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April 29, 2009

SugarCRM Announces Sugar Express

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Open source CRM software provider SugarCRM (News - Alert), has announced Sugar Express, described by company officials as "addressing SugarCRM open source users’ demand for an affordable product that runs on SugarCRM’s on-demand computing platform, the Sugar Open Cloud." 
Sugar Express provides core sales, marketing and support features, Sugar Plug-Ins for Microsoft (News - Alert) Office and access to SugarCRM Customer Support. Platform functionality includes the Module Builder to create custom modules and Cloud Connectors, "to integrate third-party data services from companies such as Hoover’s and Jigsaw," company officials say. 
“For all of its promise, the cloud computing movement is in danger of becoming yet another mousetrap to lock in customers to proprietary vendors,” says John Roberts (News - Alert), CEO of SugarCRM.
Currently over 60,000 businesses and 550,000 people have SugarCRM. The company has invested heavily in an on-demand architecture in hopes of preserving "flexibility and choice that customers expect from open source solutions," officials say. 
Elements of the Sugar Open Cloud include multi-instance architecture for automated instance provisioning, configuration and maintenance, with instant-on deployment that requires only a Web browser. It also has support for Web services for the exchange and consumption of application and data services from around the Web and is built on an, open source infrastructure for portability and no vendor lock-in. 

Company officials say Express has 24x7 monitoring from both within and outside the Sugar Open Cloud. It's being offered as an annual subscription at $499 for up to five users or $799 for up to ten users per year. Sugar Professional is offered at $30 per user per month and Sugar Enterprise at $50 per user per month. 

“The benefits of software-as-a-service have been clear for several years,” says Denis Pombriant, founder and principal analyst at Beagle Research Group.

In March, Martin Schneider, Director of Product Marketing for SugarCRM, told TMC's Stefania Viscusi that SugarCRM "recognizes that the cloud is analogous to open source at its roots. A major aspect of the cloud is that it can enable faster, cheaper innovation when it comes to software. A developer, or team of programmers, can leverage cloud-based development platforms to build new and innovative applications from scratch based on open source components such as PHP. Now, these developers can complete projects without ever meeting - saving time and resources leveraging the cloud."
 

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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