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August 27, 2008

SugarCRM's 5.1 Now Generally Available

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


SugarCRM (News - Alert), a provider of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software, has announced the general availability of Sugar 5.1, which includes new reporting and wireless capabilities for SugarCRM.
 
The new reporting and analytics engine provides SugarCRM users with "improved insight into sales effectiveness and customer behavior," company officials say, adding that the "revamped wireless capabilities" allow SugarCRM to be used on mobile phones, including support for the BlackBerry and iPhone (News - Alert) smartphones.  
 
SugarCRM's commercial open source model invites the download and inspection of source code by users, developers, customers and partners, on the theory that this produces a higher quality product than possible in proprietary development models. During the beta process, Sugar 5.1 was installed over 10,000 times and tested by over 25,000 users.
 
Since its founding four years ago, Sugar Community Edition and its related components have been downloaded over 5 million times. SugarCRM's user base consists of over 400,000 users on 50,000 installations in 195 countries.
 
"Software is transitioning from lock-in based proprietary systems to an open, standards-based world," thinks John Roberts (News - Alert), CEO of SugarCRM.
 
Sugar 5.1, company officials say, offers such features and improvements across end-user and administrative functions as advanced reporting and analytics to "provide support for complex reporting sets, matrix reports, run-time filters and integration with Excel."
 
There's also a new wireless HTML client and improved user interface, and tracker reports to "provide a snapshot into system usage in order to increase user adoption and visibility into CRM use."
 
This spring, CRM vendor Etelos (News - Alert) announced the availability of WordPress, SugarCRM, Media Wiki and phpBB on the Etelos Marketplace. The apps are available as hosted products.
 
Users can come to the Etelos Marketplace and have a secure WordPress blog, Media Wiki or phpBB bulletin board, "up and running in minutes," Etelos officials say, "at a fraction of the cost of many other similar applications."
 
Etelos officials say the idea is to "make it easier for Open Source developers to get their applications into the mainstream," by "continuing to implement its Opportunity Computing platform."
 
Shelley Symonds, Etelos VP & Chief Marketing Officer, said the Etelos Marketplace "eliminates the downside of using multiple products from different vendors by providing common user management, billing, updates, support and security."
 
The Etelos Marketplace is being marketed as a destination for businesses, teams and individual users "looking to expand their tool sets while streamlining operations." It's pitched as a place which "gives developers an easy place to license, distribute and support applications while giving businesses a wide selection of on-demand business applications to license and transparently deploy on-demand products within the hosting environment of their choice."
 
 
For more, check out the Open Source CRM channel on TMCnet.
 

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David�s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi



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