Archives For April 2013

We’re flying at 40,000 feet above the central California corridor on our way from Silicon Valley down to San Diego for what we expect to be an awesome Gartner Customer 360 Summit that kicks off tomorrow, May 1.

Understand. Engage. Deliver: Earning Customers for Life – that’s the theme of this year’s summit.  We’re really excited to be participating this year as a platinum sponsor. Gartner360CRMIt will be two-and-a-half intensive days chock-full of analyst presentations, workshops and peer interaction, giving business and IT leaders a complete view of the customer across the organization and across every touchpoint in every medium. Understanding what customers want, need and expect — and having the right people, processes, cultures and technologies in place to respond in real time — will be critical to every organization’s success, according to Gartner.

We agree completely. Our mantra is Every Customer. Every User. Every Time.

That’s the message we’re spreading, as a sponsor of this year’s Customer 360 Summit.  SugarCRM focuses its SFA messaging on empowering every sales user to be more effective every time they engage 1-to-1 with every customer. Sugar focuses on the point of interaction between a customer and sales professional. We enable sales professionals to have the knowledge and tools necessary to understand their accounts and prospects as individuals, identify what really matters and when it matters, and drive value and a superior experience every time they engage with their accounts.

We’ve planned multiple meetings with Gartner analysts, customers, partners and prospects over the next few days. Today, we hit the ground running attending the afternoon pre-event CRM Boot Camp.

Stay tuned as we’ll be sharing insights, perspectives and things we learned at this year’s exciting Gartner Customer 360 Summit.

Best,

Jay Mejia

Director of Communications

Sweet Tweets of the Week

anshua —  April 26, 2013 — Leave a comment

Get the latest buzz on all things Sugar! Join us here on the Sugar blog every Friday as we recap weekly highlights from the Twittersphere. Here are just a handful of tweets that caught our eye this week. Follow us on Twitter @sugarcrm and join the conversation!

Jason Levine tweeted, “Breakfast with @SugarCRM & Oosis – preview of #social integration in SugarCRM 7 is impressive. #SocialBiz”

https://twitter.com/jasonjLevine/status/327306613176295424

BrainSell tweeted, “Demoing @sugarcrm and @contivio #telephony integration, love the reactions from propects. Lots of ooos and ahhs”

https://twitter.com/BrainSell/status/326746486304043009

John Mertic tweeted, “Nice recap of #SugarCon by the gang over at @SugarOutfitters https://www.sugaroutfitters.com/blog/sugarcon-2013-our-highlights …. Thanks to @eggsurplus and @chadhutchins!”

https://twitter.com/jmertic/status/327238055931047938

Jacqi Levy tweeted, “Nice video from #ibmpartners @SugarCRM on how to go to market effectively with IBM http://bit.ly/11hHlhW

https://twitter.com/jacqilevy/status/326739704437428224

Mike Gee tweeted, “Thanks to @sugarcrm #Sugar 7 dashboard is now even more involved with what’s going on in your world pic.twitter.com/0xSM80tjly”

https://twitter.com/EnableITmike/status/326423414850080769

Going to Gartner Customer 360 Summit in San Diego next week, May 1-3rd? Find us at the event that’s all about creating a great customer experience.

–Visit Booth 106 to meet the Sugar team and see the latest, coolest CRM technology that is redefining the way companies interact with the people who choose to do business with them. Every Customer. Every User. Every Time. Gartner Summit

–Attend Sugar CEO Larry Augustin’s session, “SugarCRM: Death, Taxes, & Sales Forecasts: Transforming CRM for Real Users” on May 2nd from 11am-12pm. Find out how:

Traditionally accepted claims of CRM ROI – better forecasting visibility, better internal controls – are a testament to why the promise of CRM has fallen short. Even with today’s ease of deployment, CRM is still synonymous with low usage and the burden of mandatory forecasting. In this session, attendees will learn how to move away from the corporate-led CRM agenda and focus on the needs of real CRM constituents: the customer and the customer-facing user.

Learn more about Gartner 360 here. See you in San Diego!

Gartner Customer 360 Summit delivers complete coverage of the new strategies and technologies that are enabling organizations to better understand and engage their customers, build loyalty and grow the business.

This must-attend CRM event brings together senior business, marketing and IT leaders to focus on creating a strategic, unifying vision for customer engagement and experience management.

