The new chief executive of commercial open-source software vendor SugarCRM came to London this week to reveal ambitious plans to take the company's technology beyond customer relationship management (CRM).
Larry Augustin, who only took over the chief executive’s role full time a few days ago, told a gathering of SugarCRM customers, “Ours is a flexible solution that offers more than traditional CRM and SFA [salesforce automation] capabilities... Many companies manage a large part of their business on our platform.”
Augustin talked up a new initiative aimed at original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) that could see the software’s capabilities expanding to “manage relationships in general”.
“We’re a great platform to build on and developers don’t want to reinvent the wheel every time they need CRM functionality,” he said.
Launched late last week, the OEM Platform Edition packages up existing developer tools into a full programme to encourage ISVs and distribution partners to build new functionality on the SugarCRM platform and embed its functionality into their own offerings.
“Sugar Logic will enable developers to extend our product and put workflow capabilities around it. It includes a set of libraries for customising the logic in fields to enable workflow around how you enter data,” Augustin said.
Related to the OEM and Sugar Logic moves, Augustin added that the company was working to put similar levels of customisation and control in the hands of enterprise administrators. He said that the company was currently working to embed the Logic functionality into a GUI that would be available to end users in upcoming 6.2 and 6.3 version releases.
Looking further ahead, Augustin said the company is looking to harness social networking in future versions of its platform.
“The way people have gathered information about their business has changed,” he said.
“We don’t think of social CRM as Salesforce.com’s Chatter, for example, which offers social networking-type collaboration features internally. We are looking outward to bring the conversations customers are having about your company into the CRM system and make such information part of the whole view around customers.”
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