We are a group of professional web-developers who help business owners to visualize their ideas and make them individually work for their businesses.
Services we provide:
- Consultations on using SugarCRM
- Integration of other CRM systems to SugarCRM
- Specific SugarCRM design solely for the business needs
- Development of CRM systems for businesses
- Sugar CRM (tuning and modification of already existing as well as adding additional fields and forms, development of new modules, integration in other already existing systems, technical help, etc.)
- Development of web-services
- Development of technical tasking
- Migration of data from CRM system to SugarCRM
- System integration
- Training users and administrators (either long distance or locally)
- Technical assistance for users and administrators
What is SugarCRM?
SugarCRM is both a company, and an Open Source project. SugarCRM the company was created as a commercial Open Source company, and funded by Silicon Valley venture capital firms (three rounds of financing and 25 Million USD to date). Its business model is to not only develop an open-source CRM product, which will benefit from broad adoption and feedback from the user community, but also to develop enhanced versions of it that it can sell. The open-source product is called Sugar Open Source, and the commercial products are called Sugar Pro and Sugar Enterprise. In this book we will deal primarily with Sugar Open Source, because, as William Shatner was once paid to remark on a commercial for a large chain of grocery stores, "By Gosh, the Price is Right!".
The SugarCRM Open Source project has its official home at http://www.sugarforge.org/. The SugarCRM Open Source project was established on April 23, 2004, and so is of quite recent vintage! But the founders of SugarCRM (both the company and the Open Source project) are veterans of CRM implementations at several other organizations, notably Epiphany (recently purchased by SSA Global), Aurum Software, Baan Software (also purchased by SSA Global), and BroadVision, and were able to turn their experience into a relatively fully functioned CRM system in a remarkably short time span. SugarCRM 1.0 was released on August 4, 2004. SugarCRM 2.0 was released on November 3, 2004; SugarCRM 3.0 came out on April 30, 2005, and SugarCRM 3.5 was introduced on August 15, 2005. SugarCRM 4.0 (the current revision at time of writing) was introduced on December 15, 2005.
It is worth noting that the nature of Open Source is such that if one day (perish the thought), SugarCRM the company was no more, SugarCRM the Open Source project would carry on, with the same or different individuals leading the project. The two are quite separate entities in law. So unlike many products from smaller companies, using SugarCRM should not make you worry about the stability of the vendor.
The history of the SugarCRM product is that SugarCRM 1.0 established the basic architecture of the product. With SugarCRM 2.0, the strong visual design was introduced. With SugarCRM 2.5, capabilities were introduced that enabled users to customize the CRM to a significant extent—adding new fields, removing unnecessary fields, rearranging screen layouts, changing options on drop-down lists, and so on. These customization capabilities are particularly relevant to a CRM, as CRM systems tend to need more tuning to the business adopting them than many other business applications.
Michael J. R. Whitehead