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SugarBuzz

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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!

SugarBuzz Q2 2016 Overview

Posted by rjukoski Employee Jul 28, 2016

This quarterly news from SugarCRM is all about getting the most from your Sugar investment. Read on!

SugarBuzz

The Strategic View, by Larry Augustin

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New technologies are transforming industries around the world. Learn how you can use CRM to Align Initiatives, Empower Individuals, Operationalize Interactions, and Deliver Insights to stay ahead.

Developers Corner, by Matt Marum

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Once again, UnCon received the highest ratings of all SugarCon content. Check out Matt Marum's recap to refresh your memory or catch up on what you missed. Matt Marum

SugarCRM's New Customer Journey Solution, by Dax Farhang

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Get your map on! Learn how SugarCRM's New Customer Journey Solution can help you use Sugar to deliver better customer experiences and improve business performance.

Customer Spotlight: UNIFIN, by Rebecca Jukoski

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Cool new customer video -- Unifin CIO, Robert Amper, says Sugar is a key element in sustaining the company’s 3X sales growth.

How SugarCRM is Reacting to Brexit, by Andrew Staples

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SugarCRM helps smooth the bumps for companies coping with new realities.

SugarCon 2016 -- It's a wrap!, by Mark Weitzel

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If you missed SugarCon you missed a great App Throwdown -- read about it here!

SugarU, by Kevin Freitas

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Wow -- Blow out for SugarU and SugarCon!

Your Success Matters Most, by Remy Malan

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Getting started with Customer Journey mapping. Some practical advice from a veteran.

                                                                                                                                                           
Larry Augustin

The Strategic View

Posted by Larry Augustin Employee Jul 28, 2016

the-strategic-view-300x232.jpgLast month we held our biggest and best SugarCon ever.  Attendance was the highest ever.  But more important, you told us that the content was the best yet; it just keeps getting better and better.  We’ve been on a mission to increase the value of content at SugarCon that helps our customers drive business success using CRM, and it showed.

 

This year the conference theme was, "Transforming Relationships" in an age of digital disruption.  In that context, I shared four key strategies that forward-thinking leaders can apply to respond to disruptive market forces and put the customer at the center their business:

 

  1. Align Initiatives: Evolve your CRM by making it a tool in your customer-first strategy. CRM can’t be something that’s not part of your core initiatives.  If your core business objective is revenue growth, CRM needs to be part of that.  If you want to achieve a great customer experience, you need customer experience to be part of all your initiatives.  It’s about alignment and focus.
  2. Empower Individuals: Ultimately a business is made of people, and you need to empower those people to achieve your business objectives.  By using your CRM internally to provide the right customer information to the right person at the right time, you are empowering your staff. A customer-focused CRM helps the sales team and arms customer support representatives to deliver an extraordinary customer experience.
  3. Operationalize Interactions: Whether it is a digital or human touchpoint, customers appreciate it when every interaction is coordinated, and when everyone seems to share a complete understanding of them and their needs. Using CRM to inform and coordinate all customer interactions is a great way to deliver positive experiences and build extraordinary relationships.
  4. Deliver Insights: Increasingly, CRM is becoming a tool that can deliver deep insights about customers. By combining internal and external data along with the analytics to recommend next best actions, CRM becomes much more than a customer database. CRM can become an invaluable tool for guiding your staff and building your business.

 

My presentation and many others at the conference were designed to help empower our users as change agents within their organizations. Please be our guest and explore the presentations and videos posted on the Sugar Community SugarCon pages to learn more about how Sugar can help you Transform Relationships with your customers.

 

Follow the SugarBuzz blog space to make sure you stay up to date with news from SugarCRM!

Matt Marum

Developers’ Corner

Posted by Matt Marum Employee Jul 28, 2016

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Thanks to everyone who attended the UnCon! It was a whirlwind for all of us but I think we have put on the best iteration of this event we have ever had. We look forward to seeing you all again for SugarCon in September 2017.

 

UnCon 2016 Highlights

It was standing room only for our UnCon general sessions, especially for the Platform Update on Tuesday and the Architecting Successful Projects panel on Wednesday.

 

Some of the most popular breakout topics led by Sugar Engineers were on Sugar tools that can be leveraged for Sugar development and deployment.  These topics included the Sugar Unit Test framework, Performance Test framework, as well as our soon to be released Sugar command line interface and Mobile SDK.

Other popular breakout topics included our deep dive into Advanced Workflow, Sidecar, and our two different sessions on Elasticsearch.

Example code, presentations, and recordings will be available to everyone!

The real value of UnCon is being able to get face to face with the Sugar Engineers and other Sugar Developers. It is a shame if you missed it. But take comfort, even if you did not make it you will still get access to all the UnCon presentations, example code, and video recordings for our UnCon general sessions.

 

UnCon 2016 Slides

All the slides from each of the 28 different general and breakout sessions have been posted in the UnCon community. This is a great opportunity to refresh your memory or review any of the presentations that you happened to have missed this year. Use these presentations as an aide to help you present what you learned at UnCon to your own colleagues!

 

UnCon 2016 Code

All example code shown at UnCon is available in the UnCon Github repository in the 2016 branch. There are a ton of code examples to learn and try out for yourselves. We presented and shared at least 2X more code than last year! All the example code in this repository is licensed under Apache 2.0 unless otherwise noted.

 

Follow the SugarBuzz blog space to make sure you stay up to date with news from SugarCRM!

sugarcrms-new-customer-journey-solution-300x232.jpgConventional CRM implementations are too focused on internal business operations.  This ailment stems from the lineage of most CRM projects.  CRM solutions are typically deployed so businesses can manage and increase the productivity of critical facets such as the sales pipeline, service queue, and lead funnel.  Subsequently these solutions are defined around concepts such as leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities.  The status of these entities is defined through lead score, sales stage, and customer satisfaction rating.  This accurately reflects how businesses describe themselves.

