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Sugar CRM a New Roadmap to Commercial Open Source Technology

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Rakhi Chowdhary
February 19, 2007

Rakhi Chowdhary
Author Payal, a SEO Consultant: [email protected].

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Sugar CRM is a commercial Open Source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for companies of all sizes, based on LAMP stack(Linux-OS; Apache-Web Server; MySQL-Database Server; PHP-Programming Language). Its rich functionality and intuitive user interface provides a gateway to all CRM applications thereby enabling corporates to migrate to SugarCRM to expand their customer base.

Sugar CRM takes your business to a new level by integrating the enterprise server software sales model with that of a software-as-a-service model. It is available in both free and commercial editions.

Free edition of SugarCRM is available and is best suited for small industries. These industries can download SugarCRM under the Mozilla Public License. This open source product offers all the basic customer-centric functionalities.

The commercial edition of SugarCRM is available in two versions, Sugar Professional and Sugar Enterprise, for medium and large scale industries respectively. They provide more flexible deployment options(On-demand to host you own information; Cube to plug-n-play CRM appliance; On-site to manage CRM on your own server) and advanced features like add-ons, software patches, proprietary code, technical support, etc.

Professional edition is flexible and includes features such sales, marketing, customer support, reporting and collaboration, migration, integrity and security. It also includes integration with Microsoft Outlook, sales forecasting, document management, access control, multiple deployment options to suit customers' security and integrity needs.

Enterprise edition is a fully customizable for the most demanding businesses. It includes features like SQL reporting, offline client synchronization, support for Oracle 9i and 10g etc and is ideal for organizations having a large number of users. Apart from all the basic functionalities and features of Professional it provides Oracle database support and offline client synchronization.

SugarCRM has also launched a server appliance called Sugar Cube, for companies which don’t want to devolve their customer’s details to third parties.

Sugar Cube if attuned with Professional edition gives an extra edge to overcome implementation and technical support problem and also bringing down costs of CRM deployments. Sugar Cube conglomeration with Enterprise edition provides complete hardware and software solutions with minimal resource utilization at lesser expense.

"Software is bought, not sold," says John Roberts, co-founder and CEO of SugarCRM and this is the strategy that must be followed. The Sugar CRM product has created a strong gravitational pull for the customers trying the open source version and making there investment a success by paying a premium for our Enterprise Edition. This great CRM product provides complete CRM functionality ranging from opportunity tracking, lead management and customer tracking to task management, marketing campaign, trend analysis, advanced reporting and team selling and many IT enabled services.

There are lots of online communities and many more are emerging all around the web where you can share your innovative ideas with CRM developers. These communities provide customer feedback, range of informational services and support for CRM players. A wide array of forums and discussion boards are available enabling users to learn about the best practices and upcoming functionalities of Sugar CRM.

With the release of Sugar4.5, Sugar CRM continues to move ahead with the following features:

  • Personalized home page by drag-drop of relevant items for fast access to view important information.
  • Improved sales forecasting with better planning and forecasting worksheet.
  • Improved information sharing on any topic, with the integration of different Sugar modules with discussion forums.
  • With saved and global search and inline adds and edits user interface has improved.
  • Enhanced installation and upgrade process offline client synchronization has also improved.
  • Administration is simplified with improved Sugar Studio for code-free customizations, back-up and recovery.
  • Multi-lingual support and internationalization.

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