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Sage, AWS Collaborate on AI, Carbon Accounting and Sustainability Software for SMBs

February 27, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Sage and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are collaborating on several fronts to converge artificial intelligence (AI) and carbon accounting software for small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

Much of the effort involves Sage Earth (a carbon accounting software platform) and Amazon's compute engine, and various large language model (LLM) initiatives. Details surfaced at the Sage Transform 2024 conference, a gathering in Las Vegas for partners and customers.

Among the boldest statements from main stage: The world "can't achieve net-zero without small businesses" ahieving that goal, Sage CEO Steve Hare asserted.

Among the key takeaways from the announcement:

Walid Abu Hadba, chief product officer, Sage

1. Software: Sage Earth, a carbon accounting and sustainability platform, will be available in AWS Marketplace in the UK and Ireland in the coming weeks, with plans to extend to North America and across Europe over the next 18 months, the company said.

The solution leverages accounting and other data sources to "calculate businesses’ carbon footprints and suggests emission reduction strategies for small businesses and large enterprises’ value chains, the companies said.

2. Large Language Model (LLM) Efforts: Sage will develop a domain-specific LLM for accounting and compliance using Amazon Bedrock and Amazon Lex. The LLM, powered by AWS, will initially inform Sage’s new AI-powered assistant, Sage Copilot. Powered by AWS, the LLM will "have the capability to process and analyze vast amounts of data swiftly and efficiently," the companies said.

3. Carbon Emissions Database: The AWS relationship "focuses on developing a comprehensive carbon emissions database," the companies said. "This innovative project encompasses an array of products, services, and regions, and is informed by AI and ML, using ESG hybridization* to help SMBs navigate decisions with incomplete or inconsistent data.

Ganapathy-Krishnamoorthy G2 AWS
G2 Krishnamoorthy, VP of analytics, AWS

4. Executive Perspectives: In a prepared statement, Sage Chief Product Officer Walid Abu-Hadba said: “This collaboration signifies a shared vision between Sage and AWS to transform accounting solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, focusing on simplifying carbon reporting and accounting for our customers and the wider business community. We are committed to harnessing the power of technology to drive innovation, enhance operational efficiency, and pave the way for sustainable growth among SMBs.

Added G2 Krishnamoorthy, AWS VP of analytics, said: "Deepening our relationship with Sage enables us to take a significant step together toward empowering SMBs with the tools they need to thrive in today's digital landscape. The development of domain specific LLMs and integration of Sage Earth on AWS are prime examples of how we're enabling businesses to modernize and make informed decisions around accounting, finances, and their environmental impact."

What It All Means for SMBs and Sustainability

During a press and analyst Q&A on February 26, 2024, Elisa Moscolin, executive VP of sustainability and foundation at Sage, said: "Automation is the key word. You can’t ask an SMB executive to run the business, run finance, run accounting and also be the climate officer."

Sage Earth and the associated automation solves for that, she asserted. And the forthcoming generative AI capabilities involving Sage Copilot will further automate that effort, she asserted.

Note: We'll be watching to see if or how Sage Copilot for Sage Earth coupled with AWS eventually competes against Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, which is gaining Microsoft Copilot capabilities. Microsoft and Sage partner on multiple fronts, and we're not quite sure if Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability will extend down into the SMB sector.

Related: Track all Sage Transform news here.

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