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All Places > SugarBuzz > 2017 > February

Roses are red, violets are blue, 

Our customers are the best, 

So we’d like to thank you!


Happy Valentine’s Day! 


CMO Insights: Becoming an Agent of Change

by Clint Oram

Our Sugar platform is different…and that’s intentional. Our customers are different…and we like it that way. You’ll never find us walking the centerline of the highway because that is not where the innovative thinkers are. Legacy CRMs walk that mundane centerline of managing people; Sugar helps people understand customers and build value through relationships.


Corner Office: What's new for the Customer Experience in 2017?

by Larry Augustin

Like flowers on Valentine's Day, prioritizing the customer experience has moved from a ‘nice to have’ to an essential component of business’ strategy. When research by Gartner reveals that 89% of organizations now expect to compete solely on this, you know you need to take it seriously.


Developers Corner: Extending Advanced Workflow and more

by Matt Marum

There’s something cool and new for all developers in the Sugar 7.8 platform. From simple changes, such as moving to PHP 5.6, to the more robust Advanced Workflows that dramatically extends extensibility, Sugar 7.8 is a tire-screeching, road-hugging sports car of a platform.


Products: Maximize Productivity with Relationship Analytics for Sugar

by Dax Farhang

In the Valentine's spirit, Relationship Analytics for Sugar adds richness and insight into your customer engagements. This add-on analyzes Sugar and email correspondence between customers and your company to build an insightful relationship map. Our customers use this tool to find contacts with strong customer relationships and help transition customers to new account managers and sales people.


ISV Spotlight: Innovation is #awesome. Innovation + experience is #awesomesauce

by Mark Weitzel 

Struggling with finding the right Valentine's gift - check out Amazon. Struggling to find ways to improve sales efficiency or adding? Before you look at your developers, check ours. We’ve got hundreds of savvy partners who think about that stuff all the time, and it’s possible they’ve already got what you need.



Customer Spotlight: Agfa Healthcare

by Tom Opdyke

A multinational corporation that develops, manufactures, and distributes analog and digital imaging products and systems, as well as IT solutions completed its worldwide Sugar deployment and achieved 139 percent ROI while staying on budget - Wow, that's sweet.


Customer Spotlight: Do You Need to See an Analyst?

by Rebecca Jukoski

The relationship doctor is in. Find a convenient time to meet with one of our SugarCRM analysts to tell us your digital transformation story. We're looking for real Mavericks here. Become one of our reference superstars.


Events: What do Chief Revenue Officers talk about when they get together?

by Jennifer Smart

We wanted to know, too. Find out as CROs from across all industries gather in New York City on April 4-5 to explore the connections between CRM, predictive analytics, and a better understanding of customer requirements to improve customer communication, retention, and loyalty. Get 20% off registration.


Events: SugarCon 2017. Bigger, more disruptive, transformative

by Karen Havstad

Don't miss this customer love fest. Our must attend customer event of the year will be held at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco September 25-28. Watch for our Early Bird registration. Save the date - we’ve got a seat for you.

You're hearing a different tone from SugarCRM these days. It's about being the CRM disruptor.


We've always seen ourselves as the outlier in a field of mundane Customer Relationship Management providers, many who sell CRM as a small part of a business application suite. Frankly, we like it that way because we want to only focus on CRM.


From our inception, when we launched an ambitious startup to provide cost-effective CRM that transforms businesses, we have looked for ways to make SugarCRM stand tall above the crowd. We pioneered open source CRM. We gave customers our source code to let them know no limits. We provided options for on-premise, private cloud or public cloud. We added mobile functionality without the crazy hidden charges imposed by other CRM providers. We continue to add functionality through new alliances with other vendors, such as our Customer Journey Plug-in from AddOptify, Relationship Analytics for Sugar from TrustSphere and the Gmail Plug-In from Collabspot.


And we know from our customer feedback that we are a dependable source of business transformation in this era of disruption. So call us the disruptor, the challenger, the maverick any of the terms are correct. Because we are the only exclusively CRM company leading the way through this thicket of digital transformation.


In this time of unbelievable change in business models around the world, SugarCRM helps tomorrow's leaders agents of change like yourself who are embracing CRM technology to create a differentiated customer experience -- tear down the status quo and engage with customers in unique and compelling ways via digital channels.


We have so many maverick stories about companies driving change, but here is a snapshot:


A leading global financial services firm: the conservative bankers had multiple existing CRMs already deployed in the bank from which to choose. They wanted a platform to provide high-touch, concierge service for their wealthiest clients. They chose Sugar because they needed not just the most flexible CRM platform, but the concierge CRM service that only we were ready to provide.


CitySprint: the largest same-day courier company in the United Kingdom uses Sugar to up-end its 20-year business model and thrive among disruptive competitors like Amazon. By leveraging Sugar as the core of customer information and processes, CitySprint has transformed itself into the leading UK logistics services provider as well as the household courier brand its always been.


