SugarCRM Unveils Enterprise Edition

SugarCRM yesterday released an enterprise version of its open source-based CRM software. John Roberts, SugarCRM CEO and cofounder, states that Sugar Professional is designed for companies with five to 250 users, while the Sugar Enterprise Edition is designed for companies with 250 to 5,000 users. The biggest difference between the two is that the enterprise edition supports Oracle 9i. The majority of large enterprise customers use Oracle 9i for their database needs rather than MySQL, Roberts says, adding, "We're very happy with MySQL. There are no technical issues; we've been very happy with the performance." Potential customers already using Oracle, however, won't want to switch to MySQL, which the enterprise edition also supports, making Oracle 9i support that much more critical. Beyond support for Oracle, targeted customers also need mobile functionality, another of the features of SugarCRM enterprise edition, according to Roberts. Other features of the enterprise edition include enhanced scalability, enhanced logging and caching, and module loader functionality, making it easier to install and uninstall third-party applications. The module loader was simultaneously released in Version 3.5 of SugarCRM's Open Source and Professional editions. "This offers more functionality for not a lot of money," says Sheryl Kingstone, CRM industry analyst for the Yankee Group, comparing the enterprise edition with SugarCRM's earlier offering. The enterprise edition took about a year to develop, Roberts says. "This strengthens our position in the enterprise market, which we think has been ignored for a number of years." Roberts expects a high level of interest in the application. He points to the company's previous released products--more than 250 companies to purchase Sugar Professional Edition since it launched last September--and there have been more than 260,000 downloads of Sugar Open Source Edition. According to Kingstone, most of the potential customers for the enterprise edition will be those firms that would have otherwise built CRM functionality in-house, used contact management software for CRM purposes or would have done nothing. These companies typically wouldn't spend much money on technology, according to Kingstone. She doesn't expect SugarCRM's new offering to take any business away from other enterprise CRM vendors. "Price is a big part of what these companies are looking for in a CRM offering," Kingstone says. "It's amazing, but a lot of companies are doing nothing [about CRM]." Sugar Enterprise Edition release is now available at www.sugarcrm.com. The annual license fee of $449 per user includes 12 months of application updates, installation assistance, trouble ticketing, global weekday phone/email-based technical support and full production support including patch and fix distributions. Sugar Professional Edition costs $239 per user per year. Kingstone does warn, however, that technology like that offered by SugarCRM Enterprise Edition is only one piece of the CRM puzzle. The others are data and processes. One without the other two will do companies little good. "It's only one piece of the puzzle." Related articles: To Open Source or Not to Open Source
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