Rounding-up of highlights from Datel Connect 2019

Thursday 20th June saw Datel once again host our biannual Connect event at Chesford Grange Hotel in Warwick. Connect 2019 is the biggest conference, exhibition and networking dinner organised by a Sage Business Partner in the UK, with a number of senior Sage and Datel executives in attendance.

The aim of the day was to provide delegates with the actions they need to achieve their business ambitions. With 64% of delegates saying the event had helped them focus on the next steps to action their business ambitions, and 16% of delegates already creating a new plan to put into action since the event just over a month ago - we consider the day to be a great success!


Here are the delegates’ top five highlights from our event:

1. Networking Opportunities

The first thing to strike the delegates entering Datel Connect was the buzz of conversation. With over two hundred delegates in attendance, people from all areas of the Datel business were out in full force to speak to attendees, with partners exhibiting a range of their complementary products.  

We brought together Datel customers of Sage 200, Sage 1000 and Sage X3, and also welcomed delegates from companies who are currently evaluating Datel and Sage solutions for their business. With numerous break out sessions, delegates had huge opportunities to network with other customers, as there’s no better way for senior leaders to gain inspiration than to talk with one another and learn what other businesses are doing.

“I found the most beneficial element of the day was the interaction with other customers, and hearing how they had partnered and used Datel’s technology” - Adam Barwick, Chief Technology Officer at Ralawise.

2. Hearing from the experts

Our Executive Chairman at Datel, Alan Simpson, kicked off the event by offering insight into how the evolving digital landscape has shaped many of the chosen topics for discussion in the conference programme. Sabby Gill, Sage’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the UK and Ireland, followed to provide an informative update on Sage’s current and future plans. He emphasised the company’s commitment to customers for life, across Sage 200cloud, Sage 1000 and Sage X3.

Reinforcing the overarching theme of ‘action’ for this year’s event, delegates heard from Sage’s Executive Vice President of Partners, Accountants and Alliances, Jennifer Warawa. During this session, she shared how businesses can build a strategy to incorporate evolving skills and technology, as well as how driving digital efficiency can create a competitive advantage.

Delegates also had the opportunity to attend one of the two-panel sessions with a range of Datel, Sage and industry expert panelists: ‘Business transformation in a digital world’, and ‘The future of ERP technology’. With 78% of delegates confirming they found the panel sessions insightful, the key takeaways included the benefits and challenges that are associated with embracing business change and international growth, as well as customer real-life examples.

“I liked the interaction with Alan, Sabby and Jennifer at a customer level, as this is very rare but a great thing to see in business! - Rob Driscoll, Production Manager at Mini-Cam

3. Spoilt for choice

The day was strategically structured with delegates invited to attend up to three action sessions throughout the day, specifically tailored to meet their business requirements. As a result, 95% of delegates rated the format of the event as excellent or very good, as they were able to tailor their agenda to make it the most beneficial to their unique business requirements.

Delegates praised the eighteen action sessions, as both long-term and new customers were able to immerse themselves in the world of Sage, learn from expert product specialists and gain an understanding of the business solutions that mattered most to their business ambitions.

4. Technology insights at Achievement Exhibition

The Achievement Exhibition was split across four areas, with delegates visiting the areas to speak with experts and product specialists in-between attending the seminar sessions. At the Datel Connect Lounge, delegates met with our Customer Support Services and Customer Delivery Services team, to learn more about project implementation, development and integration. At the Fusion Connect Hub, delegates had the opportunity to learn more about our Fusion products that enhance core Sage solutions and interact with the latest innovations from our R&D team.

Sage experts were also on hand at the Sage Connect Hub to demo Sage X3, Sage 200cloud and Sage 1000 with delegates new to Sage or looking to upgrade their system. The final area was the Partner Connect Zone which provided delegates with the opportunity to meet with a number of partners who were showcasing solutions that extend and enhance Sage solutions.

Topics of conversation for delegates ranged from first principles, such as choosing an ERP solution, to more advanced subjects like updates on the latest Sage and Datel Fusion suite releases, as well as technology trends like virtualisation and artificial intelligence.

“Artificial intelligence, its prospects and limitations were a key topic of conversation during Connect 2019” - Tim Gibbs, Production Manager at CJ Wildbird Food

5. Inspirational dinner speaker

The day ended with a jam-packed networking dinner, where the admirably driven Cathy O’Dowd gave an incredibly inspiring speech on her mission to climb Mount Everest. Delegates stated the pre-dinner was “relevant, fantastic and highly inspirational” and left them feeling empowered to action their business ambitions, with 84% ranking it as excellent and the remaining 16% as very good.

“I can’t praise the choice and the content of the pre-dinner speaker enough!” - Michele Duford, Business Partner Manager at Sicon Ltd

See you next year!

Executive Chairman Alan Simpson provided a round-up from the event: “The feedback we have received has been fantastic! Connect 2019 has been our best bi-annual event to date, with 86% of attendees stating the event met or exceeded their expectations. We hosted a wide-range of sessions and panels to ensure our varied audience found the day a rewarding use of their time and were provided with actions they need to achieve their business ambitions. Our team also brought together the expertise from the world of Sage and we know that all delegates made the most of the networking opportunities to speak with other customers and product experts.”