Cells4Life: This leading repository for stem cell tissue leveraged Sugar to build a revolutionary laboratory management system because it didn't like the inflexible, out-of-the box CRM packages in the laboratory industry.
They close Sugar as the CRM platform to build an entirely new customer experience around.


We'll be telling other stories about disruption this year, and introducing you to some of the people customers and Sugar staff -- who are plotting new ways to engage with customers.


Throughout the year, we will continue to share how Sugar is the best CRM platform for digital transformation and how Sugar champions are true CRM Mavericks.


Be a CRM Maverick yourself. Challenge the CRM status quo. I look forward to having you join us on this journey.

Well, 2016 will be a tough act to follow. With all the twists and turns of a Hollywood blockbuster, it was a year no one is going to forget in a hurry. But let's not dwell on the past. At this time of year it's de rigueur to roll out the dusty crystal ball and predict what the coming weeks and months will bring. What's going to change? What will remain the same? Who will be the heroes? Who will be the villains?


I work in Silicon Valley, so please excuse my bias, but what I'm most excited about this year is seeing how the tech industry will change and continue to enhance the customer experience. The last few years have seen the rise of the Empowered Customer, and 2016 continued to blaze a trail for the informed, powerful customer with endless choice at their fingertips.


Prioritizing the customer experience has moved from a 'nice to have' to an essential component of business' strategy. When research by Gartner reveals that 89% of organizations now expect to compete solely on this, you know you need to take it seriously.


The robots are coming (or not)

So, looking ahead, what's going to be new this year? Whatever you may have heard, 2017 is not going to be the year when AI (Artificial Intelligence) completely revolutionizes customer experience and management. There. I've said it.

While some tech companies have been loudly talking up the AI capabilities within their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, there's a danger that people are getting ahead of themselves. That's not to say that AI isn't coming; it is and soon, maybe even as a little as a year down the line, AI within CRM is going to be something to get very excited about.


And that's the reason why AI grabs the headlines: it's an exciting area. But tech is nothing if it has no purpose. At the heart of all customer-facing businesses is (or should be) the customer. The question should always be asked: how can we use technology to make people's everyday lives quicker, more efficient, and streamlined?


At SugarCRM, we're investing big in AI technology and you can bet that when we launch this new offering we're going to be shouting as loudly as anybody about the huge leap forward that it will be.


Innovation is undoubtedly fantastic and it's really quite amazing what has been achieved in the last decade alone, but the bottom line is people still like to talk to people. For all the talk of AI, it's still going to be the case that people are the most important part of any customer management experience. This will be true in 2017 and I am convinced it will be true in 2067.


Predicting and pre-empting

Predictive analytics is another area which we'll see increasingly come to the forefront this year. It will give sophistication to systems that will feel both innovative and entirely logical. CRM will no longer be about data entry and simple deal tracking; instead companies will be able to anticipate customer trends with increased accuracy by finding patterns in the vast sea of customer data they are now collecting. As a result, this will in turn give a huge opportunity for businesses to give better service. And that's what it's all about.


Imagine a system that tracks communication patterns between a company and its customers, segmenting those customers by personality types, and suggests the time of day and the tone of message to send to each individual customer. Even better, imagine a customer sending a complaint to your company's billing department and the system alerts the appropriate sales rep with the right email already written and staged for sending out. This level of highly personalized service is what predictive analytics will bring to the customer experience in the future.


The rise of mobile

What we can predict with certainty is that this year mobile will continue to assert its place as an entirely feasible alternative to office-based working. The modern work environment has broken free of desks, buildings and commutes. The flexibility that smart phones, tablets, laptops and, of course, ubiquitous connectivity offer means employees can now work anywhere, at any time.


I'd expect that most business professionals will be dividing more of their time over a wider range of multiple locations; a flexibility that, deployed intelligently and supported by their employer's technology, could have significant benefits for the customers they serve.


The image of empty offices as remote workers sit in cafes with their laptops, matched with intelligent software that learns and decides without the need for intervention, could suggest that this will be the year in which the human dimension of business becomes extinct.


Nothing could be further from the truth. Human to human interaction will never be completely replaced by machines. Yes, machines will help automate repetitive or low value tasks. But overall they will increase human productivity and increase the value of personal interaction.


Take the case of the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) in banking. The first ATMs were introduced in 1969. Since then, the number of (human) bank tellers has grown, and continues to grow. Research by James Bessen, Lecturer in Law at the Boston University School of Law, shows that the number of ATMs in the US stood at just over 400,000 in 2010, compared to nearly 600,000 bank assistants.


As it did with bank tellers, automation will enable more businesses to provide higher levels of personal touch instead of decreasing the need for human interaction.


I hope this year businesses remember that customers are human, and technology should enhance the experience they offer, not replace it. Hold tight - it's going to be a big year.

The recently released Sugar 7.8 provides some exciting new platform changes that should be welcome to every Sugar developer.


First, we've dropped support of older PHP versions (PHP 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5) in Sugar 7.8. Not only does Sugar run faster on PHP 5.6, this change allows the SugarCRM Product Group and the entire Sugar Developer Community to spend more time on innovation and less time on maintenance.