I think most of us here at SugarCRM are still catching our breaths after an amazing week in NYC. SugarCon 2013 was an awesome four days of great keynotes, discussions, customer stories, training sessions, evening events…simply put – it was our best event to date, and we are already dreaming scon13up ways to make SugarCon 2014 even better.

While there were tons of highlights, great moments, sound bites, press coverage, etc. coming out of the event, one trend became clear. SugarCRM has aligned with some innovative and insightful partners – all of us with similar visions of helping create more customer-centric organizations. Perhaps one of the most profoundly aligned companies in our ecosystem is IBM.

Our aligned visions took center stage on Tuesday April 9, as Larry outlined our vision for “Every Customer, Every User, Every Time” and how our product and services are working towards making that a reality for every Sugar customer. Then, following behind Larry’s message, Steve Laughlin, Vice President for Smarter Commerce for IBM’s Global Business Services unit, talked about the empowered customer era and told the 1000+ attendees how IBM is helping to make enterprises more adept at personalizing interactions and the customer lifecycle in general.

And then, on Tuesday, Tamara Duncan, client advocacy executive at IBM, talked about the importance of customer centricity on a panel led by Terry Jones, founder and former CEO of Travelocity. In addition to the main stage, IBM executives also presented two standing-room only sessions: one on social selling by Christopher Lamb, IBM Program Direct, Social CRM, and another on modern marketing tips by Chris Benedetto, Product Marketing Leader, Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM). In addition, SugarCRM solutions architect Charles Hicks presented an integration overview between SugarCRM and IBM Cognos BI to a packed house. It was refreshing to see two seemingly different companies in strong agreement when it comes to creating great customer experiences.

That alignment in culture and vision is already paying off. During the event, SugarCRM announced a key customer win with Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG, a leading supplier of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Sennheiser made the decision to go with Sugar due to the usability of Sugar and product flexibility, but also due to Sugar’s deep integration with IBM technology and products.

Coming away from such an amazing event, we are reminded of how strong an ecosystem we have, anchored by some heavy hitters like IBM. What’s more, it is even more invigorating knowing our vision for our customers’ success are so well aligned.

SugarCRM has announced the availability of its next generation SugarCRM Mobile application for all iOS devices, and previewed the SugarCRM Mobile application for Android devices. The announcement was made at SugarCon 2013, the world’s largest open CRM technology conference, at the Waldorf Astoria, New York.

“At SugarCRM, we strive to build for employees on-the-go,” said Lila Tretikov, chief product officer of SugarCRM. “With the launch of the new SugarCRM Mobile application, we have delivered a solution that equips all customer-facing users with a fast, easy way to stay connected with their customers, and to stay on top of what matters, when it matters. With the new application, employees can collaborate and respond to their customers at the speed of today’s business.”

The new SugarCRM Mobile application, powered by HTML5, offers a faster, easier way for employees in the field to stay connected with their customers; track the latest updates on their campaigns, deals, and contacts; and update their CRM records, all in real time. The application delivers a completely integrated experience with Sugar’s browser application, and at the same time takes advantage of key native iOS capabilities. Users can upload photos, access contact directions and maps, and click-to-call, email, and text their contacts instantly. The interface is fully configurable and can be customized to meet the needs of each customer-facing professional.

“Customer service isn’t simply provided 9 to 5 – it can be a 24/7 challenge, and customers can’t wait for employees to get back to the office to start solving their problems,” said Clint Oram, chief technology officer for SugarCRM. “SugarCRM Mobile delivers the speed and agility needed for customer service that transcends location.”

A new study from enterprise resource planning (ERP) specialist ISF and market research firm IDC indicates that customer relationship management (CRM) applications for smartphones and tablets are a top priority for professionals on–the-go. In a survey of 450 C-suite executives worldwide, 31 percent of respondents identified CRM as the most-wanted mobile application.

Unlike most vendor solutions which charge extra for mobile CRM access, the SugarCRM Mobile application is free of charge and is a completely integrated part of the Sugar portfolio of CRM solutions.

Learn more about the new mobile application here or view the video demo.

Sweet Tweets for Sugar 7

mremedios1 —  April 9, 2013 — 1 Comment

Today at SugarCon, we proudly announced the preview of Sugar 7!

