Today, gamification provider Bunchball announced a partnership with open-source software company SugarCRM, bringing Bunchball to SugarExchange, and that it will develop an integrated solution for the Nitro platform to enable out-of-the-box gamification features within Sugar Professional, Corporate, Enterprise, and Ultimate suite editions.
According to Ken Jones, Bunchball's vice president of strategy and corporate development, Bunchball's relationship with the popular mid-market CRM provider really came about as a result of its enterprise link to IBM on the connections side. It caught Bunchball's eye when IBM announced it would replace its Siebel software licenses with SugarCRM this year, indicating a push into enterprise market installations.
"It became pretty evident to us right off the bat that, depending on which way you're looking at their position in the market, we're seeing them as being more innovative," Jones told CRM. "I think it's pretty neat the way they're incorporating a lot of different things, and especially with their 6.5 version, the new UI, and user experience... it fits really well with stuff we're doing."
According to Clint Oram, co-founder and chief technology officer of SugarCRM, the partnership with Bunchball will enable SugarCRM customers to "rapidly created gamified CRM environments that will engage users and keep them engaged." SugarCRM currently counts more than 7,000 organizations that have deployed its onsite and cloud computing solutions.
Constellation Research estimates that by 2013, more than 50 percent of all social business initiatives will include an enterprise gamification component. Gamification is defined as using game mechanics to warrant behaviors both in an enterprise environment (such as incenting sales teams to sell faster) or in a consumer environment (driving engagement and loyalty from customers
Jones predicts enterprise adoption of gamification techniques will continue and that more and more CRM systems will deploy gamified elements to drive usage of the system itself.
"By addressing the enterprise space, for us, we're able to essentially increase the number of end users fairly dramatically through a number of partners," he says. "I also think it gives us increased reach...being able to incent behavior and to be able to drive the car outside of just looking at the dashboard is really something we're seeing as kind of a big reason why the CRM companies are approaching us and taking gamification so seriously."
Bunchball's solution for SugarCRM will be released in 2013, available as a turnkey app through Bunchball and through the SugarExchange marketplace. It will come with pre-built presentation pages, pre-configured point economies, and an optimized administrative console, the company says.