The story of Sage

Sage is the only FTSE 100 company in the North East. Even though we've become a global company, we're still rooted in the North East, with our head quarters in Newcastle where around 1,500 of our people work.

6.2 million companies around the world use Sage products and services across 100 countries.

We entered the US market in 1991, followed by France in 1992 and Germany in 1997, leading up to India in 2004 and China in 2006.  Our business is decentralised and our success has been built on understanding local markets, empowering local leaders, developing local products for local customers, and supporting them locally. 

As a consequence Sage is the market leader in the business software space in many of the countries we operate in.

But where did it all start? Remember the 80s? The decade of shoulder pads, the Rubix cube and the personal computer?  That’s where our story begins. 

Four men, a Nasa Scientist, a pub and Alan Sugar’s Amstrad.

In 1981, Sage was founded by two local Entrepreneurs in Newcastle. David Goldman, who had worked in the printing business for 20 years, found that one of the real challenges he faced was the time it took to generate quotations for prospective customers.

So, he teamed up with Dr Paul Muller, a computer expert at Newcastle University - who had previously been one of the four key NASA navigators for the first Apollo mission to land on the moon. Muller was exploring ways to streamline business processes, including a book keeping package to help a local accountancy firm.

His team, which included one of his students, Graham Wylie, wrote an innovative accounting software programme which could more accurately estimate the cost of the company's printing jobs, as well as manage their basic accounting procedures. 

Having seen the impact on his business, David's entrepreneurial instincts spotted the opportunity to sell the idea to a wider market. So it was that Sage was created.  Legend has it that the name Sage came about when the founders spotted a herb poster in the pub - that's where the very best ideas come from after all!

When Sage started out, IT was far from being the mainstay of business life that it is today.  But the company grew by recognising the opportunity for new ideas at the right time. Sales were ticking over nicely but, when Amstrad brought out the first real desktop PC, it kicked-started their growth and sales soared.

Sage's original innovation has revolutionised how many UK companies, small and large,  do business, and we continue to support them today.

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