Embracing change can be a wonderful thing. Our recent online SugarConnected events, the byproduct of shifting events to virtual settings, are a testament to that. Within the span of two and half-hours on June 16th, SugarConnected EMEA attendees from over 30 countries delved into the “new Sugar” for the “new normal,” and just how much has changed in the last year.
Craig Charlton, SugarCRM CEO, said it best, “2019 was a big year for us.” Last year, we experienced three acquisitions, launched five new products, built one new leadership team, welcomed approximately 700 new customers, hosted three in-person SugarConnected events, and launched one new brand and website. Equally as important, we shifted from offering a CRM solution to customer experience (CX) platform, enabling sales, marketing, and service teams to create customer lifetime value for their customers.
With these shifts came a new vision for the present era of SugarCRM, including four compelling differentiators—or pillars—that pace Sugar ahead of the competition and, more importantly, propel our customers to a more advantageous position. But what are these Sugar pillars that equip you to be a leader instead of a laggard?
The Start of a New Story
When Craig Charlton joined Sugar as CEO, he had years of experience as a CRM user. With that experience came a laundry list of “fundamental things that CRM systems never got right and that none of the vendors have.” So Charlton turned to Rich Green, Sugar CTO and CPO, and the mastermind behind Sugar’s formidable pace of innovation.
“I spent time with Rich and the product team to understand what was coming down the pipeline. Most of the pain points I’d identified over the years working with CRM systems Rich and his team were finding solutions to. Fundamentally, I think this problem solving makes Sugar unique and enables us to provide a really compelling, unique differentiator for customers.” And thus, Sugar’s four pillars were born.
Pillar 1: Time-Aware CX Platform
What is time-aware, and what pain point does it solve? Simply put, we all have an overbearing amount of data that the human mind just can’t process, which is why we rely on technology to process it for us. The issue is, the technology in the market doesn’t offer a summarized view of the data or a historical perspective.
This leads to a fundamental flaw that massively impacts your lack of insight.
Sugar now offers time-aware capabilities for data that:
- Unifies it in a comparable way
- Timestamps it for historical context
- Augments it with Sugar Hint
- Analyzes it with AI for predictable, actionable insights
With this solution, you can calculate, compare, understand, and predict like never before. Time-aware is our promise to help you get a 360-degree view of your customer, prospect, and pipeline to formulate next-best actions.
Pillar 2: No-Touch Information Management
Salespeople are intelligent opportunists—if a daily routine requires an incredible amount of effort, they simply won’t do it. What are we referring to? Data entry fatigue. Sugar views data entry as the last resort, which is why we’ve created functionality that automatically:
- Collects data
- Processes and analyzes data
- Presents information in context with daily activities
Tools like Predictive Forecasting, Sugar Hint, and Sugar Connect are all created to take the manual process of data entry out of the day-to-day requirements. Predictive Forecasting automatically captures and timestamps data, monitors metrics, proactively alerts users to changes, and surfaces root causes. Sugar Hint is built to enrich data, saving reps hours in research, and it alerts users to important news and events so they are prepared for every meeting. Sugar Connect makes all Sugar objects accessible from within email or calendar, eliminating the back and forth between tools and webpages and allowing you to work from one central place.
Pillar 3: Continuous Cloud Innovation
Many of our competitors run their own proprietary cloud. Those who heard Charlton’s SugarConnected session knows that he feels strongly about it.
“To me, [proprietary clouds] it seems like a ridiculous waste of time and energy. You’re focused on building a stack rather than value, leading to stifled innovation, reduced functional enhancements, and heightened vendor dependency.”
But, even if the SugarCloud isn’t a proprietary cloud, what makes it so different from other, larger cloud-hosting vendors? “Hosting in AWS is about 15% of the value that AWS brings to us. It’s more than just hosting,” explained Charlton.
The SugarCloud maximizes the usage of AWS’ powerful technologies, enabling:
- Unmatched pace of innovation
- State of the art technology at massive economies of scale
- Increased investment in CX rather than infrastructure
All of these things combined enables customers to benefit from accelerated time-to-market with enterprise-grade enhancements and scalability—without a hefty price tag. “We’re the only ones invested in AWS to the extent that we are.”
Pillar 4: Lifetime Commitment to Customers
During SugarConnected, Charlton pulled up a word cloud exploring how users describe our competitors versus what they had to say about us. Overwhelmingly, we found four common themes in our customers’ feedback. SugarCRM is a trusted partner that:
- Delivers on promises
- Treats you fairly
- Is respectful to your time
- Puts your success first
Unlike what we’ve heard about our competitors—you are always a priority, no matter where you are on your journey with us. Our commitment to you is both a continuous product objective and a solemn business commitment that shines through in our continuous performance as a leader in third-party reports and rankings.
Where Do We Go from Here?
We are all certainly very focused on the challenges of the moment, but we know recovery is coming as it always does—the only question is when. As our conversations during SugarConnected confirmed, Sugar’s four pillars help companies differentiate their customer experience. Now is the time to make CX investments that will help your organization deliver on the experience. Let’s continue the conversation.