SugarCRM adds IBM integrations to boost collaboration and analyticsby
7th Apr 2011
SugarCRM plans to offer customers a suite of IBM-based collaboration and analytics tools from this spring in a bid to compete more effectively against rivals such as Salesforce.com and Microsoft.
At the SugarCon ’11 customer, partner and developer conference in San Francisco this week, the open source CRM vendor announced that, by purchasing iEnterprises’ iExtensions software, it would make "major improvements" to its ability to integrate the next release of its offering with IBM’s Lotus Collaboration product family. Sugar 6 is scheduled to appear this spring.
But the introduction of native support for IBM’s Lotus Notes platform and a Notes email and calendar plug-in for the Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac operating systems would also enable it to create "a fully integrated collaboration suite within Sugar," the company said.
It has likewise built a new Sugar Connector for Lotus Domino to enable the synchronisation of CRM data between the two systems and revealed that LotusLive will be fully supported in the forthcoming Sugar 6.
Such support will enable customers to schedule and host web meetings from within their CRM applications as well as upload, share and collaborate on documents. IBM intends to provide all new SugarCRM customers with a special promotion in the shape of a 30-day free LotusLive trial.
But Sugar 6 will also support other web meeting tools such as Cisco’s WebEx Meeting Centre and Citrix’s GoToMeeting and likewise enable users to upload, manage and share Google Docs from within the system too.
On the business intelligence side of the equation, SugarCRM said that it planned to introduce new connectors for IBM’s Cognos suite of tools to enable customers to analyse, dashboard, scorecard and report on their CRM data in a bid to give them greater insight into their sales, marketing and customer support activities.
They will also be able to populate their CRM database with information from legacy, third party systems via support for IBM’s Websphere Cast Iron integration appliance.
Sugar 6 itself, meanwhile, will include enhanced Sugar Activity Streams to enable users to reply to individual posts on social networking sites, view user profile photos within posts as well as integrate their Facebook news feeds and Twitter streams.
It will also incorporate a pre-loaded version of InsideView’s SalesView software, which aggregates information about both individuals and companies from sources such as web and social networking sites in order to help them identify new prospects.