SugarCRM has rolled out OEM Platform Edition, a new product for its software vendor anddistribution channel. The release doesn’t further SugarCRM’s opensource-based functionality. Rather, the company is repackaging the latestversion of Sugar 6, which came out this summer, ina format and with tools that will allow partners to enhance itwith their own customizations, white label it, and then resell it.
“This is less about technology and more about announcing to the worldthat we are attacking new markets,” Martin Schneider, senior directorof communications for SugarCRM, told CRM Buyer. “We are anticipating our partners will go after sub-verticals that wenever could with this platform.”
Common Strategy, Unconventional Approach
It is not unusual for vendors to rely on their distribution partnersto expand an application’s footprint. Companies from Microsoft toNetSuite, to cite just two examples, use their channels not only forsales but also for customer service and implementation.
“This strategy is all about expanding appeal and reach — and that istrue for every software vendor,” China Martens, an analyst with the 451Group, told CRM Buyer.
“They all have pressure to appeal to specific industries withverticals and micro-verticals,” she said.
SugarCRM has taken a slightly different tack toward implementing this strategy,however, by giving its partners tools so extensive that they canalmost rebuild the app from scratch for customization purposes, said Martens.
“SugarCRM is a SaaS offering, but it is also commercial opensource, which gives it more options,” she observed.
From Sugar’s perspective, being embedded in other applications — one of the thingsthe tools allow developers to do — can give the company a niceadditional revenue stream, remarked Martens.
Sugar Platform Edition gives OEMs full access to Sugar source code anddeveloper tools.
Besides the platform, SugarCRM also rolled outSugar Logic, a new set of development tools to create new processesand interfaces on the platform.
Developers can also leverage SugarCRM’s open cloud deployment model tooffer their own cloud-based custom products.
Because SugarCRM is based on open source, developers always had some ofthis functionality — to a certain degree. However, they were writingthe applications from scratch, and upgrades oftentimes were difficultto implement, Sugar’s Schneider said.
Getting Ready to Deploy
ISVs set to use the application include DataSync, Expert BusinessDevelopment and White Springs.
There are any number of new applications that these companies couldcreate, Schneider said, including home mortgage origination tools, insurance claimmanagement applications, and automotive dealer management systems.
The tools are device-agnostic, he pointed out, meaning the partners can alsocreate mobile applications — something Sugar has not pursued to agreat extent up to now.
“I could see a partner building an OEM tool just for field service ina particular industry,” Schneider said.
Sugar is readying for a more aggressive push into mobilewith its own native iPad and iPhone application, expected withinthe next several months.
“It will be one of our growth areas,”Schneider said, together with a stronger push into global markets andsocial media.