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Open Source CRM Feature Article


[October 7, 2005]

SugarCRM Announces Open Source Developer Contest


SugarCRM Inc. today announced the 100th extension to its Sugar Suite open source customer relationship management (CRM) platform and the launching of a developer contest with $2,500 in cash prizes at SugarForge.org, the online development forum for Sugar Open Source extensions. More than 2,000 developers have joined SugarForge.org to date, representing the worlds largest open source CRM community.

With 100 projects now on the SugarForge.org site, users of Sugar Open Source have a broad choice of extensions ranging from document and knowledge management systems to timesheets, database backups, data synchronization, mobile device connectors and 21 language packs. More than 265,000 modules have been downloaded since Sugar Open Source launched just 14 months ago. Looking to continue the success of SugarForge.org, SugarCRM proudly announces its first world wide developer contest.

The SugarCRM 2005 Developer Contest will reward developers of new extensions with cash prizes of $1,000 for the best business and productivity module, $1,000 for the most innovative module, and $500 for the best template. All entries must be installable using SugarCRMs new Module Loader, a utility that allows third-party modules to be added or removed without programming while preserving the ability to upgrade the application. Entries must be received by October 31, 2005, and can be submitted at www.sugarforge.org.

SugarCRM thanks the Sugar Open Source community for creating 100 powerful projects so quickly, said Clint Oram, SugarCRM co-founder and open source project director. The momentum of Sugar Open Source is a direct reflection of the great ideas and hard work from developers around the world. It is clear the collaborative open source development model produces more innovative, higher quality software compared to proprietary, closed source development methods.

Community Members Speak
Michael Whitehead, founding partner of IT consulting firm The Long Reach Corporation, uses Sugar Open Source as the CRM component of a corporate portal developed for his clients and makes frequent documentation contributions to SugarForge.org based on his business experiences with the SugarCRM application. Whiteheads participation in the SugarForge.org community has been an important new business driver for his firm.

Voluntary online support often morphs naturally into a commercial relationship, and thats what happened with SugarForge.org. It has been a strong source of services business for us, Whitehead noted. I think one of the reasons is that SugarForge.org has a higher proportion of real business participants than the typical open source community, and that makes our involvement much more rewarding both intellectually and commercially.

Florian Treml, co-founder of Austrian startup company "go-mobile", experiences similar community relationship benefits. He has contributed five major Sugar Open Source extensions that use the prefix Zucker (the German word for sugar) and contributes to the Austrian German language pack.

A lot of Sugar users benefit from our contributions, and we benefit from our reputation in the community as Sugar experts. Potential customers get to know the quality of our work, which leverages our commercial products and services, Treml said. At the same time, our contributions to the Sugar community help ensure that Sugar users are satisfied with the product. The more Sugar users, the larger the target group for our products and services. This gives us a good reason to participate.

Funambol, the mobile open source company, has developed a Sync4j SugarCRM connector for companies that require mobility for their CRM solutions. Sync4j is an open source mobile application server used for device synchronization, provisioning and management.

SugarForge.org is a unique site for integration among open source communities, said Fabrizio Capobianco, CEO of Funambol. Funambols participation with SugarForge.org has given both the Sync4j and SugarCRM communities a catalyst for building the next generation mobile CRM solution.

Open Source CRM

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