SugarCRM is a very popular Customer Relationship Management application developer and offers both open source and commercial CRM solutions for individuals and businesses. The idea behind an open source CRM was first formulated by John Roberts who served as the CEO during 2004. By September 2004, statistics indicated that 25000 users had downloaded the application and hence Draper Fisher Juvetson, Walden International and New Enterprise associates invested 46 million dollars in the start-up company. Every year, a conference is held at San Francisco called SugarCon which can be considered as the meeting place for all developers and users.
Sugar Community Edition, Sugar Corporate, Sugar Professional, Sugar Enterprise and Sugar Ultimate are some of the products available. The software is designed over the Linux Apache MySQL and PHP (LAMP) stack. Sugar Community Edition is available free of cost whereas the other products require consumers to get an annual subscription.
Features of Sugar CRM
- Based on customer’s configuration requirements, Sugar CRM is capable of running on-demand, on-premise or on-cloud modes.
- If the company has in-house technical resources, they can modify or customize the code to suit their purposes since SugarCRM is available under General Public License v3 (GNU).
- Excellent documentation, active developer community and excellent training programs make it easier to adopt SugarCRM in any type of industry.
- Sales Force Automation and marketing are two additional features available with Sugar Professional Edition for which the company charges 40$/month per user.
- The user is free to select Oracle databases instead of the default MySQL ones if they opt for Sugar Enterprise package. This application includes Advanced SQL reporting tools and offline sync capabilities and is available at 449$/year per user.
Some advanced features of Sugar CRM
- Email management is one of features and it includes support for IMAP based email servers, Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo in addition to some other popular email clients. Users can directly mail from the application, read mails, sync their inboxes with the application, manage schedule and track project progress. Email marketing campaign feature allows marketing managers to target their audience and deliver strong messages that portrays the brand identity of their organization.
- Social CRM tools enable the organization to post messages on various social media sites, observe the customer’s response, solve their queries and issues if any and keep the employees updated with the latest social media tools.
- Sugar Mobile, Sugar Mobile Browser and Sugar Mobile Plus are three Mobile CRM tools offered by Sugar CRM. Sugar Mobile includes iPhone and Android apps to access Sugar CRM from any mobile device. Sugar Mobile Browser includes optimized access to Sugar from any mobile or tablet through its browser. The paid versions of Sugar CRM have the third feature that enables users to store data on their mobile devices and sync it with their servers.
- Advanced deployment options include Sugar-on Demand that allows users to access Sugar through SaaS. Sugar Private Cloud enables organizations to store all their data on a cloud managed by Sugar for a certain fee. Sugar Public Cloud enables the organizations to use a third party cloud storage solution like Amazon. Sugar-on-site is the option that enables consumers to host the application locally behind their firewall.