As a technology executive who has lived and worked in the Silicon Valley for decades, I’m often asked for my opinion on what has been the most significant innovation I’ve lived through during my career. Though there have been a number that have quite literally changed the world, from open source to the web, and laptops to supercomputers, there is one answer that stands out above all others. And that is using digital technology to organize the world’s information. And though there were others that came before them, it is the innovations that have come from Alphabet and Google. It’s a cliché to say we can’t live without our phones, but they’re well along the way to becoming “view ports” onto the web, and the killer app of the web is Google-powered search. We really can’t live without Google. They’ve truly changed the world. Whether it’s democratizing the world’s access to information, or changing how people interact, typically by fact-checking comments as people speak, with a web device and a network connection, everyone has equal access to the world’s information.
There’s a fundamental model that underlies the value of Google search: all of us can access its vast data to gather information about all kinds of things, while contributing very little to that database. In fact some of us don’t contribute anything at all. If you have a blog or an active social media presence, you may be responsible for a bit of what can appear in a Google search. But the amount of information that Google can provide is still many orders of magnitude more than you put in. Using Google this way has become such an integral part of modern society that few of us think about the ratio of data Google provides, versus the data we provide to fellow Google users. And even if you realize it, you probably don’t care. The beauty of Google is that it doesn’t care either.
Now, contrast the experience of using Google with today’s business and enterprise applications, where value is directly related to the specific amount and quality of information provided by you and your colleagues. Putting that in the context of CRM, you have historically needed to spend hundreds of hours entering quality data into your system in order to get the value you were promised when you deployed it. It’s really an antiquated way of interacting with technology. Put another way, business apps help you gather insight from what you (and colleagues) already know. But in the big search world, you gather insight from what everyone knows.
Introducing SugarCRM Hint
Enter SugarCRM Hint, the debut product from our new Relationship Intelligence product line. With SugarCRM Hint, we are flipping the ratio of ‘contribution to value’ in business applications. Users can now get a great deal of useful information while supplying very little. This concept will lead to the natural evolution of CRM, moving it from being a record of what has already happened to a customer-facing employee’s guide to the future.
SugarCRM Hint reinvents business applications by enabling end-users to provide only a few contact details such as the email and name for an individual, and then automatically searches, tunes, and inputs a wealth of personal and corporate profile details for that contact. Hint does the work for Sugar users by gathering and analyzing customer intelligence from a broad range of social and business data sources so users can quickly and efficiently learn more about their prospects and establish a productive relationship.
With Hint, users can drastically reduce the time spent researching new contacts outside the CRM, and performing manual data entry. They also can quickly find and import fresh and accurate data about contacts and their organization. In short, Hint minimizes the time spent on the cumbersome overhead of CRM (locating and organizing accurate data) and frees you to much more of what you are best at – which is interacting with your customers.
Looking ahead, SugarCRM’s Relationship Intelligence products will offer advanced analytics capabilities to make intelligent recommendations for next actions, priorities, likelihoods and insights, all to build better business relationships, based on the growing data sets provided by Hint.
Our vision for relationship intelligence is that it will guide and assist users in interactions with customers, helping them to plan meetings, build deeper connections, recommend best actions, and respond to late breaking developments as relationships evolve – and will do so at any time, on any device.
At SugarCRM, we’re pushing to revolutionize business and enterprise solutions with advanced software, user experience and mobile technologies. We’re moving quickly in the field of relationship intelligence, and have some exciting stuff in the pipeline that we look forward to sharing with you.