Twitter was bursting with awe and excitement as Sugar CTO Clint Oram and CPO Lila Tretikov unveiled Sugar 7 live on-stage from the Grand Ballroom of The Waldorf Astoria New York. Here’s a recap of tweets from the analysts, customers, and partners that experienced it firsthand:

Chrysler buildingDawn glides across Manhattan. The sky lightens as it tips across the cathedral towers of glass and steel and dips into the concrete canyons below. The trucks start to move as the darkness lets up, the cabs begin their shuffle from door to door and the hum that is humanity is about to pour forth on New York’s soon-to-be-teeming streets. It’s Monday in the Big Apple.

Good morning SugarCon 2013!

ballroomIn the quiet halls, salons and ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria, Sugas and SugarCRM executives are moving about, setting the final touches on what they have been waiting for all year: to meet our customers, partners and prospects face-to-face and engage with the media and the industry analysts for a rousing interlude about creating great customer experiences and long-lasting relationships between people and the companies with whom they choose to do business. Every User. Every Customer. Every Time.

expo floorStay tuned here as we bring you the news and the buzz straight from the floor of this year’s exciting SugarCon. Follow us on Twitter @SugarCRM #SugarCon as we share the insights and talk of the show from the attendees themselves. It’s going to be a great day. Let’s get this party started!

–Jay Mejia, Director of Communications, SugarCRM

Editor’s Note: As we get closer to SugarCon, we wanted to introduce all of the contestants to this year’s App Throwdown, sponsored by SugarOutfitters. Over the next 2 weeks, we’ll have interviews from each of them on what they are showing for the Throwdown, helping you learn a bit more about it.

Bio ( Yours and the Organization you are representing ):

Jeff Bickart provides the architectural, technical direction and delivery for the solutions being developed for NEPO Systems. Prior to joining NEPO, Mr. Bickart was the Director of the Advanced Technology Group for TerreStar Networks, Inc., providing advanced application prototypes and proof of concepts for their services. His responsibilities included the Web 2.0 software development both for browser based solutions and mobile solutions. Mr. Bickart previously was the Director of Engineering for Visitar, Inc., a provider of SugarCRM and telecommunications solutions hosted in a SaaS environment. He has also held various engineering positions with Sun Microsystems. Mr. Bickart holds a B.S. in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.B.A. from George Mason University. You can read his blog at sugarcrm-dev.blogspot.com

NEPO Systems is a SugarCRM Gold Partner that provides premium hosting, support and module development for SugarCRM. Supporting commercial and Federal clients across the globe, NEPO Systems helps our customers with strategic Sugar consultation, implementation and maintenance that are aligned with the unique requirements and business objectives of each of our clients. We deliver high-quality, integrated solutions for traditional Sales Force Automation, Marketing Automation and Customer Support, as well as a variety of custom solutions utilizing the powerful SugarCRM framework.

What are you presenting at the App Throwdown?

Based on an initial client request, NEPO developed an integration with a popular SaaS time tracking application (Harvest), which has since been deployed in multiple Sugar instances (including our own). This simple, yet powerful integration can help professional service organizations more effectively track their employees time, manage billing and ensure that contractual obligations and SLA’s are being met. Our demonstration will show how companies can keep track of an employee’s time and generate invoices for their customers without ever leaving the Sugar environment.

What about your application do you feel brings something unique or different to the Sugar ecosystem?

Our application isn’t designed to demonstrate a specific uniqueness in its function, but rather to show off the flexibility and ease of the Sugar framework and the power of a real business application. This integration was developed within a couple days time and demonstrates the power that can be obtained by integrating two cloud-based applications.  This application is a powerful tool whose business is to provide professional services to its customers by helping companies to better manage time, costs, service contracts & SLA’s and billing, all directly from within Sugar.

What is the biggest takeaway you hope the audience takes away from your presentation?

The takeaway should be twofold. First, that companies who manage professional services organizations and need the ability to more effectively manage their employees time (for whatever reason), recognize that there is a best-of-breed integration that exists in the market today. And second, that Sugar should be viewed as a flexible platform that can be leveraged well-beyond the traditional CRM functions (e.g., “this is not your fathers CRM”).

What is the most exciting aspect of being a part of the Sugar App Throwdown?

We believe that this is a great venue for showcasing what a powerful tool SugarCRM can be for all different types of companies and users. Hopefully these brief 3-minute “demos” will help other Sugar users spark some creativity on how of how they can improve their own business processes and more deeply embed Sugar within their organizations.

Looking at the other App Throwdown submissions, which one looks the most interesting and why?

We are looking forward seeing the Callinize application and its direct integration into a smartphone is a killer concept.

