SugarCRM, a provider of open source CRM, has added multichannel marketing and business analytics functionality to its Sugar Open Source, Sugar Professional and Sugar Enterprise product lines.
This development is welcome news to those companies that are investigating open source as a viable alternative to packaged and on-demand CRM systems — a group that, while still minuscule, is becoming increasingly vocal about the benefits of do-it-yourself CRM.
“For a business model that owns, at best, less than one percent of the CRM market, they are getting a lot of buzz,” Yankee Group CRM analyst Sheryl Kingstone told CRM Buyer.
SugarCRM’s multichannel marketing features include the campaign wizard to set up and execute a campaign; campaign manager, which tracks the opportunities generated and closed by the campaign across customer channels; and automated lead capture, which can integrate Web leads into SugarCRM, associating them with a specific campaign.
Other features provide for better management of e-mail marketing, online advertising, newsletters, search engine marketing, list rentals, telesales programs, webcasts and traditional advertising.
New Business Analytics
The platform’s new business analytics includes features that generate ad-hoc, multi-module reporting to analyze marketing, sales and customer support. These reports can be manipulated into multiple formats such as pie charts or line graphs.
The multichannel marketing functionality is included in Sugar Open Source, Sugar Professional and Sugar Enterprise; business analytic capabilities are included in Sugar Professional and Sugar Enterprise only.
Three years or so out of the gate, open source CRM may not have grabbed as much market share as initial speculation had suggested; however, its use is suitable for a wide range of companies.
Users could range from small companies that do not want to invest significant money in commercial systems to large enterprises that want highly-tailored systems and firms that want to support open source, Kingstone said.
Additionally, companies in micro verticals — which the vendors have yet to penetrate — would also be interested in developing their own open source CRM system.
However, when faced with a buying decision, firms are more likely to continue to opt for the more conventional choices.
“I see Salesforce.com going up against Siebel or SAP. I never see open source as an option in these deals,” Kingstone stated, adding that if she ever were to consider open source as a possibility, SugarCRM would likely be the tech provider.
Built on the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) platform, SugarCRM was one of the first vendors to come to market with an open source CRM platform and has since gained significant traction.