SugarCRM has made version 5.0 of its customer relationship management software publicly available.
Sugar 5.0 provides new and updated capabilities from previous versions of the products, including custom-built modules, AJAX e-mail client and a multi-instance on-demand architecture.
“Two areas we focused on with Sugar 5.0 are collaboration and platform capabilities,” Chris Harrick, senior director of product marketing at SugarCRM, elaborated. “First, collaboration – connecting people and making communication seamless – is a huge and growing trend. In Sugar 5.0, we delivered a built-in e-mail client that allows people to communicate directly within Sugar.
“Another big area of innovation in Sugar 5.0 was Module Builder, allowing non-technical people to build extensions to Sugar without any code,” he continued. “Every CRM deployment is unique, and Module Builder is a powerful tool for companies to take a CRM package and make it their own.”
Also new to Sugar 5.0 are dashboards with charting capabilities such as support for funnel, pie charts and line and bar graphs. The software allows users to access multiple dashboards directly from a homepage.
Platform updates for the SugarCRM software include a metadata-driven user interface and upgraded access control, which provides support for hierarchies and access controls.
First released in three beta versions, Sugar 5.0 was tested by users, developers, customers and partners, who then provided feedback to the software company.
Harrick explained this strategy, “During the beta cycles, users could get under the hood of the application; inspect the source code, and offer quality check and feedbacks. That improves the quality and the functionality in the product because it is an open dialogue with end users. Having that kind of process with a proprietary software company is impossible because everything is locked down.”
Most of the company’s marketing efforts for the new software will be done through the Internet and its open source community at www.sugarforge.org.
“Using an open source license and distributing the product through the Internet is very viral,” Harrick said. “The more people who download and use our product, the more our phone rings.”
SugarCRM released its multi-instance on-demand architecture in conjunction with Sugar 5.0. The new architecture provides customers with individual on-demand instances. It also allows for automatic upgrades, staging and testing of new functionalities and movement between Sugar on-site and Sugar on-demand.
Headquartered in Cupertino, CA, SugarCRM provides commercial open source CRM software to companies of all sizes. The company offers on-demand, on-premise and appliance-based deployment options.