• October 14, 2011
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

SugarCRM Harnesses the Power of IBM SmartCloud

IBM and SugarCRM on Wednesday announced a collaboration that makes Sugar 6 available on the IBM SmartCloud.

Through this integration, clients can now take advantage of advanced CRM solutions, deployable in a matter of minutes, while achieving all the benefits of a private cloud environment.

The Sugar6 application deployed through IBM's SmartCloud is the exact same version that customers can get from SugarCRM for on-premises or hybrid deployments, according to Nick Halsey, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of corporate development at SugarCRM. "It's 100 percent the same."

Sugar 6, the first CRM application available on IBM SmartCloud, enables businesses across all industries to achieve visibility into sales, marketing, and support. Sugar on IBM SmartCloud combines SaaS with IBM's infrastructure, service, and support and also offers seamless integration with other IBM SmartCloud offerings, such as collaboration, business intelligence, and analytics capabilities. The offering also integrates seamlessly with Lotus Notes, Lotus Live, and other IBM business applications.

"We've been working with IBM for quite a while," Halsey says. "We're excited about the opportunity to leverage some of IBM's tools to make SugarCRM even better."

According to Halsey, SugarCRM has also worked with other cloud services providers, like Microsoft and Amazon, but he found that "IBM offers a lot of capabilities that go beyond what the others offer."

Among them is the choice of data centers. IBM has six data centers devoted to the SmartCloud initiative: two in Europe, two in North America, and two in Asia.

"That you can manage applications across the data centers and pick which data centers you use is great," Halsey says. "It gives a reach not available with some of the other vendors."

Highland Solutions, a Chicago-based SugarCRM value-added reseller and IBM business partner, is already working with a variety of clients, including Hi-Way Equipment, a company that sells, services, and rents heavy machinery, to migrate to the IBM SmartCloud The company was looking for a way to scale its infrastructure to accommodate future needs. With Sugar on the IBM SmartCloud, getting Hi-Way Equipment's deployment up-and-running was simple, according to Scott Taback, vice president of business development at Highland Solutions.

"We did a lot of testing ourselves before we felt comfortable doing the migration," he says. "Once we started, it was a snap."

Furthermore, Taback found that companies feel more comfortable investing in this type of deployment "because IBM is involved."

And while it cloud deployments were once largely the choice for SMBs, Halsey sees many more larger firms making the move now. "Enterprises are now moving rapidly toward the cloud as a real option," he says.

The benefits of cloud deployments include greater security, scalability, reliability, and global reach, he says, but beyond that, many companies also experience faster time to market, dynamic capacity, reduced capital and operating costs, and ease of management.

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