Over the course of the last few days here in San Francisco at Sugarcon 2012 I have had some interesting discussions around IBM, integration points, IBM SmartCloud and of course Lotus Notes and Domino.
What you probably know is there has been a few integration points for SugarCRM that have included a Lotus Notes plugin for the Notes client from the iEnterprise acquisition and the LotusLive plugin to SugarCRM itself to share meetings and files.
SugarCRM and IBM have shown the integration of IBM Connections into SugarCRM. and it's pretty sweet too, even if it isn't quite ready for GA(ETA Q3). The basic principle of the integration was put together over a few weeks and was aimed at procviding a bridge between SugarCRM and the IBM Connections environment. Built-in to the SugarCRM side is a connector where you set up your logins and locations and then you have the communities and members to be listed inside SugarCRM.
A great job was done to get the business card settings to work so you can click straight over to the Connections sections like wikis, blogs, profiles, communities and activities, etc.
This may be a huge boost for SugarCRM as they strive to reach more Enterprises. Given the size of most IBM Connections installations, this may be an opportunity for Business Partners to make a huge play with their customers.
The flip side is not so great. IBM Connections is overkill to SugarCRM's bread and butter customers of the under 25 user organizations. IBM SmartCloud Engage, a slightly reduced version of IBM Connections, but one wholly based in The Cloud should be a good play if it gets packaged or bundled together at some point in the future. This is my guess at what we may see down the road. I missed the IBM session that outlined some more details.
IBM Sametime looks to be the next product to find it's way. Most likely due to Yammer being built-in to Salesforce.com. Naturally an organization can also use an online version or on premise version of Sametime but today there is no integration inside SugarCRM.
IBM Business Partners, you may want to start brushing up on SugarCRM. We have been a SugarCRM Silver Business Partner for the last year and a half and happy to discuss it with any of you.