A few years ago if someone told you there was an imminent threat to the dominant SME accounting software providers in the market you might have thought – no chance! How could someone undermine the market domination of SAGE, MYOB and Intuit, these companies have owned this space for the past 20 years. Every company that looked even remotely close to threatening them was bought and either painted a nice shade of their respective colours or binned to eliminate the treat.
The difficulty with dislodging the incumbent is the same in any industry; they have the high ground, the existing market users, the re-sellers, the resources. Its nigh on impossible to dislodge incumbents, until and unless a shift in technology changes the game entirely and either makes them instantly or slowly irrelevant. This is the treat facing Sage in the UK, MYOB in Australia and Intuit in the States. These three giants of the accounting software industry are being stared down by a little upstart from New Zealand called Xero.
Sage may be the dominant player in these waters, but time is running out. Compared to Xero, Sage and Intuit are flat-lining.