Archives For March 2013

scon13We are thrilled to announce the participants for this year’s Sugar App Throwdown, taking place at SugarCon 2013 in New York on April 10th. We had dozens of submissions come in across our VAR and ISV partner network, along with several coming from many third party developers and longtime community members. Narrowing it down to 6 contestants in the end wasn’t easy, but we think the final list is definitely an impressive one.

Without further ado, here’s this year’s participants:

We are really excited to see such a diverse group of contestants this year. Look to hear more about them in the coming weeks leading up to SugarCon, as we will be publishing interviews we are doing with them. And if you haven’t signed up for SugarCon 2013 yet, do so now to see this along with some of the best and brightest minds in CRM and technology alongside top vendors and partners.

Today at CeBIT in Hannover, germany, the members of the OpenSocial Foundation announced a new initiative to define, design and releas

opensocial

e a new social applications toolkit. SugarCRM is a member of the foundation, established in 2008, which also includes IBM, Jive Software and consultancy the DachisGroup.

The Foundation’s initiative is aimed at “streamlining and simplifying the approach to tightly integrated collaboration across social applications for both enterprises and consumers.” As more and more business and consumer applications become more collaborative, and touch social media in more diverse and innovative ways – the Foundation is taking a leading position in building an open toolkit to help organizations and developers of all types to embrace and create modern socially enabled solutions.

SugarCRM CTO and co-founder Clint Oram remarked on the initiative:

“There is no better implementation of an open standard than through an open source project. By committing to both an evolution of the specification and the surrounding open source projects incorporating the latest developments in HTML5, modern browser technologies and JavaScript libraries like node.js and jQuery, the OpenSocial Foundation is responding to the demands of its community.”

To learn more about the OpenSocial Foundation or to participate in the definition of the next generation of open social technology standards, please contact the foundation at president@opensocial.org.

We have just published the agenda and speakers list for SugarCon ’13 - and it is literally PACKED with sessions and keynotes from CRM thought leaders, awesome customer stories, and lots of Sugar tips and tricks.

With seven tracks covering everything from sales, marketing and support excellence – to the tech trends affecting CRM and your business in general – SugarCon 13 offers something for everyone.

Highlights of the agenda include:

  • More than six hours of keynote presentations from leaders in CRM, including Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM, Terry Jones, founder and former CEO of Travelocity.com, author of CRM at the Speed of Light Paul Greenberg of The 56 Group, LLC, and partners IBM, Pardot, and VMware.
  • Top research findings and best practices in CRM from industry analysts representing leading research firms. Subject matter experts include Gartner Research Director Patrick Stakenas; Forrester Research Vice President Bill Band; Esteban Kolsky, principal and founder of ThinkJar; Brent Leary, partner, CRM Essentials; Jesus Hoyos of Solvis Consulting and JesusHoyos.com, LLC; and Jim Dickie, managing partner, CSO Insights.
  • More than 70 customer and solution innovation breakout sessions highlighting CRM implementation best practices and detailed case studies. Key customers from the United States, Europe, and Latin America include EMIS, uShip, Harper, Inc., Cogburn Law, Bray International, Hillel, the Lindner Group, Tollpost Globe AS, Mitsubishi Brazil, Despegar.com, MacAllister (CAT) Rentals, the Irish Local Gov’t Management Agency, and USAFact.
  • Live solution demonstrations of Sugar Mobile and Sugar 7 – SugarCRM’s next generation CRM platform.
  • Expert-led best practices discussions, innovative platform case studies, and hands-on workshops on the latest SugarCRM platform.
  • App Throwdown, which is an event on April 10th to showcase the most innovative solutions across the Sugar ecosystem live on stage, where the audience can choose their favorite. This year’s contestants include: Nepo Systems, W-Systems Corp., Epicom, Colosa, and Altertus Technologies.
  • Hands-on customer training at a discounted price.
  • More than 30 leading companies will be exhibiting in the SugarCon 2013 Expo Hall. Major sponsors include IBM, Pardot, VMware, Riva, NextPrinciples and DocuSign.
  • Nightly networking events across New York, including the Tuesday, April 9 Evening Gala to be held at the 230 Fifth Ave Rooftop Garden and Penthouse Lounge.
SugarCon’s theme this year is “CRM for Everyone.” Join us to see and hear first-hand how to leverage the latest cloud, social, and mobile technologies so they can make individual users enterprise-wide more effective at engaging 1:1 with customers or prospects.
Register for SugarCon 13 HERE.

