to working with you, welcoming more customers and staff, and encourage you to join us in our packed programme of events.