Why We Innovate? Nine out of Ten Dentists Agree…

By Zachariah Sprackett, SVP, DevOps at SugarCRM

There’s so much the whole team at SugarCRM has accomplished during the last 12 months that I’d love to tell you about.  But to do that, I feel like first I need tell you about how we think about software delivery.

One way to think about it is to consider those family-size tubes of toothpaste all of us are tempted by.  Personally, I only buy the travel sized tubes.  Here is a thought for you.  By buying the big tubes you’re actually betting against innovation. The only toothpaste that has value is the toothpaste on your brush.  All that toothpaste left in the tube is unrealized value today – and it’s not likely that it will become more valuable in the future.  What if big toothpaste comes out tomorrow with better whitening or plaque-fighting technology and you’re stuck holding yesterday’s paste?

This is why at SugarCRM we are laser focused on just-in-time delivery, providing the products, services and innovations our customers need to achieve their business objectives, nothing more, nothing less.  We don’t believe that our customers should be charged for unrealized value.

Back to the toothpaste analogy, we do not force our customers to race through that industrial-sized tube of toothpaste trying to realize value while they are still in possession of their own teeth!

As a result, in the last year, we have made profound improvements to our development and release process.

  • We now deliver to the cloud on a quarterly basis, getting fresh innovation into our customers’ hands regularly, and at a predictable pace.
  • We have improved the ease of upgrade and overall product quality.
  • By focusing on cloud first, we are able to obtain more actionable feedback. This allows us to react quicker and work more closely with our customers in those situations where we don’t quite hit the mark.

Focusing on ‘cloud first’ with quarterly releases to the Sugar Cloud has enabled us to rapidly improve application functionality, performance and security and make our annual on-premise releases more reliable, ensuring that they benefit from all the actionable intelligence we received from SugarCloud.

Of course, delivering continuous innovation isn’t without its challenges.

We have to be relentless about avoiding distraction and spend time only in areas that truly differentiate us from everybody else.  We do this by partnering with the best; from best-of-breed cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, IBM and Google, to leveraging cutting-edge machine learning algorithms and services.  We take these underlying technology components and weave them into our world-class relationship management platform with cutting-edge sales, service and marketing functionality.

We focus on the things that we know only we can do (CRM) and we extend our workforce by tapping into these partnerships for everything else.  By working together with the best and the brightest, we can quickly solve more problems and more directly impact your business goals.

To make sure this model works for you, our partners, customers and prospects, we value enablement activities just as highly as we do new features.  This starts with our quarterly partner preview program and continues through our documentation, release notes and enablement webinars.  It also flows through Professor M School for Gifted Coders exemplar application which shows the best practices for continuous delivery into a healthy Sugar project.  Check out community.sugarcrm.com and support.sugarcrm.com to learn more about the latest releases.

So, here’s to our partnership in the 12 months behind us and, even more importantly, here’s to the year ahead where  we work together to achieve our common goal,  empowering you to build and maintain better business relationships.


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