Next, we've enhanced Advanced Workflow to dramatically extend extensibility. With the added ability to create and incorporate Custom Actions, Sugar developers can create custom code that runs when their Custom Action is called during an Advanced Workflow process.


Finally, we've made some important upgrades to the third-party libraries used by the Sidecar framework and Sugar 7 user interfaces. We've upgraded Backbone.js, jQuery, and other libraries, which include feature improvements, bug fixes and some subtle API changes. Check the Sugar 7.8 Migration Guide for advice on this and other areas of change to watch out for with your code customizations when migrating to Sugar 7.8.


If you want to learn more about obtaining, developing and migrating customizations to Sugar 7.8, review our Sugar 7.8 Technical Overview webinar. Or, if you just want to review the slides in our Sugar Community, go to Sugar 7.8 Technical Overview for Sugar Developers (Slides).

The CRM industry is abuzz about the potential of analytics, AI and the like. The promise is that applications will reach deeply into a dataset and retrieve insights that go beyond "who do I contact next?" or "what should I say?"


At SugarCRM we are actively investing in the analytics space with our own product development efforts and through strategic partnerships. One example is Relationship Analytics for Sugar. This Sugar add-on accelerates your business with:

  • Increased sales productivity
  • Increased customer retention
  • Rapid employee onboarding


Relationship Analytics for Sugar analyzes employee-customer interactions within your email system and distills those interactions into a deeper understanding of the relationship strength each employee has with every individual at your customers and prospects with whom they communicate.


Our customers leverage Relationship Analytics (RA) for Sugar to strengthen relationships across their company and improve prospecting and opportunity management. Companies can uncover "hidden" contacts or new prospects buried in their email system with a one-touch process to add them to your Sugar contacts. You can also identify trends in contact activity, or quickly educate new account executives on the strength and breadth of each customer contact.


Most importantly, users' natural email activity provides the raw data that drives Relationship Analytics for Sugar.

This is truly a powerful product to improve efficiency or gain a competitive advantage through technology.

Relationship Analytics for Sugar is available for $20 per user per month and integrates with popular email systems, such as Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Lotus Domino and Gmail for Business. It is available with all Sugar editions, supports every supported Sugar 7.x version and can be leveraged by both On-Demand and On-Site customers.


Learn more about Relationship Analytics on our new SugarCRM website.

Our partner community never ceases to amaze me. Really. Whether it's understanding how your organization is connected to your leads to get that all important warm introduction, or combining geographic data to optimize the sales routes, you can bet one of our partners has a solution. When you combine that innovation with the years of experience implementing sophisticated Sugar installations you get #awesomesauce.


Jump on over to the Partner Corner to learn about how our partners are helping customers just like you be successful. Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to our Featured Partners on SugarExchange.


Take a moment to check their listings and see how they can help you get more out of Sugar and disrupt your competition!

You might know Agfa from its days as a maker of professional-grade camera film, but the company has evolved into a giant in the healthcare industry with its diagnostic imaging solutions.


To continue growing, the Belgium-based company needed to be a disruptor in medical imaging sales and service. So, when Agfa X-rayed its own business model, it prescribed a flexible Customer Relationship Management solution that was future-proof and adaptable worldwide.


With a payback of 15 months, the Agfa project was out of the red even before the worldwide Sugar implementation was completed. A 139% ROI also sweetened the experience.


Find out more about the Agfa success story.

Become a Sugar Superstar

Posted by rjukoski Employee Feb 14, 2017

microphone image

We're always on the hunt for good customer stories, especially those of you who have overcome disruption in your business or industry or are creating a great customer journey map. Share these stories with colleagues looking for great examples of sales, marketing and customer service Sugar implementations.


Contact me through the community, Rebecca Jukoski, or email me, about your story and we'll help put you in the spotlight. It might be with the analysts or it could be a Sugar case study - or both.


Who knows? Your company could be a featured customer on our website or at SugarCon 2017.


You know you've got a great story that is begging to be told.


Now's the time to act.

SugarCRM announces our co-sponsorship of the upcoming Chief Revenue Officer, USA conference taking place on 4-5 April, 2017 at the Convene Conference Center in New York City.


Chief Revenue Officer USA Sponsor Logo

This conference will be the United States' first cross-industry conference for Chief Revenue Officers, and as such is designed to meet the needs of C-Level executives who are responsible for all revenue-generating processes, execution and marketing in today's economy.


On Tuesday, April 4, SugarCRM Head of Corporate Strategy, Martin Schneider will lead a panel discussion exploring the connections between CRM, predictive analytics, and a better understanding of customer requirements to improve customer communication, retention, and loyalty.


Martin will be joined by SugarCRM customer Shaya Phillips, Associate VP for Information Technology at Fordham University, as well as other executives from Amtrak and Trusted Media Brands.


SugarCRM Customers can qualify for an additional 20% discount by using the code SPON20 when registering.


Come join us at Chief Revenue Officer, USA!