SugarCRM 2004 in Review
SugarCRM Makes Commercial Open Source Sweet
with Sugar Sales in 2004
Expect additional SugarCRM product offerings with low TCO and core business management functionality in 2005
Cupertino, CA - December 29, 2004 -- Since starting SugarCRM in April of 2004, the three founders pursued a belief where the best CRM application designed by following popular, open source technology would gain fast popularity and credibility and shake up an antiquated industry. The founders saw flaws throughout the CRM industry, namely the inaccessible product technology, the restricted software distribution methodology, and the skewed sales and marketing costs during their combined 20 years in the CRM industry. This encouraged them to design a new class of CRM business applications built on a new commercial open source business model.
The SugarCRM team created an open source project called Sugar Sales - powered by the LAMP software stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). "The LAMP stack is so readily supported, it allows Sugar Sales Professional to be deployed for a minimal fee with little to no administration. It has proved to be a responsive, stable and customizable technology that meets our complex application requirements" Jacob Taylor, VP of Engineering and Co-Founder of SugarCRM.
Sugar Sales manages the efficiency and effectiveness of sales activities, with expanded interactions between support, marketing, and billing. "Sugar Sales was developed leveraging the combined ideas and contributions of CRM developers worldwide. We instantly had product insight that would have cost millions in R&D to attain if we didn't interact with the open source community while designing Sugar Sales" says John Roberts, CEO and Co-Founder of SugarCRM.
In July of 2004, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) solidified the business concept with $2 million in "Series A" funding. "Commercial open source will absolutely change the way businesses obtain enterprise-level solutions. The SugarCRM team understood the problems with distribution models in today's marketplace, and offers a unique solution that meets the tight IT budgets and stringent product assurances" says Josh Stein, of DFJ. The funding accelerated the development of the open source version of Sugar Sales, and soon produced a component which allowed the product to be translated into any language. Within weeks, Sugar Sales was translated into over 15 languages by the open source community. In addition, it positioned Sugar Sales as an integral tool for any multi-national CRM deployments where the user base speaks several languages.
September 2004 became an important milestone with the introduction of Sugar Sales Professional, which is the commercial version of the open source product. Sugar Sales Professional delivered advanced functionality, support and upgrades for a reasonable price. Many companies who require support or advanced functionality find Sugar Sales Professional mission-critical to manage their business, and leverage the visual source provided to alleviate vendor and technology lock-ins.
The open source version of Sugar Sales continued to develop and progress. Sugar Sales received the honor of "Project of the Month" from Sourceforge.net, the heart of the global open source community. The project's growing popularity in downloads, the constant praise from the public and the loyal open source community were all critical factors in attaining this distinction."We were very pleased that we were recognized as 'Project of the Month.' It shows the commitment that the open source community has for our project and our reliance on our community to make us successful" says Clint Oram, Open Source VP and Co-founder of SugarCRM.
Based on the open source architecture, Sugar Sales Professional became an instant success inside the SMB market. Within two months, Sugar Sales Professional attained its first 50 customers, as the majority of companies were already using the open source version and were excited to buy Professional.
In addition to the 2.0 release offering the same sales force automation functionality as more expensive, closed source competitors, Sugar Sales Professional introduced professional deployment options: a self-service installation, an appliance called the Sugar Cube, and lastly, a hosted application called Sugar On-Demand. All provide the same visual source accessibility and support packages. Businesses either lacking IT resources or needing an immediate solution are pleased with the Sugar Cubes and Sugar On-Demand solutions.
Rounding off 2004, SugarCRM announced its partner program, where IT providers who've proven their knowledge and dedication to the open source project are named as authorized Sugar Sales resellers and hosts. SugarCRM's partner programs currently assist in worldwide deployments of Sugar Sales.
Looking forward in 2005
Companies can rely on the same high standards in performance, open source development, and advanced user interfaces which Sugar Sales delivered in 2004. The SugarCRM product strategy will remain driven by the open and straightforward communications amongst SugarCRM customers, the open source community and SugarCRM.
Other highlights in 2005 include the first SugarCRM Users Conference and SugarCRM Partner Summit. The plans will be announced shortly.
"We are extremely pleased with what we've accomplished in 2004. As to 2005, we have only just begun to release new innovative open source based business applications with exceedingly low TCO - which will offer immediate gains while managing your core business operations" says John Roberts, CEO & Co-Founder