Archives For Mobile

Leading organizations are increasing their use of digital mechanisms for the business processes of buying, marketing, selling, and servicing. To do this, many organizations are turning to IBM’s Smarter Commerce and IBM Enterprise Marketing Management. Marketing automation tools like IBM Campaign and Interact, along with Silverpop, are great for defining multi touch campaigns, cross-channel marketing across digital channels, and real time personalizations for customers on electronic store fronts.

But what happens when a customer – who may have received an offer driven from IBM Campaign – calls into a customer service center? Does the customer service agent who answers the phone – let’s say it’s John –  have a history of that customer’s past interactions, and have the right information to answer that customer’s questions? Even better, can the customer service agent reinforce an offer that may have already been presented to the customer via IBM marketing automation offerings?

What happens if a sales person – let’s say it’s Sally – is about to call on that customer? Sally could be an inside sales rep, or an insurance agent, or a personal shopper in retail. Does Sally know everything about her customer including the fact that that customer might have received an offer through email that was generated by a campaign management tool? To take that a step further – if a campaign management tool generates 1000 leads, does Sally know that seven of those leads are her customers, and does she know exactly what to do with those seven leads?

We know that IBM Campaign can precisely target a specific set of customers. But imagine if Sally, upon signing in for her work day, sees seven specific new leads that are assigned to her from that campaign, along with specific actionable information for those leads. Imagine if John, our customer service agent, was able to pull up a complete view of the customer as he was helping resolve that customer’s issues; and could even upsell the customer based on a real-time offer appearing in his customer service dashboard.

SugarCRM, an IBM Global Alliance partner, can help. Sugar is an innovative CRM system designed for every individual who engages with customers: sellers, marketers, customer support agents, receptionists, and executives.

r4_smarter_commerce.jpgSugar has integrations into IBM Campaign to surface campaign information into sellers’ daily tools, whether that be Sugar itself or IBM Notes or Connections. Sugar also has integrations to IBM Interact to present real-time offers to sellers and customer service agents. Sugar is the first major CRM solution to be validated for the IBM Ready for Smarter Commerce mark. DiGi Telecommunications is one customer using IBM Campaign integrated to SugarCRM to provide consistency across digital marketing programs and human sales and service representatives.

Organizations that integrate SugarCRM and IBM experience faster campaign-to-cash times,  more efficient marketing and sales processes, and higher customer satisfaction and value.

For more information, see sugarcrm.com/ibm, or come visit us at SugarCon, April 28-May 1 in San Francisco, or the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2014 in Tampa, Florida May 12-15.

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Welcome to our roundup of customer relationship management (CRM) industry news from across the web. This week’s roundup will focus on mobile and its impact on the customer experience. We’re hunting the ‘net for the latest and greatest, and bringing them to you here, in one convenient weekly post.

Leveraging Mobile to Increase Customer Engagement
“Even when well-planned email campaigns are structured around richly sourced CRM intelligence, they can only achieve limited customer engagement if they’re carried out as conventional one-way interactions.” – Jose Santa Ana

Jose puts into perspective the current state of CRM and highlights how many CRM systems in place today were created for the customer of 10 years ago. He offers some food for thought when considering mobile and fostering two-way conversations when interacting with your customers.
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Mobile: The New Heart Of Digital Customer Experience
Michael Hinshaw introduces the four initial and critical steps to follow when considering the mobile customer journey.

“The question isn’t whether or not mobile is important; it’s how ready you are to deliver the mobile experiences your customers demand.” – Michael Hinshaw
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Digital Ad Spend Quickly Shifting To Mobile: Are You Ready
By 2014, mobile internet usage should overtake desktop internet usage (source). eMarketer reports the opportunity of advertising to the global smartphone audience as its surpassed the 1.75 billion user mark in 2014. “The opportunity for tapping into this vast, highly-engaged consumer base is so huge it’s impossible to ignore.” – Lionel White
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Got ideas for other great articles we should include in future CRM Roundup posts? Let us know in the comments below!

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

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.

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.

Are you thinking about where technology is going next?  We are.  Every day.  Name the top trends in technology today.  Go ahead, list them out.  They are all over the Web these days.  Every journalist and analyst is writing about them in some way.  Our customers are deploying them.  Technology companies are either leading the discussion about them or working hard to catch up.

Those technology trends are:  Mobile, Social, Cloud & Big Data

But wait a minute.  What about Open Source?  How come that isn’t in the list?  Is Open Source even relevant in today’s technology discussion?

You bet it is.  Open Source is more relevant than ever.  Let’s look at these top four technology trends in more detail.

Mobile is powered by Open Source
Mobile phones and tablets are changing the way we live.  From mapping your next route on Google Maps to friends poking you on Facebook to becoming mayor of your favorite restaurant on Foursquare to conference calls with others around the world, your smart phone has become your 24×7 link to everybody.  Between the iPhone and Android, the giants in smart phone technology are driving one of the most profound changes in how we connect.

Not surprising to anybody, open source plays a big role in the mobile world. The open source vs proprietary lines have been clearly drawn.  Apple has their proprietary iOS and Google has their open source Android operating system.  Both have built impressively large ecosystems.  One open.  One a “walled garden”.   One clearly open source.  One clearly not.

