Archives For open source

FutureOS_Collaborator_badge_128Supported by 35 collaborating organizations (including SugarCRM), Black Duck Software and North Bridge, in partnership with Forrester Research Analyst Jeffrey Hammond, are teaming up to announce the 2014 Future of Open Source Survey! This is your chance to help shape the future of open source and be a part of an industry wide discussion sharing your views with today’s industry leaders.

Over the past eight years, this annual survey has sparked important discussions around open source adoption. Show your support for the open source community and share your perspective by taking the Future of Open Source Survey.

Take the survey here to voice your opinion and contribute to the conversation around:

  • Why companies engage directly with and contribute to open source communities
  • The importance and potential impact of upcoming new developments in open source
  • What business problems can be solved by open source now and in the future

Then, register for the live webinar, revealing the survey results on April 3, 2014. The results will also be shared on Twitter from the @FutureofOSS account, using the hashtag #FutureOSS.

Don’t miss the live panel discussion on the industry’s hottest trends and the future of open source survey results featuring:

  • Lou Shipley, CEO and President at Black Duck
  • Michael Skok, General Partner at North Bridge
  • Jeffrey Hammond, VP, Principal Analyst Serving Application Development & Delivery Professionals at Forrester Research
  • More to be added!

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.

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.

 

 

 

At SugarCRM, we have embraced an open culture since day one. The reason why we chose to build Sugar as an open source product was because we fundamentally believe in the ideals of the open source way. Openness allows companies to more readily connect and build a relationship with their customers. While building a killer app may put the gleam in our developers’ eyes, solving our customers’ problems is what keeps the people at SugarCRM focused and driven.

After all, the purpose of a company is to create customers. And companies do this by connecting people with problems (customers) to people with solutions (employees). And our employees (we call them Sugas) really like to solve customer relationship problems.

So how does openness help build a better CRM solution? In three simple ways.

1) Focus on Users First. From the beginning, we designed the Sugar app first for the end users of the application. CRM applications have a long history of failed implementations due to a lack of adoption by the end users. Why is this? Because legacy CRM applications like Siebel and Salesforce.com have been traditionally designed for the buyer first, i.e. sales management. By embracing an open dialogue with our end users through the Sugar Forums, the SugarCRM development team is tightly connected with our end users and able to focus on solving their business problems. Our first design use case is around a customer representative getting ready to contact a customer and needing to prepare for the call, meeting or tweet. By ensuring the Sugar application is highly useful and useable, sales managers can then rely on the forecast, pipeline and issue resolution insight coming out of their Sugar application.

2) Built for the Open Cloud. The Open Cloud Manifesto is dedicated to the belief that the cloud should be open. The core tenets of the Open Cloud are that open standards and portability of applications across cloud platforms gives customers control and choice. Our customers demand control of their mission critical applications and data and require choice of their cloud platforms. From Sugar On Demand, a fully managed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application to running Sugar on Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud platforms like IBM SmartCloud Enterprise and Amazon AWS, organizations in over 80 countries around the world choose SugarCRM for the flexibility of deployment options. Control and choice means all companies can design a CRM strategy without having to make any compromises in their IT strategy.

3) Leveraging an Open Ecosystem. Today’s most vibrant technology companies are those that get the power of ecosystems. The amplification effect of a large ecosystem of partners gives companies like SugarCRM, Google, Apple, Amazon and others a massive boost in delivering value to customers. However, we are seeing two types of ecosystems emerging: closed ecosystems and open ecosystems. The mobile phone market is a perfect example of this. Apple has built a “walled garden” ecosystem with iOS. Google however has built an open ecosystem with Android. You will find a similar duality in the CRM world with Salesforce.com creating a closed ecosystem and SugarCRM creating an open ecosystem. With an open ecosystem, our customers have more choices. From a wider and more varied choice of implementation partners to the power of SugarForge.org, the largest collection of open source CRM solutions on the Web, SugarCRM customers enjoy the benefits of choice and control not only in their cloud options but also in their ecosystem options.

A culture of openness here at SugarCRM has led to better CRM solutions, solutions better aligned to your needs and better aligned to driving your CRM success.

–Clint

Many have probably seen that Salesforce.com has acquired web conferencing tools provider DimDim for $31m. (The rumors of this deal had been percolating since before Dreamforce so for many this was no surprise at all.)

The deal pits Salesforce.com in many ways against some big companies and very popular products – Citrix’s GoToMeeting and Cisco’s Webex, in addition to IBM’s Lotus Live set of offerings. With its recent platform buy in Heroku, and this new move, it is funny to see Salesforce continue to add competitive concerns and look to enter in large markets where it has no clout, rather than look to live above the competition in one market where it already does well. Confident move?  Yes. Smart move?  Well, we’ll just have to wait…

And while the DimDim acquisition clearly places SFDC in competition with the likes of WebEx and GoToMeeting, Salesforce would like to look at this differently. Salesforce instead sees this as a pocket acquisition to bolster its Chatter functionality – a tool it is already basically just giving away to gain some stickiness for its actual paid apps. So, if SFDC does not really see much future for DimDim save for part of what is now a free add-on, then the $31m price was not a huge price to pay to make a cool new collaboration feature a little more robust.

But again, if Chatter is basically free at this point, why buy DimDim? The product was open source under the GPL. Couldn’t SFDC simply create an integration to the free tool and offer up that integration along with a simple installer to add video and screen sharing tools to Chatter?

