Intuit sets sights on Sage customers

Intuit is trying to win users at the expense of rival Sage.

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Intuit is trying to win users at the expense of rival Sage.

The financial software maker will offer a 20 percent discount to customers who switch from Sage MAS 90 or BusinessWorks Accounting to Intuit's mid-market accounting and ERP software, QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. The offer runs until 31 January.

Intuit's salvo is the latest in a price war in the ERP and CRM software market. Sage, maker of Peachtree and other related software, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In October, NetSuite started its RenewForce programme that offers to swap customers' Salesforce.com service for NetSuite's CRM+ service for half the price of a Salesforce.com license. NetSuite is also offering up to 100 hours of professional services to aid in the transition.

In November, Microsoft, maker of the rival Dynamics ERP and CRM software and services, said it is offering zero percent financing for 36 months to qualified buyers through to mid-March.

Analysts say that users should expect more discounting and bargains due to the economic downturn and strong competition in the ERP and CRM markets.

QuickBooks Enterprise is already cheaper than rival packages, and that helped the company win 5,000 customers who had switched to QuickBooks Enterprise from rivals in the past year, a spokesman said.

QuickBooks Enterprise has 57,000 customers, mostly small- to medium-sized businesses. Intuit has four million QuickBooks users, including those using its Pro and Premier versions.

The company is taking other steps as part of a new strategy that the best defence is a good offence.

In September, Intuit released a trio of Web-hosted CRM applications that complement QuickBooks Enterprise and compete against Salesforce.com, NetSuite and Microsoft's Dynamics, all of which have targeted QuickBooks users in the past.

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