Sage’s inspired digital transformation journey.
How Sage connected proactive planning, strategically-aligned work and accelerated collaboration to transform its marketing team.
12,000+ employees worldwide
Newcastle Upon Tyne, GB
Connecting a globally dispersed marketing team
Connect 22 globally dispersed teams into one system to increase productivity and reduce frustration
Standardise work processes to drive efficiencies and increase content velocity
Align work execution to strategic high-value initiatives to reach business goals
Ability to consistently track performance and report on KPIs
A marketing system of record to improve productivity and quality of work
A single source for assets and content with more than 137,000 uploads and 4,000 users
Integrated martech stack
2,000 hours saved through automated , integrated workflows
Enhanced tracking, reporting and analytics
Global software company Sage is headquartered in the UK and has been supporting over three million customers with accounting, finances, payments, operations and people offerings since 1981. Sage has been consistently focused on providing those customers — small and medium businesses around the world — with the latest solutions so their organisations can thrive.
Today, Sage is considered a respected technology thought leader largely due to its ability to successfully transform itself into the world’s third largest supplier of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
“Sage’s business goals are really looked at three ways. We look at customer success, colleague success and innovation. That drives everything we do,” says Paul Tasker, VP of Marketing Operations at Sage.
The company’s persistent growth and success, however, came with its challenges and led to rapid implementation of internal technology tools and processes over the years. Eventually Sage’s marketing organisation found itself being held back by inefficiencies and struggled to meet the increasing demands of the business.
“We had multiple systems being deployed in different ways with different processes. Nothing was connected. We were working hard but actually completing the work was difficult and it meant we weren’t satisfying our customers the way we wanted to,” says Tasker.
Tasker’s team took on the initiative to transform the department into a world-class marketing organisation. They started by turning to Adobe Workfront. Today, Sage has a single view of its work — a marketing system of record built for the enterprise.
“Our investment in Workfront has been beyond worth it because our main processes are now consistent and documented across the globe. So many marketing organisations function in the silos we used to work in, so it’s massive to have reporting and visibility in a central location. Workfront provides us with one source of truth,” says Tasker.
So, how did Sage’s marketing team transform from siloed tools and systems to a centralised work structure based on visibility, collaboration and content at scale?
Executing on high-value strategic work starts with visibility
It’s impossible to plan things out and pivot based on data if there’s no real way to define strategic objectives. That’s why having visibility is so often discussed as a milestone once it’s achieved. It means everyone is on the same page and can see the organisation’s vision, while also possessing the confidence to adapt to changing priorities.
Sage needed to be able to align everyday work to strategy in order to maximise high-value initiatives and reach business goals. Prioritisation, reporting and dashboards in Workfront all paved the way for marketing to achieve visibility.
“Our processes are now consistent and documented across the globe. So many marketing organisations function in the silos we used to work in, so it’s massive to have reporting and visibility in a central location. Workfront provides us with one source of truth.”
VP, Marketing Operations, Sage
Measuring performance is also key for executives tasked with outlining strategic objectives. “Our leadership team can look at dashboards we have set up that show all the work happening at any given time. Our Workfront dashboards are integrated with our other reporting tools, so leaders have all the information they need to understand project performance,” says Marketing Operations Manager, Yvonne Miaoulis.
Of course, being able to report on performance also creates visibility into both wins and areas for improvement. “Being able to report on individual performance allows us to understand where there are bottlenecks and challenges”, Paul comments.
Marketing’s transformation in this area is inspiring, as they’ve used Workfront features to move out of silos and into a strategically-centred way of working. From leadership to employees, they are sharing a vision and identifying specific work that needs to be done to make it a reality.
Planning with agility and purpose
Armed with transparency into the relationship between deliverables and strategy, the marketing team turned to resource management. Workfront’s Workload Balancer enables Sage to plan, not just once a year or quarter, but continuously.
“Before, we couldn’t plan capacity,” says Miaoulis. “We now have the ability to analyse ‘what-if’ scenarios and ask the right questions about demand, budget and resources. And because Workfront allows us to see what we are delivering, we’re able to find data-driven answers to those types of questions before making decisions.”
Sage can visualise potential budget, costs, people power and more—all without having to commit to these scenarios—allowing real planning in real time, based on actual team data. Marketing can now create a concise, coherent and flexible plan that is in line with evolving business objectives, making the team more resilient and agile in an age where the need to pivot seamlessly reigns supreme.
“One source of truth really helps. Workfront can support us on our final steps of our digital transformation by helping us to integrate our processes better than we had before. The trust that our leadership team gives us now is based on the fact that they can understand the return on our investment. That gives them a lot more confidence that marketing is focused on the right work.”
VP, Marketing Operations, Sage
Improved collaboration with MarTech integrations
Sage’s marketing functions span the globe, which translates into about 1,000 active Workfront users and around  projects created every month. Rather than having everyone learn individual martech tools when it’s not necessary for their role, the marketing organisation uses Fusion, Workfront’s integration platform, to save time and create clarity while consistently representing data.
Marketing-related requests are originated, routed and fulfill through Workfront automation. By integrating and automating important business tasks, the Creatives and Marketers stay informed and work stays on track.
Connecting work through Fusion allows it to move freely between single point systems while remaining accessible in one place. “We use Fusion to connect Workfront to a lot of our other software in the MarTech stack,” says Miaoulis. “By extending our marketing automation through our processes we’ve freed up 2,000 hours a year for value-add activities and increased demand.” This also allows marketers and creative to be connected while staying within the applications most useful to their specific roles for execution without an excess of applications switching to fulfill other requirements such as reporting, collaboration or status updates.
The team is also using Workfront’s digital proofing feature for streamlined reviews and approvals on content and creative. Plus, they’ve implemented an integration with Microsoft Teams and Outlook, so almost all collaborative work—including meetings and scheduling—is tied back into Workfront in real time.
Today, Sage’s 22 functional marketing teams are fully supported and integrated within Workfront - from strategy and intake to execution and delivery. Its people, processes and technologies are digitally connected allowing the teams to maximise productivity towards company goals and deliver better digital experiences for all.
“One source of truth really helps,” says Tasker. “Workfront can support us on our final steps of our digital transformation by helping us to integrate our processes better than we had before. The trust that our leadership team gives us now is based on the fact that they can understand the return on our investment. That gives them a lot more confidence that marketing is focused on the right work.”
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