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The inventory advisor

Aug 4, 2016

Talking Sage Summit 2016 with Russ Graf from NETSTOCK

The dust is starting to settle on a busy and action-packed Sage Summit 2016 in Chicago. With nearly 15,000 people in attendance, the event was a must-visit for those connected with Sage Software.

Among the many announcements and launches, the Sage Inventory Advisor team garnered attention throughout the expo thanks to its aggressively-priced, data-based inventory replenishment application that helps businesses optimize their inventory through improved purchasing and additional visibility into their warehouse. That includes the launch of a pared-down version of the app known as Sage Inventory Advisor Basics.

Here’s a chat with Russ Graf, vice president of sales in North America for NETSTOCK, the publisher behind Sage Inventory Advisor. Russ has attended Sage Summit — and its previous incarnations — for three decades now, with a focus over the last decade on the ever-growing ISV space for ERP solutions. Here’s what Russ, a midwest native himself, had to say about this year’s event in Chicago and what’s new with NETSTOCK and Sage Inventory Advisor:

So, Russ, it sounds like it was a successful conference this year in Chicago with big crowds and announcements galore.

Absolutely, it was a great event from top to bottom. Chicago is a fantastic city for Summit with delicious food and interesting venues everywhere you go, and I always like to take in the Chicago skyline. McCormick Place was particularly impressive, and this was the largest crowd yet for Sage Summit.

For the NETSTOCK team specifically, what’s the latest news that you guys were sharing on the expo floor?

The big news is that we just launched a new, lighter version of our inventory app, called Sage Inventory Advisor Basics. It’s bundled with the new Sage 100c and Sage 300c products, and it offers the closest I’ve seen to a plug-and-play inventory solution. Installation is easy, and getting real value out of the app starts quickly with the inventory optimization tools it delivers and the visibility it provides.

Overall, this was our most impactful Sage Summit that we were involved in since we collectively joined the Sage world four years ago. We had two demo booths on the floor this year, which were consistently busy from beginning to end, but we also did a lot of networking and training beyond the booths. We had eight breakout sessions of our own that had great attendance numbers, and I participated in a couple of other sessions with our friends at Edisoft.

It was also great to see Sage Inventory Advisor referenced throughout the expo by others in the Sage world, including prominent placement in the “road ahead” sessions for Sage 100 and Sage 300. Clearly there’s a growing buzz and momentum right now, which is what you really hope to have coming out of an event like this.

And now that NETSTOCK is a few years in the market as Sage Inventory Advisor, where are you guys at in terms of users?

We’re about to hit 700 companies globally, most of which are in the Sage world and are in North America. We’ve been very focused on growing the company in the States, particularly with our channel partners, and now Basics is going to open up a whole new base of users, too. We’re excited by the opportunity that’s in front of us now.

Of course, part of the fun of Summit is the social scene and the big names that come out.

That’s right, and this year was no exception. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, was interesting and engaging in his unique way. The guys from the show Shark Tank were great, too. I thought The Killers concert was excellent, and they even snuck in a couple CCR and Elvis covers in there. We were also quite impressed and inspired by the Invictus athletes, and it is good to see how Sage utilizes the Sage Foundation to support great causes across the world.

Now with Summit wrapped up, what’s next on the radar for your team?

Sage Inventory Advisor Basics is our big focus here for the second half of the year, as well as the end of the Sage fiscal year. We’re regularly adding helpful tools and functionality in our app, too, and always looking to improve our on-boarding process, so we’ve got a lot going on! Never a dull moment with our international crew here at NETSTOCK.