Or is it?

What you may not know is that every Apple iPhone runs open source.  Go ahead, take a look at the open source libraries included in iOS.  In fact, Apple has their own Apple Public Source License because, like every other major software company today, they too create open source software.

No matter how you look at it, the top mobile technologies are powered by open source.

Social is powered by Open Source
With Facebook and Twitter causing thumbs to fly non-stop across mobile keyboards, social technology is quickly becoming the glue of our modern Web 2.0 society.  Humans are social animals. We like to talk. We like to know what’s going on.  We like to stay connected.  Whether its social networking, social media or social CRM, highly interactive and hyper-colalborative social technology is connecting us in ways that only Sci-Fi authors could have thought of just 10 years back.

But what is powering social technology?  You guessed it.  Open Source.

  • Facebook creates and uses open source in their software. That’s 800 million users using open source everyday to stay connected.
  • Twitter creates and uses open source in their software.  They have 450 million users.
  • LinkedIn creates and uses open source.  Another 150 million users.

Cloud is powered by Open Source
If mobile and social are changing the way people connect, the cloud is how software companies are delivering that change.  And like mobile, two types of cloud ecosystems are developing.  A proprietary ecosystem in Amazon AWS and open source ecosystems in OpenStack, Eucalyptus and CloudStack.  Again, one side open source.  The other side proprietary.

Or is it?

If you’ve looked under the covers of Amazon AWS, you know that open source powers AWS.  Amazon RDS is powered by MySQL, an open source database.  The Amazon Linux AMI is one of the most commonly deployed virtual machines on Amazon.  And of course SugarCRM runs on Amazon AWS.

Big Data is powered by Open Source
Big Data brings a big promise.  It enables data warehousing, data mining, data analytics and much more at a significantly reduced cost.  In a world where storing terabytes is no big deal, Big Data is how you find answers in a sea of data.  Whether you look at the commercial open source Big Data vendors like Cloudera or Neo Technology or the open source projects behind Big Data like Hadoop and MongoDB, open source is powering Big Data in a big way.

So is Open Source still relevant?  You bet it is.

I’m new to SugarCRM, coming over in the iExtensions acquisition from iEnterprises, Inc. to become Sugar’s VP of Product Strategy, Collaboration Services. With all the recent announcements, I think it’s important to provide more details on the benefits of the acquisition that brought me to Sugar and what it means to the Sugar community, including both customers and partners. Here’s a brief summary of what Sugar has acquired:

1. iExtensions CRM: This is the leading Lotus Notes-based CRM product. It’s similar to SugarCRM in features and functions but it operates entirely inside IBM Lotus Notes. Although iEnterprises will continue to provide level-one support for iExtensions, it’s now owned and developed by SugarCRM. If you use iExtensions you’ll be pleased to know that Sugar is committing much deeper resources to the ongoing development of iExtensions CRM and you will see great product enhancements in the near future.

2. Lotus Notes Connector (plugin): The Sugar plugin for Lotus Notes has been licensed by Sugar from iEnterprises: both iEnterprises and Sugar will share ongoing development efforts. The plugin allows you to use SugarCRM from inside your Lotus Notes in-box and calendar. Its features are very similar to the Outlook plugin but it provides better enterprise mass-deployment options than the Outlook connector. If you use Lotus Notes, you’ll find this plugin a very useful add-on.

3. Offline Mobile Client: A new mobile client for BlackBerry, iPad, and iPhone is the second technology licensed from iEnterprises. This new mobile technology provides support for BlackBerry and iPad in the Sugar 6.2 release and will greatly extend the features and benefits offered by Sugar’s existing mobile technology. Perhaps the most important of these is the capability to pre-load data and work in offline mode. In offline mode, users can access account data stored locally on their mobile device, allowing them to be productive on airplanes and in areas with bad or non-existent cellular network connections. Both iEnterprises and Sugar will continue developing this technology, expanding it to Android and other platforms in the future.

Strategically, this all means that Sugar will now have deeper integration into IBM technology, thus facilitating greater adoption in the enterprise. In addition, the offline mobile client for tablets and smartphones will strengthen Sugar’s leadership in mobile CRM.

What does this mean if you’re an iExtensions CRM customer? The short answer is that Sugar will continue iExtensions development, bringing additional resources to bear to make iExtensions better than ever.

If you’re a SugarCRM customer, you’ll immediately see deeper integration into IBM technologies. In addition, the top-notch offline mobile client will allow your teams to be more productive wherever they are.

SugarCRM partners will also see tangible benefits. The new integration with IBM technologies will open doors to enterprise customers, thus allowing partners to extend their business more effectively to the high end of the marketplace. In addition, the new mobile technology will allow partners to compete on a differentiated level with SugarCRM.

What else does the future hold? It’s likely that we will innovate hybrid Lotus Notes/SugarCRM offerings and mobile technologies that have never before been seen in the marketplace, thus allowing Sugar to continue playing a leadership role in the CRM space while benefitting the entire Sugar community.

