SugarCRM upgrades CRM solution and integrates with IBM for social business

26th Apr 2012

SugarCRM raised the curtain on upgrades to its CRM solution at the vendor's annual SugarCon conference in San Francisco, as well as announcing integration with IBM social business tools.

Key features of the revised Sugar 6.5 CRM solution include an updated userface to improve search, as well as enhanced navigation with full text search. A new calendar that uses a drag and drop UI, and integrates with the iCal standard is also addded. 

Sugar 6.5 also includes revised architectural improvements, such as an abstracted database layer for database access, performance improvements across the database and UI layers, and optimised growth and scalability with support of IBM DB2 and IBM PureSystems.

The new version also includes better integration with applications such as LinkedIn and MS Outlook.

In other announcements, SugarCRM revealed it would be integrating with IBM Connections and IBM SmartCloud for Social Business to provide commerce capabilities. In his blogpost, Keith Brooks also revealed that IBM is now using Sugar internally, a huge boost for the CRM firm looking to target the enterprise space. 

Other technology partners also using the conference to announce partnerships with the CRM company include Lucid Imagination, EasyAsk, inBOX25, Transverse, SierraCRM, NextPrinciples, Inc., engajer, UserVoice, Vocalocity, Colosa Inc., BitRock Inc. and Faye Business Systems Group.

Clint Oram, co-founder and CTO of SugarCRM, said: “Better search capabilities mean that the product works the way users work, providing them a new way to search for and find the critical customer information they need to run their business. Instead of using wizards or clunky database queries, users can simply type in what they are looking for. For a generation of business people who grew up using Google, this is CRM search the way it was meant to be.”

In other news, SugarCRM announced the company is further expanding its SugarCRM Open+ Partner Program, with enhancements including new business planning and support, the formation of a partner advisory board and a partner significant program.

The new planning programs are intended to help partners increase their sales effectiveness of their SuagrCRM business with SugarCRM giving added incentives.

The 12-member partner advisory board will provide guidance and feedback from the partner community to SugarCRM, said the firm.

Its formal certification program will provide training for channel partners, giving them up-to-date knowledge on SugarCRM products and programs.

Jeff Campbell, VP of worldwide sales and customer advocacy for SugarCRM, said: “The changes we’ve made to our partner program recognise the value our partners bring to the Sugar ecosystem. We’re giving them the support they need to exceed their goals, and we’re also providing greater access for partners to SugarCRM executives at the highest levels.”

The firm also used its conference to announce financial performance. The company's billings growth increased by 24% over the previous quarter and climbed by 118% over the first quarter of 2011, which the firm attributed to its expanding global presence in emerging markets. 

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By hideki hashimura
26th May 2012 10:44

The news are great for everyone, the product is more stable and more competitive than ever, functionality is based on comprehensive feedback the partner network and the user community and channeled through the Partner Advisory Board. I think during the next few months we are going to see consistent improvement, as it has been over the last 2 years, at all levels. I also think that a key factor is that SugarCRM, the company and it's philosophy, is real about collaboration, internally, with clients and end users and with the partner community; always looking at adding value.

Although IBM's inetgration with connections is great news I can't wait to see the integrations with UNICA, the synergies seem endless and the benefits of the integrated platforms are huge for companies that are keen on EMM and high performance marketing management, specially e-commerce. 

Hideki Erigh Hashimura
- CMO REDK Software Engineering
- SugarCRM Partner Advisory Board, Vice-President

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