Smashing the Data Silos…

By Zachariah Sprackett, SVP, DevOps at SugarCRM

One of the major challenges the team at SugarCRM is harnessing the contents of all of the customer data silos within an organization and leveraging them to deliver insight to your organization.

Often, customer data exists in multiple disconnected systems including websites, marketing automation, CRM, ERP, people’s inboxes, Jira, spreadsheets and documents in Google or Office365.

When you can find it at all, too much time is spent manually summarizing this data and surfacing those summaries.  You own all of that data and you have access to incredible compute power in the cloud, so why does this need to be so difficult and manual?

SugarCRM is building systems to tie into those critical veins of unstructured data and harness their power. We believe that CRM needs to extend far beyond the data that individuals manually enter into their systems.

Here is an example.  How much data do you publish to Google?  Compared to all of the data indexed by Google, no one person can ever create more than a fraction of a fraction of what Google can find for you.  But how many insights do you pull out of Google?  If you’re like me, it’s a lot every day.  Orders of magnitude more than I could ever dream of contributing.  Shouldn’t the customers insights you pull from your CRM, ERP, email and other systems be the same?  Way more out than in?

Some of the richest and most pertinent business information available exists in Exchange or Google, including data about customers we’re interacting with, the sentiment of those interactions over time and the breadth of communications and how widespread they have permeated your organization.

We’re actively building cloud-based collectors to harness that valuable information and then focus on establishing structure from the unstructured chaos.  Our initial focus is on email, contacts and calendars.  And we won’t be just presenting lists of data.  We will be delivering you new insights about your customers that you should know.  Are they happy with you right now or annoyed?  Are they likely to be interested in new products or services?  Are they getting ready to stop doing business with you or are they about to recommend you to a friend?

We understand that users need to derive meaning from all of this data –not just how it exists today, but how it has evolved over time – this means that we need new data models that extend beyond the rows and columns of traditional CRM.  We must ingest, and process huge volumes of data and metadata quickly and then format and structure that data in optimal ways for you to know what to do next.

Looking into the future, this model will expand beyond calendars, email and contacts.  It will add support for other critical data sources, like WebEx and Ring Central meetings, Slack and other sources of communication.

It will help businesses solve real operational problems, like CRM data accuracy and latency, time-based reporting and end-user productivity.

The best thing about all of this effort is that we’re doing it in a way that’s transparent to our customers.   Your users can continue using Sugar the way they always have, just with more advantages that will surface over time.

We are continuously innovating so that our customers can, with each release, realize new waves of CRM functionality and innovation.  Over time, we hope these waves become the pulse of continuous improvement within your business.

These are just some of the ways that we’re working tirelessly to deliver the future of relationship management.

So, What’s in it for you?

  • Individuals can expect automatic synchronizing of their Sugar with email, calendar and contacts meaning they can spend less time spent on data summarization and reentry.

They can expect insights delivered when they need them.  Our expansion of services will offer them an expanded ISV ecosystem and purpose-built applications that help them perform their job more efficiently and with better results.

  • Managers and executives can expect more timely, accurate and relevant CRM information for reporting. They can expect new capabilities in advanced workflow, delivering improvements process reinforcement and reinvention.  They should also expect improved reporting capabilities and visualizations to help them better understand their business.
  • CIOs will gain control over not only who, but also what tools are used to access information and insights, plus audit-able records of when company data was accessed and for what purpose.
  • Developers and ISVs will gain the ability to rapidly innovate within the Sugar ecosystem through pluggable authentication and authorization system and will be able to leverage SugarCRM’s intelligence services without having to learn some proprietary scripting language.

The experiences and challenges faced by you, our customers, continue to inspire and inform our plans to ensure data is harnessed to its maximum.

We look forward to continuing work with you, our customers, partners and ISV’s to deliver on our commitment to build the future of relationship management.

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