Agfa HealthCare is a worldwide technology solutions provider that supplies hospitals and other healthcare organizations with diagnostic imaging products and systems, and communications software for enhancing and distributing images. Agfa specializes in radiology, enterprise imaging, hospital IT and integrated care. The business unit is one of three under the Agfa umbrella.


Implement the first global Customer Relationship Management platform; create/expand business, and improve marketing efforts; meet varying data privacy requirements worldwide and align with the National Health Service standards in the United Kingdom.


Sugar Enterprise 7.5, hosted on-premise (with a cloud option), with integrations for back-office functions, quoting and marketing.


  • 139 percent ROI
  • Payback: 1.3 years
  • Average annual benefit: $1M
  • Enhanced data from marketing efforts
  • Improved forecasting


The company moved from a homegrown CRM to Sugar worldwide to drive revenue, create efficiencies, facilitate collaboration and create a single view of the customer. By the time the worldwide implementation was completed, Agfa already had recovered its investment in Sugar.

“We unanimously selected Sugar,” says Doug Irvine, Agfa’s global project manager, who led the worldwide transition to Sugar for sales, marketing and financial forecasting.

“Mobile was a differentiator to the other vendors that were bidding on our business. Sugar gives us a very nice mobile application that continues to be enhanced,” he says. During the implementation, his team overcame issues common to most international companies: low user adoption, cranky older software that was difficult to integrate, cultural and language barriers in some countries, and a history of deployments that didn’t meet expectations or missed implementation deadlines.

The design team sold the sales groups by showing how data shared via CRM could improve sales and cut down on overlapping efforts.

With customized modules that cross-reference medical professionals’ names and multiple work sites – such as a doctor working multiple radiology locations — or that catalog all the imaging technology installed at a medical institution, sales saw how CRM makes work easier – and more profitable.

The design and implementations in North America and EMEA each took 10 months. The Asia-Pacific and Latin America markets came online in six months.

Putting its servers on-premise at company offices in Belgium helped with EMEA regulatory compliance. Again, illustrating Sugar’s versatility.

Today, Agfa HealthCare’s global sales and marketing are driven by an affordable and agile Sugar platform the company calls SalesOne.

A Digital Transformation

Now, like its medical imaging products, the Agfa work force is in the Digital Age.

“We have a tool that the selling organization can use to be productive in supporting their accounts and opportunities. Those kind of things digitally transformed the organization,” Doug says.

On the financial side, Agfa is seeing the Sugar-driven benefits of more accurate forecasting.

“That’s getting high marks from management and sales people. They’ve got more confidence that what gets rolled up is more appropriate to the business performance.”

Agfa’s Image of the Future

The company is still looking at other possible integrations and customizations, and the team is on alert to respond to potential changes in data storage privacy requirements, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which takes effect in 2018. Says Doug: “The comforting part is that we know we can easily and cost-effectively modify Sugar in ways that will allow us to respond to whatever happens.


  • SAP: Customer master database that interfaces with Sugar (Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities)
  • MailChimp: Targeted email campaigns
  • Sofon: Configure, price, quote
  • IBM Notes: Plugin for corporate email/calendar/contacts
  • Miller Heiman Sales Access Manager: Tracking sales strategies


  • Many to Many: Used for contact to account relationships. Critical as contacts usually are related to several accounts. For example, a radiologist may work at several facilities or a CIO is likely to be responsible for several sites.
  • Technologies: In-house database of the installed technology landscape at an account.  Among the data points Data storage process, imaging, archiving and communications systems and software.
  • Payer Accounts and Install Accounts: Both sync to SAP to display the related installation accounts and payer accounts displayed in Sugar’s “Sold-to” accounts. Provides overview of the full health system.
  • Related Parties: Relates other Sugar users to an account.  Indicates what other sales people are assigned to the account in addition to the account owner.  Can indicate what product/area the rep is responsible for within that account.
  • Buying Decision-makers: Account lookup to relate another account.  Used to indicate what account actually makes the buying decision.  Important in healthcare because it’s not always the parent account; sometimes it can be a government body, municipality or group purchasing alliance.
Industry Healthcare, Pharmaceutical
Location Greenville, SC (US)