Thank You!
John Carini
VP of Product Strategy, Collaboration Services
SugarCRM
Jcarini@sugarcrm.com
+1 408.454.6930 – Office

Today at JasperWorld in San Francisco, SugarCRM and Jaspersoft are announcing an enhanced alliance that will help bring even greater business intelligence (BI) solutions to our customers around the world.

From a technology perspective, this makes a lot of sense. CRM data is some of the most critical information in any enterprise. Adding the ability to perform even deeper analysis of CRM data, and to couple that data with other business data – is a no-brainer in terms of the insight and predictability it can give a business.

But I think it is important to note how well SugarCRM and Jaspersoft are aligned in terms of how we see the business technology world evolving. I had the chance to listen to Jaspersoft CEP Brian Gentile this morning as he kicked off the JasperWorld 2011 conference. Brian outlined four basic tenets of how technology solutions at the top of the stack are evolving. He noted that modern business tools need to have the following attributes (I am paraphrasing here):

  • Ubiquitous Access
  • A Pleasing, Simple User Experience
  • Powerful Customization
  • User-Generated Collaboration

When I heard this, all of the work we put in to enhancing our partnership made even more sense. While SugarCRM is focusing on the sales, marketing, support etc. side of business users and Jaspersoft focuses on the more generic data analysis side of things – we could not be in deeper agreement or more aligned in our vision.

First off, when it comes to ubiquitous access – Sugar is all over that. With the iPhone app and upcoming tools for other mobile platforms, it is now easier to access CRM data and analysis anytime, anywhere.

I think the amazing work the Sugar engineering team put into making Sugar 6 the most intuitive and modern user interface on the market speaks volumes about the importance we place on user experience.

Also, when it comes to powerful yet simple customization and personalization – no other CRM tool comes close to matching Sugar. From powerful yet simple UI changes, to building custom purpose-built applications with Module Builder and Sugar logic – there is no better platform for application customization than Sugar.

Finally, user-generated collaboration can mean a lot of things. Sugar has worked hard to foster a collaborative environment for our users. Between the Sugar feeds, integrations with web 2.0 tools like Box.net Twitter and LinkedIn, and our new IBM Lotus Live integration that powers online meetings and real-time document sharing, Sugar users can collaborate internally and externally in ways no other CRM can accommodate.

It is great to see that there are technology providers out there that really “get it” when it comes to the knowledge worker of tomorrow. For a generation that grew up online, the tools they use at work need to be powerful yet intuitive, connected and collaborative. We are proud to be able to offer not only that ability in Sugar but also in combined solutions with some great partners.

For people marketing some CRM tools, the job is easy. Well, easier, because most of the established CRM tools were purpose built around what we thought it meant to empower sales, marketing and support agents.

In a lot of ways, this made sense. We tried to hit as many business needs out of the box, and the rest was up to expensive consulting engagements and professional services projects to make a reality.

This is, pardon my French, a really crappy way of building software.

Here at SugarCRM, we have learned from the past mistakes of the application software industry in a lot of ways. Instead of playing “feature wars” with our competitors and thus overwhelming users with a ton of bells and whistles they may (or may not) really need – we are instead creating a highly intuitive platform for building applications they way YOU want to.

This is, really, a fundamental change. Out of the box software was very feature-driven in the past. Now, we want to give businesses tools to easily and quickly morph a blank canvas into a masterpiece of automation and information for their users.

I was reminded of this vision by a great example of how Sugar can be used for virtually anything. Barrett Powell uses Sugar to manage his Real Estate business – not his sales agents or contact center reps. Powell has flexed the Sugar platform to meet his unique processes, and integrated data and features from other systems, creating a very specialized deployment of Sugar that fits his needs perfectly.

For some users, straight SFA features will be perfect. For others, taking the tools we provide and quickly creating a new interaction platform is what makes sense. The best part is that regardless of the project – Sugar offers real value and benefits for the most simple, to the most sophisticated application deployment.

Does Santa Use SugarCRM?

Jan Sysmans —  December 20, 2010 — Leave a comment

I just wanted to share a little Sugar-themed holiday fun from our UK partner EnableIT.  This came from a listing on the SugarCRM LinkedIN group. I’ve also added a few of my own…

Signs that Santa Claus might be using SugarCRM:

  • Every year, without fail, he knows which leads to follow up, based on a selection criteria of naughty or nice.
  • His scheduling calendar ensures that he meets ALL his appointments on time and can plan the most efficient route based on those appointments.
  • His marketing schedule is bang on, meaning he doesn’t needlessly waste money out of season promoting services and products that won’t be taken up.
  • He has built up such a loyal customer base that THEY actually contact HIM well ahead of their deadlines to let him know what they want, to ensure he can get it rolled out on time.
  • Although he is meeting tight deadlines, his marketing methods are such that he can still find time to go out canvassing for new customers in shopping centres and other target areas.
  • He has streamlined the “letters to Santa” concept with fast, simple web-to-lead forms in Sugar.
  • He can check “Naughty or Nice” status of key contacts in real time, any time and anywhere using Sugar Mobile on his iPhone.

Would love to hear some of your own!

Santa Logs in to Sugar Pro to check real time updates to his Naughty/Nice Dashboard