Archives For SugarCRM

A few things got me thinking this morning about how we at SugarCRM define ourselves, and how we fit in the broader market in general. Yesterday analyst and all around instigator Esteban Kolsky made some interesting points in scrutinizing a leading analyst firm’s increasingly broad definition of what vendors fit into the CRM landscape.

In my days an an analyst I covered call center tools, sales automation software, marketing and demand generation technology, analytics, e-commerce and even ERP – all in the name of “customer facing/touching technology.” And these are, in all fairness, all part of a customer acquisition or retention strategy.

But while some companies offer a lot of these components (and I am sure a few might argue they offer them all) – no single PRODUCT covers all of these bases in a seamless and unified manner. They just don’t.

And this is a good thing. More and more, consumers of these technology components are taking a “best of breed” approach, in order to get the best features, benefits and the most attractive return on invested dollars. On the vendor side, a diverse market of providers fosters innovation and healthy competition that benefits the customer.

So, where does SugarCRM fit in? Well, for one we believe in the best of breed approach to CRM and the adjacent technologies that support a successful CRM initiative. For example, we work with lots of great demand generation providers like Act-On, Hubspot and Marketo to enable seamless lead flow into our core CRM system. Second, all we focus on is that “core CRM” and not infrastructure or business intelligence or other technology. In a world where M&A and other drivers has made nearly every CRM player also a seller of other IT stuff – we remain the CRM specialists. These may be valuable tools (and lucrative to sell) but they are not our focus.

Our focus, then, is what I’ve been calling the “Nexus of Engagement:” that point where an internal person/employee/user, etc. interacts with a customer/lead/partner, etc. (Akin to what I talked about a while back in bringing the “R” back into CRM.) We are the system that supports the user in delivering the right information, at the right time. We help sales, marketing and support professionals see the “next best step” in a process, or the best person to interact with next. We are the home base, as it were – supporting the process of turing “CRM users” into “Customer Experts.”

Don’t get me wrong – we don’t do it alone. Like I noted above in the demand generation ecosystem we support – there are lots of potential data inputs, integrated tools, apps, widgets, etc. – that make for the most successful creations of this “Nexus of Engagement.” But I would argue that the unlimited flexibility of Sugar’s architecture, it’s easily customized user-first design, and the broad pre-existing technology and data ecosystem around Sugar – makes us unique in our ability to support any user in becoming a customer expert.

UPDATED 2013-06-19: Webinar moved to June 25th. Sorry for the inconvenience.

As many of you know, SugarCRM has run the App of the Month program for the past several years. Going forward, sugarcrm-aotm-sugaroutfittersSugarOutfitters and SugarCRM will be working together to feature the best apps every month. We’re really excited to work with SugarCRM on this program as finding the best apps in the SugarCRM ecosystem is already a big part of what we do!

Without further ado, DetectID Cloud for is the June 2013 SugarCRM App of the Month. The DetectID Cloud for SugarCRM helps ensure your SugarCRM SugarCRM data is safe and secure. They will give a live demo at the SugarCRM Community Webinar on June 25th at 11am EDT. To try out DetectID Cloud for SugarCRM, simply start a free trial today.

profile_DI_juneappofmonthYour name, title and brief bio?

Daniel Ingevaldson, CTO of Easy Solutions, Inc. I’m responsible for the overall technology strategy for Easy Solutions.

When you designed and built this app, what problems were you looking to solve for SugarCRM users and how does the DetectID Cloud for SugarCRM solve those problems?

Easy Solutions has been a market-leader in building security and anti-fraud technology for banks and other financial institutions for many years. We have helped our clients protect their systems and account holders from constant and deliberate attacks from highly skilled adversaries. One primary technology that banks rely upon to protect their users is “multi-factor authentication” (MFA), which basically means that users need something beyond a simple password to access their accounts. The use of MFA protects users from simple “phishing” attacks which are designed to trick users into supplying their username and password.

These problems don’t just affect big banks. There were almost 1,500 breaches of customer data publicly reported last year, and probably hundreds more that went unreported. In each of these events, personal information, account names, emails and/or passwords were stolen. Studies show that most users commonly reuse the same password for nearly every web site registration and many users are registered for hundreds. With the constant drumbeat of high-profile breaches, the circulation of hundreds of thousands of usernames and passwords in the online underground and the pervasive problem of extensive password reuse, nearly all cloud-based data is at risk.

