Meet the App Throwdown Contestant: Jeff Bickart with NEPO Systems
Editor’s Note: As we get closer to SugarCon, we wanted to introduce all of the contestants to this year’s App Throwdown, sponsored by SugarOutfitters. Over the next 2 weeks, we’ll have interviews from each of them on what they are showing for the Throwdown, helping you learn a bit more about it.
Bio ( Yours and the Organization you are representing ):
Jeff Bickart provides the architectural, technical direction and delivery for the solutions being developed for NEPO Systems. Prior to joining NEPO, Mr. Bickart was the Director of the Advanced Technology Group for TerreStar Networks, Inc., providing advanced application prototypes and proof of concepts for their services. His responsibilities included the Web 2.0 software development both for browser based solutions and mobile solutions. Mr. Bickart previously was the Director of Engineering for Visitar, Inc., a provider of SugarCRM and telecommunications solutions hosted in a SaaS environment. He has also held various engineering positions with Sun Microsystems. Mr. Bickart holds a B.S. in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.B.A. from George Mason University. You can read his blog at sugarcrm-dev.blogspot.com
NEPO Systems is a SugarCRM Gold Partner that provides premium hosting, support and module development for SugarCRM. Supporting commercial and Federal clients across the globe, NEPO Systems helps our customers with strategic Sugar consultation, implementation and maintenance that are aligned with the unique requirements and business objectives of each of our clients. We deliver high-quality, integrated solutions for traditional Sales Force Automation, Marketing Automation and Customer Support, as well as a variety of custom solutions utilizing the powerful SugarCRM framework.
What are you presenting at the App Throwdown?
Based on an initial client request, NEPO developed an integration with a popular SaaS time tracking application (Harvest), which has since been deployed in multiple Sugar instances (including our own). This simple, yet powerful integration can help professional service organizations more effectively track their employees time, manage billing and ensure that contractual obligations and SLA’s are being met. Our demonstration will show how companies can keep track of an employee’s time and generate invoices for their customers without ever leaving the Sugar environment.
What about your application do you feel brings something unique or different to the Sugar ecosystem?
Our application isn’t designed to demonstrate a specific uniqueness in its function, but rather to show off the flexibility and ease of the Sugar framework and the power of a real business application. This integration was developed within a couple days time and demonstrates the power that can be obtained by integrating two cloud-based applications. This application is a powerful tool whose business is to provide professional services to its customers by helping companies to better manage time, costs, service contracts & SLA’s and billing, all directly from within Sugar.
What is the biggest takeaway you hope the audience takes away from your presentation?
The takeaway should be twofold. First, that companies who manage professional services organizations and need the ability to more effectively manage their employees time (for whatever reason), recognize that there is a best-of-breed integration that exists in the market today. And second, that Sugar should be viewed as a flexible platform that can be leveraged well-beyond the traditional CRM functions (e.g., “this is not your fathers CRM”).
What is the most exciting aspect of being a part of the Sugar App Throwdown?
We believe that this is a great venue for showcasing what a powerful tool SugarCRM can be for all different types of companies and users. Hopefully these brief 3-minute “demos” will help other Sugar users spark some creativity on how of how they can improve their own business processes and more deeply embed Sugar within their organizations.
Looking at the other App Throwdown submissions, which one looks the most interesting and why?
We are looking forward seeing the Callinize application and its direct integration into a smartphone is a killer concept.