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Going to SugarCon next week? We hope you’re as excited as we are and ready to share your experiences on Twitter! Tweet about the conference with the #SugarCon hashtag and you’ll be entered to win an iPad mini, sponsored by Sugar partner and Social Analytics leader, NextPrinciples.

Guidelines to enter:

  • Follow @sugarcrm and @nextprinciples on Twitter
  • Tweet about SugarCon using the event hashtag #SugarCon
  • Must be physically present at the conference
  • Contest begins Tuesday, April 9th and ends Wednesday, April 10th at 4:30pm
  • NextPrinciples and SugarCRM employees are not eligible to participate

The iPad mini will be awarded to a contest participant with the highest “Influencer” score, based on the highest volume of tweets and retweets. The winner will be announced during the App Throwdown in the Grand Ballroom on Wednesday, April 10th from 4:30–5:30pm. The prize can be picked up at NextPrinciples’ sponsor booth, #207.

This contest is supported by the powerful social analytics and engagement platform provided by NextPrinciples. Visit nextprinciples.com/sugarcrm to see for yourselves.

Tip: Use our mobile app to tweet by sharing status updates or checking in to events on Twitter! Download the SugarCon mobile app here.

Editor’s Note: As we get closer to SugarCon, we wanted to introduce all of the contestants to this year’s App Throwdown, sponsored by SugarOutfitters. Over the next 2 weeks, we’ll have interviews from each of them on what they are showing for the Throwdown, helping you learn a bit more about it.

Bio ( Yours and the Organization you are representing ):

Blake Robertson is an avid member of the SugarCRM Developer community.   Blake Robertson started developing SugarCRM addons for the needs of his company Alertus Technologies for which Blake is the CTO and cofounder.  When he’s not developing next generation mass notification hardware/software, he enjoys working on open source projects. Most notably, he maintains YAAI an open source telephony integration between SugarCRM and Asterisk. Blake presented YAAI at the 2012 SugarCon AppThrowdown.  Since then, it’s become SugarCRM’s most widely deployed Telephony integration.

Callinize integrates your phone system and your CRM revolutionizing the way you’ll make and take calls.  Know exactly who’s calling before you pick up the phone.  Make calls without typing in digits and leave call notes without having to first search for the contact.  Where most CTI solutions are designed for Call Centers, Callinize is designed for SMBs.  Features such as our google chat inspired call note taker and smartphone apps bring the power of a call center to everyone..

What are you presenting at the App Throwdown?

I’m going to be presenting the most exciting and novel features of Callinize.

How often do you receive a call and have NO idea who it is? We all have. Callinize solves this problem. Callinize is an app that connects to your company’s CRM, pulls important customer information, and displays this information for all incoming calls on your mobile phone. During the call you can launch into our app that displays more actionable information and the ability to save notes.

What about your application do you feel brings something unique or different to the Sugar ecosystem? 

It’s the first CRM Telephony integration which works on a mobile phone.   CRM Telephony integrations have been primarily utilized by “Call Centers” or forward thinking companies that want to improve company productivity.  One of the biggest limitations of traditional telephony integrations is you had to be tethered to your desk / in front of your computer.  People just don’t work that way anymore! We’ve traded being tethered to our desk to being tethered to our mobile phone. Fortunately, the power of a call center now fits in the convenience of your pocket.

What is the biggest takeaway you hope the audience takes away from your presentation?

I hope that next time they get a call on their mobile phone and don’t recognize the number they’ll think of Callinize.  We bring the abundance of information in your CRM to your finger tips wherever you are.

And for those struggling to get CRM adoption throughout their company… if you provide your employees with tools like Callinize which take the chore out of getting information into and out of the system, your adoption will happen much more naturally.

What is the most exciting aspect of being a part of the Sugar App Throwdown?

Last year I presented yaai, the open source telephony integration, which is the foundation of Callinize.  The AppThrowdown really launched yaai’s userbase which in turn has attracted a community of developers from around the world.  Most notably, I met Callinize’s co founder, Patrick Hogan, right after my presentation at sugarcon.  We’ve been working together ever since and we wouldn’t be in this years AppThrowdown if it wasn’t for him. Looking forward to meeting other people to collaborate with and launching Callinize!

Looking at the other App Throwdown submissions, which one looks the most interesting and why?

I’m definitely interested in the harvest integration the campaign improvements!  Campaigns continue to be a pain point in my company.  It’s too hard for a sales person to use.