Our goal with SugarCRM is to provide enabling technology for easy-to-use MFA for SugarCRM. The same technology that supports our financial services customers has been leveraged to provide SugarCRM users the extra security needed, without the extra hassle. With DetectID Cloud for SugarCRM, even if the user’s password has been stolen, it is not possible to access SugarCRM data.

What unique or interesting ways does your product make it easy for users to use?

DetectID Cloud for SugarCRM supports two types of MFA. The first is “device authentication”, which detects and fingerprints the user’s computer during the first login. After the device is enrolled and associated with a specific user account, every login thereafter will trigger a check to see if the enrolled computer is behind the login. If not, it will not be possible to login. The second approach is called “mobile one-time-password”, or mobile OTP. Mobile OTP allows users to login normally with a username or password and to enter a one-time-password from the Easy Solutions DetectID OTP iPhone or Android app. Mobile OTP turns any mobile device into a second factor. In both cases, if a password is stolen, account access is not allowed without the second factor.

What attracted you to being a part of the SugarCRM ecosystem?

The ecosystem. SugarCRM has a fantastic community of integrators, hosting providers and app developers. SugarCRM customers are attracted to the platform because it gives them the power to tune their instance to their specific requirements. Easy Solutions is interested in providing MFA technology to all enterprise applications because they are all equally vulnerable to these basic attack types.

What is your vision for DetectID Cloud for SugarCRM? What can we expect to see from DetectID in the future?

DetectID Cloud is built upon robust enterprise-class technology that supports authentication for millions of online users. Our vision for DetectID Cloud is to continue to expand the capabilities of the solution to provide customers with additional types of MFA and additional flexibility to deploy the right combination and security and convenience that is right for their users.

We’re bringing the top Sugar highlights from the Twitterverse right here to the Sugar blog every Friday. Hear what Sugar fans tweeted this week! For more, join the conversation and follow us @sugarcrm

Harmen Baas tweeted, “Nu presentatie van Sugar7 door @sugarclint op CRM Acceleration 2013! #BrixCRM #SugarCRM pic.twitter.com/TK6LETwVTz”
https://twitter.com/HarmenBaas/status/340113475839868929

Mike Gee tweeted, “Just received my @SugarCRM Pre-Sales Engineer and Implementation Consultant certificates. I’m now qualified!”
https://twitter.com/EnableITmike/status/340433103942201344

Endeavor CPQ tweeted, “BIG HONOR! Congrats 2 our partners @SugarCRM RT @jmertic: SugarCRM Wins ISM 2013 Top 15 CRM Software Award… http://fb.me/Vw0EABjp
https://twitter.com/endeavortweets/status/339476813153710080

Jordan Moss tweeted, “@sugarclint I love this show almost as much as I love @sugarcrm! :) @AtcoreSystems #AllThingsAtcore”
https://twitter.com/jordanmoss_13/status/339376923031519232
(Regarding Shipping Wars, A&E’s hit reality tv show which uses Sugar’s customer uShip as its shipping marketplace)

Have a Sweet Friday!

Best,
Anshu Agarwal
VP of Marketing

We rolled out our new messaging platform back at SugarCon this year, with the “Every Customer, Every User, Every Time” message ringing loud and clear as a call to the CRM world. It’s pretty clear message, especially with end-users who have had to fight against the fails of technology for years and years. But how does this same question resonate in developer circles? Are they too far abstracted away from the user for the message to add value?

I had the privilege of being at the php|tek 2013 conference in Chicago two weeks ago, which is one of the prominent gatherings of the PHP community that we’ve sponsored for the last three years, and heard a great keynote from Andrew Nacin. As lead developer of the WordPress web publishing platform which is being used by millons of people worldwide, he’s observed front and center the challenges of building a self-hosted tool that needs to be as easy as possible to get up and running. There were some great themes that came up…

It speaks loud and clear to the developer world; making users fight against your application, especially in the first experiences the user has with it, is detrimental to adoption. Making the user need to go thru multiple confusing steps to get it up and running, having to install all sort of dependencies, or even needing to do non-trivial maintenance on the application, is way out of their realm; they don’t want to have to learn the internals of an application to be a successful user of it.

For example, telling every user that you need to be using the latest build of Chrome is a requirement, but that doesn’t help the user that is locked by corporate policy into using IE. Or saying that you need to install some specific library in order to install your application, which locks out the person trying to get it up and going on a shared host that doesn’t allow that. Dictating terms like that draws a clear line in the sand, which immediately ostracizes folks who don’t care about these details and just want “something that works”.

