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If you were at SugarCon 2012 last spring, you’ll remember one of the exciting new events we added to the schedule, the inaugural Sugar App Throwdown. It pitted six of the most interesting and innovative applications in the Sugar ecosystem today against each other in front of the SugarCon audience of customers, partners, and prospects. All of the participants – participants, judges and hosts – are pictured above. It was a huge success and a crowd favorite, so we’re bringing it back with us to the 2013 event in New York in April as well, and we are looking for a new group of apps to be a part of it.

Last year, six partners shared their apps – Alertus, Contactually, Epicom, EasyAsk, NextPrinciples and ActivePrime. They presented their applications in a fast, freewheeling session.

We are looking for that killer application, that beautiful mix of the Sugar platform with an emerging business tool, or even how you took Sugar to the next level to showcase the flexibility of the platform. We want the best of the best again here, all for the chance to get your application in front of the largest CRM-focused conference crowd in history. If you think you have what it takes, submit your idea to us today.

–John Mertic

NetworkWorld’s Alan Shimel recently published his list of the 10 most successful open source projects of 2012, and SugarCRM is there on the list. Sugar earned kudos for its integrations with Sharepoint, Lotus Notes, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Outlook, but beyond that, Shimel writes, SugarCRM has“emerged from Salesforce’s shadow and become a CRM power in its own right. With lots of ways to consume Sugar, there is a model and a price point for just about everyone. While continuing to innovate, Sugar has found its place.”

Of course, in order to find that place, SugarCRM’s had to focus on more than just being an open-source alternative. SugarCRM had to focus on addressing the top problem of its users better than the competition: enabling the entire organization to effectively engage with customers, and making every connection and call drive value for each customer. Recognizing the need for an organization-wide customer engagement platformgives Sugar’s internal team and those of its resellers partners direction to use the flexibility that the application’s open source heritage provides.

The others on the NetworkWorld list – Hadoop, MongoDB, OpenStack, Pentaho, PostgreSQL, Joomla, WordPress, DotNetNuke and Audacity – have also been keen observers of the business needs of their customers. To see the full list, visit Shimel’s slideshare deck outlining his 10 open source success stories.

 

 

 

Business News Daily’s Ned Smith wrote about a Harris Poll sponsored by SugarCRM that confirmed a lot of what people have come to believe about customer service: all too often it’s infuriating, frustrating, hard to navigate and a killer to customer loyalty. More than half the respondents said that poor service experiences have caused then to avoid buying from a company, and four out of five who used social media channels for service were frustrated by a lack of knowledge about them, indicative of disconnections between service processes and CRM.

These problems are the kinds of things that a well-structured CRM system – and the right technology – can avoid. Read the whole story and get a feel for how frustrated customers are – and realize that assuaging those frustrations can give you an edge over your competitors.

The last couple of weeks have seen SugarCRM’s Chief Product Officer Lila Tretikov getting her due. First came accolades from the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world’s top honors for female entrepreneurs, executives, and the organizations they run. Over 1700 entries were submitted this year; Lila took Bronze honors as Female Executive of the Year. The awards are selected by a group of more than 200 business executives from around the world; the full list of winners can be found here.

A week after the Stevies were released, Lila was one of the executives profiled by the USA Today in an article called “Women band together, make inroads into tech.”  The article discusses the presence and role of female engineers in Silicon Valley, and includes statistics about the percentage of women majoring in computer science and engineering fields. The article quotes Lila and offers insight into her background.

With SugarCon landing in New York this year, it was only fitting that we landed founder and former CEO of Travelocity.com, Terry Jones, as one of our keynote speakers. Drawing from his experience as chairman of Kayak.com and former CIO at airline tech pioneer Sabre, Jones will explain how leadership, innovation, and an openness to technology were crucial in revolutionizing the travel industry.

A graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio, Jones entered the travel industry in 1971 as a travel agent with Vega Travel in Chicago. He later served five years as a vice president of Travel Advisors, a company specializing in business travel to Eastern Europe and the USSR, with offices in Chicago and Moscow.

Currently, Jones is the managing principal and co-founder of Essential Ideas, a consulting firm he co-counded that helps organizations transition to the digital economy. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Kayak.com, and is on the boards of Smart Destinations, Inc., Luxury Link and Rearden Commerce. He is a special venture partner with General Catalyst Partners of Boston. Jones also is Chairman of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and serves on the national Information Technology committee of the Boy Scouts of America.

Hear from an innovator with a proven record of business transformation. Register now for big savings on our largest conference to date. Early-bird pricing ends December 31st. We look forward to seeing you in New York City!

By Dax Farhang, Director of Product Marketing

Two weeks ago, we announced some feature enhancements to Sugar that would make their debut in qualifying Sugar On-Demand instances and then become available to Sugar On-Site customers in a comprehensive release in mid-2013. This staggered approach to introducing new features generated feedback from a few customers, which gives us a chance to explain our thinking here.

In short, we’re changing our process for pushing out new features because customers are asking for it.  On-Demand customers prefer regular updates, pushed out automatically. With this updated release model, SugarCRM will be able to make new enhancements available as quickly as possible with no effort from On-Demand customers.

Our On-Site customers have a different set of requirements. Since they’re maintaining their own instances, IT teams require time from to implement new versions. Unlike On-Demand customers, they simply can’t upgrade frequently and often prefer to stay on a particular version for an extended period of time. These companies will now benefit by being able to plan on 1 or 2 feature upgrades a year to take advantage of all the latest Sugar innovations

As always, we take pride in giving our customers choice and control over their deployment models and are excited that we’re able to further optimize each option by meeting the specific needs of each customer type.

Some may think that CRM is a tool used primarily by companies that lean toward high technology – and that means IT-oriented companies.  The reality is that all companies these days are leaning on high technology to become more efficient and to gain an edge in sales – and so, CRM is becoming a tool in the arsenals of companies in industries that might surprise technology chauvinists.

For an example, look no farther than KRAMSKI, a German stamping and insert/outsert molding manufacturer with a global client base that includes Delphi, Bosch and Lear and plants in Asia and North America. The company needed to introduce greater uniformity, transparency, and efficiency into its sales process. It was no longer enough to rely on on Excel spreadsheets to track leads, inquiries, and opportunities; these limited tools gave KRAMSKI executives little visibility into the sales pipeline.

Working with MyCRM Gmbh (SugarCRM’s November Partner of the Month)  MyCRM GmbH to improve sales monitoring and transparency and increase customer satisfaction, KRAMSKI’s new Sugar-based solution allows sales teams to now forecast a full nine months in advance rather than three — a 200 percent improvement. Sugar also accelerated decision making while reducing quote approval time by 20 percent for domestic customers and 25 percent for international customers.

MyCRM designed and implemented the solution and conducted user training. MyCRM also integrated Sugar with IBM Lotus Notes Groupware. In addition to improving sales monitoring processes and increasing the forecasting range, the MyCRM Sugar implementation:

  • Reduced quote approval time by 20 percent for domestic clients and 25 percent for international clients
  • Enabled KRAMSKI to optimize production resources
  • Improved opportunity management and quote generation
  • Standardized sale reporting across all company locations

For more information on KRAMSKI’s success with Sugar, visit the case study.