SugarCRM Adds Point-and-Click Customization to Open Source CRM Platform, Enabling Non-Technical Users To Adapt and Portalize Suite without Coding
New Version 2.5 Also Adds a New Charting Engine and other Functional Enhancements
Cupertino, CAâ€”January 31, 2005â€” SugarCRM Inc. has upgraded its industry-leading open source customer relationship management (CRM) platform with new customization tools that enable business users or administrators without any coding knowledge to customize the SugarCRM solution to meet their business needs. Users can customize fields, forms, and easily connect to other web-based enterprise information repositories to create made-to-order business tool portals that are unavailable in more expensive closed source CRM products.
The new version 2.5 also adds key functionality enhancements including a new charting engine, integration with the Mambo web portal application, a bug tracker, and an integrated RSS reader, plus special upgrades that include wireless PDA access, new summary reports, and an enhanced Microsoft Outlook plug-in. With these additional features solving business needs ranging from sales to customer service, SugarCRMâ€™s core application is now called the Sugar Suiteâ„¢.
SugarCRMâ€™s Sugar Open Source Editionâ„¢, expands the customer relationship management interface to include web portal tools. These enhancements will accelerate SugarCRMâ€™s already dominant position in the open source CRM software â€“ including over 100,000 downloads since its release last July.
SugarCRMâ€™s Sugar Professional Editionâ„¢ also expands the superior enterprise CRM solution to include integration with wireless devices in addition to new web portal tools. Sugar Professional has gained traction within larger companies requiring advanced features and optimized performance for large scale deployments.
â€œWith our new 2.5 release, we are extending the open source customization capabilities of our Sugar Suiteâ„¢ to make customization available to non-technical users who donâ€™t know anything about Linux, Apache, MySQL or PHP,â€ said John Roberts, CEO of SugarCRM. â€œAt the same time, we are enabling organizations to embed other applications into our interface to permit one-stop access to multiple applications and establish Sugar Suite as home base for CRM professionals.â€
"SugarCRM has been a flexible solution for our unique business needs managing over $100 million in annual revenue,â€ says Tim Yamauchi, CFO of PRIDE Technologies. â€œOur diverse solutions are very complex, and SugarCRM has been the only cost-effective solution that can meet our needs."
New features available in Sugar Suite 2.5 include:
- Customization without source code modification. Sugar Suite can now be customized from the Administration Console without writing any code. Modules can be activated and deactivated with a click, enabling organizations that do not need functions such as Accounts, Leads or Opportunities to simplify the user interface. Also, fields can be added, modified, removed or reconfigured without directly modifying the source code.
- Point-and-click portal creation. For additional customization, new modules representing other web-based applications such as forms, document repository and/or order management systems can be embedded into the Sugar interface through a simple set of configuration screens that require no IT intervention. This makes it possible to turn the Sugar interface into a portal permitting quick access to a wide range of related applications.
- New open source charting engine. Sugar Suite includes a new charting engine that generates attractive charts and graphs and supports Far East and Cyrillic character sets. This Flash-based plug-in is downloaded to the end userâ€™s browser, allowing data to be populated as the user watches while simultaneously decreasing the server load. The engine can also be used within other open source projects.
- Mambo web portal integration. A new Sugar API enables e-commerce and web lead transactions to be integrated into Sugar Suite through the Mambo open source portal for automatic lead passing and customer self-service. Customer registrations on an organizationâ€™s Mambo-based web site can now be automatically forwarded to the Sugar Suite, and customers can access their own trouble-ticket histories online to reduce unnecessary phone calls.
- Integrated RSS reader. Individual users can now incorporate their favorite news sources into Sugar Suite to stay on top of current events without having to leave their CRM application.
- Bug Tracker. An all new module for logging and tracking the progress of software bugs as well as product issues.
- Wireless PDA access. All modules in Sugar Professional have been optimized for viewing on small-screen wireless devices such as PalmOne Treos and RIM BlackBerrys, enabling sales staff to access their data from the road.
- Summary reports. In addition to the extensive line item reports available in previous versions, Sugar Professional 2.5 offers summary views that roll up key data such as total new leads per month, quote reports, case reports and account reports to aid sales staff in analyzing opportunities and performance.
- Enhanced Microsoft Outlook plug-in. The extension has been enhanced to reduce the number of clicks required to archive emails into a contact, lead, account, or opportunity history. The application supports Windows XP/2000 users running Office XP and Office 2000.
â€œSugarCRM has provided an easy to use sales tool which has saved R7 money and time with its powerful, intuitive interface and ease of implementation for administrators with limited IT experience.â€ says Evan Bartlett of R7 Solutions, â€œWe look forward to the 2.5 release with its expanded issue and case management to take our sales tool into additional customer touch points like service and support.â€
Licensing and Availability
The Sugar Open Source Edition 2.5 was available under an open source software license at www.SourceForge.net on January 21. Sugar Professional Edition 2.5 is available under commercial license at www.sugarcrm.com for an annual fee of $239 per user that includes 12 months of application updates; installation assistance; trouble ticketing; global weekday phone/email-based technical support (9AM-5PM Pacific time); and full production support including patch and fix distributions. Sugar Professional is also available as a hosted version, Sugar On-Demand. It eliminates in-house software installation and maintenance for $39.95 per user monthly.
For more information, call the SugarCRM sales line at (408) 873-9872, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.sugarcrm.com.
SugarCRM provides commercial open source customer relationship management applications for companies of all sizes worldwide. SugarCRM was founded in 2004 by three Silicon Valley CRM professionals with over twenty years of experience spanning marketing, application design and engineering. The company is headquartered in Cupertino, California and can be reached by email at email@example.com or by visiting http://www.sugarcrm.com.