Keep Your Head in the SugarCloud

By Zachariah Sprackett, VP, Operations at SugarCRM

Customers in the SugarCloud are at the tip of the spear for innovation.

Today, 95% of SugarCloud customers are updated to the most current quarterly update within six weeks of its release!  This ensures that they are getting the latest innovation with a consistent runtime environment.  We are able to accomplish this because SugarCloud gives us visibility into data sets and customizations.  This allows us to deliver application and stack upgrades seamlessly to our customers without requiring SugarCloud customers to worry about the details.

Of course, we run our own business on Sugar and our internal production system is the first that gets upgraded.  We call ourselves “Customer Zero” and apply all quarterly upgrades to our internal production system first in order to make sure the latest release is rock solid for our customers before we roll it out for general availability.

The benefits of software-as-a-service running in the cloud are too many to enumerate.  But from my perspective as the SVP, DevOps for SugarCRM, SugarCloud means that our customers are up and running in minutes with the latest innovation and they are less likely to require product support.

We have operated our cloud since 2005, and we are the subject matter experts at hosting Sugar at scale, trusted by both partners and customers.  Our site reliability engineering team members are top notch at maintaining a highly reliable, fast and secure CRM cloud environment.  I’m very proud of what they do every day for our customers.

But what does the future hold?

We believe that the future of the cloud will be significantly more automated than today.

We also believe that the cloud will be designed around composable micro-services that will deliver value that is easily surfaced across multiple applications.

These new micro-services will be easy to manage and maintain through tools like Kubernetes and other native cloud technologies.

The cloud will be also become more commoditized, taking advantage of best-in-breed cloud technologies and APIs from Amazon Aurora and Comprehend to Google’s AI and Machine learning suite to IBM Watson.

It will be democratized, giving companies of all sizes access to cutting-edge capabilities, allowing them to deliver insight into the hands of people who can leverage it to improve productivity and their customers’ experience.

And of course, we’re baking all of these capabilities into SugarCloud.

Our overall focus remains on connecting users, data and applications seamlessly – ensuring an easy implementation for existing CRM applications.

We aim to provide a single management plane for administrators, built on industry-standard protocols, and to provide a one-stop shop to establish identity and permissions for the entire SugarCRM ecosystem.

Cloud will deliver on a business’s goals with one set of credentials for the SugarCRM ecosystem, and centralized management that will grant administrators control over not just who, but also what can access their business’s information.  It’s a complicated world out there that requires tight security, but also easy access to customer data and applications.

Controls will allow fine-grained permissions and there will be audit-able access to CRM data for compliance and trust – telling you who did what and when.

The cloud also makes it significantly easier for other technology companies to build novel frontends to SugarCRM, and potentially achieve things we’d never previously even dreamed of.

The latest Sugar release will be available to Sugar cloud customers at the end of October, with single sign-on support included for the Sugar Plug-in for MS Outlook.  This new identity management service is initially surfaced as single sign-on for the Outlook plugin but will be extended to include the entire SugarCRM portfolio.

We’re excited to hear about your experiences with the Sugar cloud as a whole and the new simplified single sign-on capability powered by the new Sugar identify service!

You asked, we delivered.

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