With social CRM a well-established concept, increasing numbers of businesses are looking at social media as a source of customer information, a tool for collaboration on new product ideas and a source for sales leads. But getting to those goals means first listening to what is said in social media – and how do you do that?

To get started, we suggest attending the session “Smarter Social Monitoring with SugarCRM” at SugarCon 2013. The presenter is SugarCRM’s own Simon Chapman, who’s been eyeing this space for several years and, at the same time, paying attention to the ways that a good CRM application can help you pay attention to your customers.

Simon promises to share ways to use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to drive greater value from your CRM efforts. We decided to give you a sneak peek at the contents of his session with a few questions:

SugarCRM: LinkedIn is a natural tool for networking – around jobs, around knowledge within groups, etc. But how can salespeople use it in generating or qualifying leads?

Simon: LinkedIn is all about who you know and who they know – that’s the key. By using LinkedIn to effectively mine your network, sales professionals can potentially get introductions or get connected with the key influencers. Qualifying people is even better with LinkedIn in that not only can you put a face to a name, you can also see whether they’re the right person you need to be speaking to or whether someone in their network would be more beneficial to speak with. The average well-connected LinkedIn user has at least 750,000 people in their network, as a first-, second- or third-degree connection. Just think of how many leads could be generated by mining your LinkedIn network better?

SugarCRM: How do you get information from social networks into your CRM customer records – and how does Sugar do this better than other CRM applications?

Simon: Sugar allows you to automatically search for social network information without the need to keep two or three windows open at once. On an account level, maybe you want to do business with a particular company but don’t know who you potentially know. With Sugar, you can embed this information on the account or opportunity level, and by just knowing what the company name is, drill down into the connections you could potentially make. Because all of these elements can be embedded quickly and easily into all aspects of the system, Sugar’s strength is exactly that – its flexibility.

SugarCRM: Brand reputation is a scary idea for businesses, now that customers own the conversation. What can businesses do to protect themselves – especially when things are going awry?

Simon: Sugar can take information from Twitter, for example, and allow not only lead generation activities from when someone simply sends you a tweet, but also to instantly respond to someone who has an issue – protecting brand reputation. This is important as marketing managers or social media monitors will be keen to make sure that any issue or negative statement isn’t allowed to proliferate. Sugar can put that information directly on the homepage, rolling in the latest Tweets or Facebook posts with the ability to instantly respond.

SugarCRM: Some salespeople – and business leaders, in general – are leery of social media; what do you say to motivate them to go from doubt and fear to results?

Simon: This is a question that’s often asked when we speak to potential customers and existing customers alike. Our view is that it’s better to be informed than not, and embracing social media, developing relationships and managing messaging, good and bad, helps to create brand and company awareness. Developing clear messaging and setting clear targets on what you want to get out of each target social media network, as well changing that messaging to match the types of people that frequent that network, is something that I would personally recommend. Aimless communication may be viewed negatively rather than clearly outlining your social media strategy with carefully-worded messaging.

SugarCRM: Are there sales talents that social media replaces, or is it a case where social media amplifies sales talents?

Simon: Social media can only amplify sales ability. It’s all about communication and managing that communication, that stage presence, well online. Twitter forces you to think in clever ways about how to get your message into a set number of characters and sometimes this can be beneficial – get the most important words in there first. Social media can also provide that reach which you may not get from your existing networks. Maybe someone finds your tweet and thinks that you’re someone they can do business with and decides to follow you.

See Simon’s session at SugarCon 2013 April 9 at 1 p.m. For more details on the SugarCon agenda, visit the event page.