For over 10+ years, I’ve been happy to use SugarCRM. When I first started using the open source community edition back in 2006, it was revolutionary. As you can imagine these days, you can find a CRM product on just about every google search that you do. There are simply a lot of options out there for CRM products.
I’ve always felt that the simplest approach is typically the easiest approach. We tend to make things more complicated than they need to be in our day to day business lives. I think CRM can be simplified by finding a product that can do exactly what it was designed for.
I’m also a fan of Salesforce and other products out there like Insightly, Nimble, Zoho and many others. They all have their own benefits but they are not the only products out there.
If you’re asking yourself, why choose SugarCRM? Then this blog post is for you.
Why choose SugarCRM? It’s not Just a CRM
What I truly love about Sugar is that it isn’t just a CRM. Why choose SugarCRM? It’s because it’s a lot more than just a CRM itself. For our company, we’ve turned our CRM into a powerful business management tool. We have insights into projects, time tracking, client information and so much more in one place.
We’ve helped our clients do some remarkable things. Sure, we’ve done plenty of the straight of the line sales tracking scenarios. We’ve found that once our clients start using the basics, then start asking the question: what else can I do? This is where it gets really exciting.
Sugar is easy to integrate into just about any system out there. We’ve connected Sugar to legacy AS400 accounting systems as well as legacy in-house systems. Surprisingly, we’ve done it with plenty of ease as well.
The other great thing about Sugar these days is that they are innovating like crazy. There are some cool things happening including features such as the Customer Journey Plugin.
Why choose SugarCRM? You’re choosing it because it’s not just a CRM, it can be your whole business operating system.
In the mid 2000’s, whenever we heard the term open source, we thought free. This isn’t exactly the case, as it is is with Sugar, but that isn’t a bad thing. Sugar follows an affordable commercial licensing model but you get the full source code.
Let me repeat.
The full. source. code.
There are definitely upgrade safe ways of doing things in Sugar, you still want the latest and greatest updates. The source code access is huge. It allows us to really develop some creative solutions for your business without having to get overwhelmed with proprietary systems.
Sugar is built on other open source technologies and the standards are universal across the board. Sugar is ultimately a framework developed around CRM using the most popular technologies including Apache, PHP, MySQL, Elasticsearch, Handlebars and many more.
The other great thing about open source is that there isn’t just SugarCRM as an open source platform but a whole world of available open source plugins. From open source projects such as jQuery, Bootstrap and many others, there are many options without cost that can be brought into your Sugar platform.
Yes, there are costs even for open source. I realize that there are open source projects out there including forks of Sugar. I think those projects are great and have their own benefits as well as those of a commercial open source edition of Sugar. The key to paying for something is that you’re not only making a purchase but you’re paying for support, upgrades, enhancements and in some cases hosting of your CRM. It’s not just about the source code.
But with that said, Sugar has an incredible product that is half the price of the comparable Salesforce sales cloud offering. Salesforce is a lot more than just a CRM now. There are add on products for marketing, service, third party products and so much more. Sugar as a CRM and platform gives you a lot more flexibility and a price that is affordable.
The other key differentiator for Sugar is that you have the option of deployments. If you want to host with Sugar, you’re more than welcome to do so and are encouraged to do so. They offer a great product on a stable hosting environment so that you don’t need to worry about backing up your CRM or dealing with any upgrade issues.
On the flip side, you can host it yourself. If you’re pushing the data storage and capabilities of your CRM to really extend it then you might find some benefits to hosting it on your own servers. A number of our clients are finding themselves enjoying this flexibility so that they can more easily tie in internal systems including telephony and other operational systems.
There are many options out there, but SugarCRM definitely stands out for many reasons. We use Sugar internally to run our business. It’s not just about CRM but it’s a reasonably priced platform and a way that our business can operate effectively.