I think the answer here is two-fold. One, I have not yet seen SFDC do anything that resembles open source. Yes, they have opened up their toolkits and platforms for developers, but everyone does that. There is just not that type of culture alive at SFDC in my opinion. This is a company steeped in the grand history of proprietary software.

The second reason (which is definitely intertwined with the first) is that due to SFDC’s multi-tenant model, adding DimDim-like resources without wholly owning the code would be problematic. As we know, in order for SFDC to really have a tight handle on anything its users touch, it has to run on its monolithic platform. This makes upgrades and other things easy, but does set limitations on how SFDC can go to market with technology it doesn’t own.

It will be interesting to see if the nature of a GPL licensed piece of software sitting inside a huge multi-tenant database has any effect on the way in which Chatter users are empowered to make, own and redistribute changes.

All in all, this is chump change for SFDC, and while it plots them theoretically against big names like Webex, I can’t see Salesforce actually making any huge headway into standalone video conferencing with the DimDim technology – most likely Salesforce.com will only relegate the functionality as a nice add-on to Chatter.

Note: This post originally appeared on CRM Outsiders. For an in-depth and insightful discussion with Larry explaining his points further, check out Larry’s NetworkWorld podcast on the topic.

Some Thoughts on Open

By Larry Augustin, CEO, SugarCRM

The announcement of General Availability of Sugar 6 this week has prompted some questions about SugarCRM’s business model and the role of Open Source at SugarCRM. (Read about it all here: [1][2][3][4])

Open Source is at the heart of SugarCRM’s business. Well over half of our engineering effort produces code that is released under an OSI approved license. We have three versions of our Sugar CRM product: Community Edition, Professional Edition, and Enterprise Edition. The Community Edition is licensed under version 3 of the AGPL, and has been licensed under some version of the GPL or AGPL since early 2007. Prior to that it was available under several variants of the MPL.

SugarCRM does not release 100% of the code we develop under an Open Source license; Sugar Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition are distributed under a commercial license. This mix of Open Source and commercially licensed software offerings has allowed us to build a successful business while creating an innovative, award winning, affordable, and open CRM solution. From the beginning SugarCRM has always had this mixed model. We benefit from this model, and, as Marten Mickos says, believe that the world of Free and Open Source Software benefits as well.

SugarCRM always makes available full source code to all of our customers. In all cases (Community, Professional, or Enterprise), our customers receive full source code to our products. In all cases our customers have the right to run our products anywhere: in their own datacenters, in our datacenters, or at any of a variety of cloud service providers. In all cases our customers own their data and have full access to their complete database. We care deeply about those rights. They are at the heart of our differentiation as a company.

Open Source code is just part of that. “Open” to us means more than source code. It’s an entire philosophy about how we do business and how we empower our customers.

To riff on an analogy I originally heard from Red Hat founder Bob Young, would you buy a car with the hood locked shut and where only the dealer who sold you that car had the key? Imagine for a minute what that would mean. Only the dealer could perform regularly scheduled maintenance. You couldn’t modify the engine in any way, such as tuning for higher performance or modifying it to run on alternative fuels. Imagine you were on a trip and the car broke down. While you might have the skills to fix it, or might find a local mechanic who could fix it, you wouldn’t have those options. Only the dealer has the key, and only the dealer has the right to touch that engine. Imagine how frustrating that lack of control would be.

Why then would you run your business on software where you have no control? Where you are entirely at the mercy of the vendor? Where you did not control your own destiny?

At SugarCRM we are passionate about giving our customers that control. With full access to Sugar’s source code, customers can take control of their own destiny. If they so choose, they can make enhancements specific to their business needs. If something breaks, they can open the hood themselves, or have a “mechanic” of their own choosing open the hood for them.

But empowering customers means not just sharing with them our source code (under either an Open Source or commercial license), but also making sure that they have the keys to the hood so they can control their own destiny. How is this different? Consider a ‘traditional’ hosted (Software as a Service, or SaaS) CRM provider. Your data resides on their servers, under their control. If their systems go down, you go down. If it doesn’t operate the way you want it to, you’re out of luck. Even if they were to give you access to their source code, you are still not in control of your own destiny, because you wouldn’t be allowed to modify it, or even run it, if you wanted to. You might have the blueprints, but you still can’t get under the hood. Tim O’Reilly has been preaching this challenge to Free and Open Source Software for many years. Marten Mickos makes the same observation about closed web services in his recent Computer World UK article.

At SugarCRM our customers have not only full access to their data, but they have that access in the original database form so that they can truly control their own destiny. They can move that database to another cloud service provider or to servers on their own private cloud or in their own data center. As a SugarCRM customer that choice is in your control.

Further, our open model has created a vibrant partner network that allows our customers to select the level of service they want, while at the same time giving them full control and options for the future. For example, you may be the hands-on person who likes to open the hood and change your own oil. Or you may prefer to buy a complete service agreement with your car, where everything is included and the dealer takes care of everything. Our open model has enabled a network of partners that offer whatever level of service you need, from do-it-yourself to full service. As a SugarCRM customer that choice is in your control.

Our open, ”run anywhere”, model enables similar choice and control in where your data resides and your applications runs. That may mean you choose to let us run Sugar for you out of our datacenters. Or you may choose to run it on cloud services such as Amazon, Rackspace, or Windows Azure. Or you may choose to run it on your own servers on your own private cloud. As a SugarCRM customer that choice is in your control.

Bottom line: Open is a core value for us a SugarCRM. That manifests itself in part through our commitment to our Open Source Community Edition, but is pervasive in our entire company philosophy in which our customers receive full source code to our products, have the right to run our products anywhere, and own their own data. Open is at the heart of our business.