Wednesday, April 25, 2012

IBM is using SugarCRM Internally

One of the things heard this morning at SugarCon was that IBM is working on rolling out SugarCRM to the company.

This is a huge boost of course for SugarCRM and for IBM and it's sales teams and Business Partners. In doing so, IBM will be putting aside Siebel.

SugarCRM which is looking to grow their Enterprise business, needs this boost. In many ways it brings validity to what many of us have known for years. Mainly that older solutions are cumbersome, expensive and they preclude others from excelling at their jobs.

With this roll out there are integration points in place today for IBM SmartCloud Engage (previously LotusLive Engage) and now there will be IBM Connections integration. More on this topic coming in a different blog post.

If you had been at the Partner day or the Keynote this morning, you may have felt, as I did, that substituting Lotusphere/IBM for Sugarcon/SugarCRM you may think you were in Orlando. Even the music/videos out front had a similar sound/feel. so naturally I feel at home. Just missing my yellowverse friends.

But as I meet new friends, customers and partners, I am struck by the feeling of deja vu. I have seen this similar growth and plans way back in R4 of Lotus Notes. yes prior to IBM buying Lotus, the company was also trying to break into the Enterprise levels. And IBM helped them get there in many ways.

Now SugarCRM is leaning on IBM to help guide the future, make inroads into bigger clients and integrate with their existing systems and extend out to newer ones. It is a good working relationship that can only help SugarCRM. But I wonder what IBM will get from this.

Back in R4 time, email was just coming out and it was the right time, right product. Now, CRM is not new nor is SugarCRM by far the only player out there, though they are the 3rd largest CRM vendor out there with over 1 million active users, 80,000+ organizations use it and 30,000 registered developers.

Their view, reiterated by Larry Augustin, CEO and Clint Oram, CTO of SugarCRM, is the USER is what is most important. Again, just like Lotus Notes wanted to help the user do more, share more and grow more. It's a great parallel.

Sugarcon grows each year and next year will be in New York at the Waldorf Astoria, April 7-11, 2013. If you want to be part of this great run, join now, try it out. You can download the mostly full installation, called Community Edition, and try it on your own.LAMP or Windows your choice. Go get it from www.sugarcrm.com

If we, as partners, can leverage SugarCRM to augment our IBM solutions it may help IBM Connections grow similarly to how Lotus Notes grew years ago.

My session tomorrow discusses this and more from a practical angle, not a sales/marketing pitch. looking forward to this future and greater information to be coming from this relationship.