Where’s the lesson here? While trying to use the latest whiz-bang-hip thing is great, in the end if it’s not making a tangible different to your user then it doesn’t matter. Users want abstracted from technology, not having to be experts in it. Write every line of code with this thought in mind “Am I helping my user be productive and get the task done, every time?”.

We’re bringing the top Sugar highlights from the Twitterverse right here to the Sugar blog every Friday. Hear what Sugar fans tweeted this week! For more, join the conversation and follow us @sugarcrm

Anna Islamova tweeted, “@lilatretikov Great to see you on the panel! #OD13 #OnDemand13 @sugarcrm”
https://twitter.com/annaislamova/status/336936462975115264

Jason Reid tweeted, “@sugarcrm @jmertic I will be sure to stop by, looking forward to seeing what’s new.” (regarding demos of Sugar 7 from our booth at DrupalCon this week).
https://twitter.com/jasonreid/status/337358223478759426

BrixCRM tweeted, “Next Thursday at CRM Acceleration in Amsterdam: @sugarclint reveals Sugar 7! Free sign up: http://bit.ly/10YmGld @sugarcrm”
https://twitter.com/brixcrm/status/337121753954390016

Peter Niemeyer tweeted, “I am thankful for having the nicest colleagues in the world! @sugarcrm @SugarCRMChannel @tinnitus pic.twitter.com/0i8u9M2pc5”
https://twitter.com/NiemeyerPeter/status/336814098346045440

Have a Sweet Friday!

Best,
Anshu Agarwal
VP of Marketing

If you’re a fan of A&E’s hit reality show, Shipping Wars, you’re already familiar with our customer, uShip. On the show, six independent shippers bid to transport items that traditional carriers won’t touch. These are things like furniture, vehicles, pets, and… you name it!

shipping warsuShip is the shipping marketplace used by the show, connecting shippers of large, oversized items with customer-reviewed service providers. uShip prides itself on being an open, transparent marketplace where consumers and businesses can compare and book upfront quotes, name their own price or receive auction-style bids from 300,000 transportation service providers.

uShip lacked the information infrastructure to support calls generated by key partnerships, including eBay Motors, Cars.com, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers and several others. Additionally, the company’s commercial accounts require longer-term management than retail customers and uShip needed a system that could accommodate both.

Realizing the need for a comprehensive solution to streamline processes, uShip eliminated its use of GoogleDocs, spreadsheets, internal systems and pen and paper to manage its customer pipeline. It evaluated Sugar, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, but ruled out the latter two in favor of SugarCRM. The fast growing company then enlisted SugarCRM partner Epicom to help customize and roll out its Sugar deployment.

Today, uShip is managing its growth with an efficient, user-friendly system in the form of Sugar. By deploying Sugar, uShip has:

  • Boosted efficiency by 20 percent
  • Accelerated reporting, saving six to eight hours per week
  • Increased customer conversion rate via Asterisk integration

For more on uShip’s work with Epicom, check out their case study.

uship logo

We’re bringing the top Sugar highlights from the Twitterverse right here to the Sugar blog every Friday. Hear what Sugar fans tweeted this week! For more, join the conversation and follow us @sugarcrm

Sonja Fridell tweeted, “SO enjoying the @collabspot @gmail – @sugarcrm integration. Doing all #CRM work with it”
https://twitter.com/Sfridell/status/335025970379624448

Sean Myers tweeted, “Great trip to San Francisco. Thank You @sugarcrm for the invitation and @DocuSign for a really cool conference.”
https://twitter.com/seanpmyers/status/334767649294782465

DrupalCon tweeted, “We’re grateful for the support from our Silver sponsor @sugarcrm and cannot wait to see you in Portland! http://sugarcrm.com”
https://twitter.com/drupalcon/status/334582985716281344

Eligeo CRM tweeted, “We’re halfway through Switch to Sugar month! Check out our blog for resources for making the switch to @SugarCRM http://bit.ly/switchtosugar”
https://twitter.com/eligeo/status/334747814619926529

Jordon Moss tweeted, “This is possibly my new favorite thing about @sugarcrm! @AtcoreSystems #AllThingsAtcore #AllthingsPink #PinkSugar pic.twitter.com/O5hHbGswYZ”
https://twitter.com/jordanmoss_13/status/335391779253792769

Have a Sweet Friday!

Best,
Anshu Agarwal
VP of Marketing