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January 03, 2008

SugarCRM: A Look at Open Source CRM

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor


Open source as a whole has grown considerably over the last year with increased value being placed on "openness".
 
In the CRM space, this move has helped businesses to improve their customer relationship management thanks to the flexibility of open source CRM and its ability to meet changing customer demands.
 
Open source CRM provider SugarCRM (News - Alert) offers a cost effective, flexible alternative to proprietary applications and makes it possible to build offerings that are more useful and more powerful.
 
Chris Harrick Sr. Director, Product Marketing SugarCRM Inc. took some time to speak with TMCnet about open source CRM's developments over the last year as well as provided insight into the year ahead for open source CRM.
 
SV: What was the most significant advancement in Open Source CRM in 2007?

CH: The continued advance of commercial open source solutions across every sector of the market – enterprise, mid-sized and small businesses -  and across geographies – North America, Europe, Japan and developing countries. The commercial open source model enlarges the market because of the Internet as a distribution model, the affordability of the solution, and the ability to extend Sugar in so many different ways. 
 
SV:  Have new trends or standards emerged over the past year?

CH: The biggest trend, which applies not only to the CRM market but to the entire technology marketplace, is a move towards openness. We saw it with Google’s Android (News - Alert) initiative in the mobile space and the Open Social API for networking sites. With customer demands and the increasing diversity of needs in the consumer and enterprise marketplace, companies cannot do everything alone. So, artificial proprietary restrictions are collapsing due to customer demands. 
 
SV: What are some of SugarCRM's top highlights for 2007?

CH: At the top of the list is Sugar 5.0, a product that became generally available at the end of 2007. We believe that this is a game-changer in the CRM industry. It is the most state-of-the-art CRM application on the market; it includes features such as an AJAX email client that no other vendors offer; and it gives non-technical people the ability to easily extend Sugar to meet their unique needs. It has already been tested some 30,000 times by the community and I can tell you the feedback has been tremendous.
 
SV: Can you offer some insight into what SugarCRM will offer in the upcoming year?

CH: You will see as continue to innovate on a number of fronts – CRM features that make people more productive; best-in-class On-Demand services, and more platform capabilities that gives each business more flexibility and control over how they manage their customer relationships.
 
SV:  Do you have any predictions for the future of open source CRM and the market as a whole?

CH: As technology matures, it becomes more standardized and interoperable. We are seeing that in the CRM market and are well positioned to capitalize with out commercial open source solutions.
 
 
For more be sure to check out the Open Source CRM channel on TMCnet.com
 
 
Stefania Viscusi is an established writer and avid reader. To see more of her articles, please visit Stefania Viscusi’s columnist page.
 



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