 

As companies take a more customer-centric approach and consider the customer experience, they quickly realize that the customer's perspective is not the same as the company's perspective.  People do not think of themselves as leads, contacts or accounts.  They do not describe their potential purchase as an opportunity.  In fact they will use an entirely different vernacular to describe their evolution as a customer over time.  More importantly, as companies look at the specificity of their business, they realize that there is a common set of stages, activities and decision criteria that their customers will use to describe their relationship with that business.  This description is known as the customer journey map.

 

The definition of a customer journey map not only enables businesses to better adopt the customer perspective.  It helps companies catalyze the evolution of their customer relationships as those companies clearly understand what needs to happen next in order to properly foster the relationship.  All leads, opportunities and accounts are not equal. The value of a lead to convert to a prospect or opportunity depends greatly if their needs as a lead have been met.  Leads who have fewer of those needs met have a lower propensity to become prospects than those who have more of their needs met.  The same basic principles apply to goals such as customer retention, expansion, cross-sell, upsell, and customer advocacy.  In order to achieve any of those goals, customers themselves need to achieve a set of predefined criteria first.

 

SugarCRM recently announced the availability of the Customer Journey Plug-In for all customers.  This new Sugar module allows companies to capture their customer journey maps within their Sugar installation.  It helps those companies not only adopt the customer perspective, but enables them to effectively guide their customers throughout those journeys in a consistent manner.  The solution also enables companies to operationalize those journeys by effectively integrating the entire journey with the traditional CRM operations that companies already execute.  Subsequently, actions such as lead conversion and updating a sales stage on an opportunity are transformed from internal status indicators to triggers that initiate activities within the customer’s experience.  This creates a competitive advantage for Sugar customers by enabling them to better prioritize their customer engagements and to maximize each of those engagements by addressing the correct need at the correct time.

 

Click here to learn more about the plug-in from its listing on SugarExchange.

 

Follow the SugarBuzz blog space to make sure you stay up to date with news from SugarCRM!

Customer Spotlight: UNIFIN

Posted by rjukoski Employee Jul 28, 2016

featured-customer-video-300x232.jpgThe Mexican financial services company, which specializes in leasing and factoring, chose Sugar as its Customer Relationship Management platform because it was easy to implement, integrated seamlessly with other business software and provided deeper insights about its customers.

After implementing Sugar, UNIFIN increased loan application processing efficiency by 60 percent and saw cleaner, more credible data about sales. CIO Robert Amper says Sugar is a key element in sustaining the company’s 3X sales growth.

Check out their video:

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If you missed SugarCon this year, UNIFIN was one of 15 customer spotlight presenters. Check out their video presentation and or download their presentation.

 

Follow the SugarBuzz blog space to make sure you stay up to date with news from SugarCRM!

in-the-news-brexit-300x232.jpgLike everyone else, we at SugarCRM we’re very surprised when the vote to leave came in. And, while it will take some for the world to figure out how significant the long-term political and economic implications, we wanted to help our employees and customers in the UK prepare for the future and be thinking about how we can offer our customers additional information and guidance.

 

We’ve created a cross-departmental “Brexit task force” to determine how this affects both current and potential customers, and how we can respond to meet their needs. As a result, we have updated how process payments in different currencies to give UK customers more flexibility. We are proud that SugarCRM now offers pricing in  British Pounds (GBP) for customers in the UK. This decision is designed to help customers reduce risks in the wake of recent currency fluctuations. As we have grown as a company, we have an increasing number of customers signing multi-year deals. By offering pricing in pounds, we can provide customers with greater cost certainty over the life of their contract.

 

Just as important is the data flow and data privacy issue. It is important that we start the conversation on the importance of keeping control of your cloud data during these times of uncertainty. We are advising customers to maintain cloud flexibility. We don’t know how the data storage and data privacy regulations will shake out. It was already a murky issue for U.S. multinational tech companies and now U.K companies could be in the same boat. This potentially will take years to figure out as the UK and EU negotiate, but major IT projects can’t just be put on hold. We are advising our European customers to work with vendors that operate both their own cloud and also enable other service providers to deliver SaaS services on their clouds, either private or public. In many cases, “future-proofing” deployments with private clouds that can withstand current regulatory uncertainty is the way go.

 

At SugarCRM, we offer multiple cloud deployment options. We talk all the time about why cloud flexibility is crucial so you can adapt to the changing business and IT landscape. That sounds like marketing speak until something like this happens.

 

Brexit is a complicated and evolving topic so we called in an expert to help us make sense of it. Frank Fanzilli, a SugarCRM board member and the former global CIO at Credit Suisse, lent his expertise in a guest blog post. It’s a great overview of the potential impacts in the tech and financial industries. He also provides a list of things companies should be thinking about in response to Brexit.

 

Follow the SugarBuzz blog space to make sure you stay up to date with news from SugarCRM!

SugarU

Posted by kfreitas Employee Jul 28, 2016

sugaru-300-232.jpgSugar University had a great turnout at SugarCon this year. To continue the growth of our Certification Program we held two Sugar Certification sessions offering three different exams, including our newly developed Sugar Solution Architect Professional exam. Through the two certification sessions we were able to deliver 127 certification exams in total, our largest delivery yet!

 

Sugar University’s training day was also a big hit. In an effort to provide our attendees more variety we changed things up a bit and offered 6 full day classes rather than the half-day classes we’ve hosted in the past. Our track topics had a little something for everyone, from a brand new end user to an advanced developer. We grew our numbers this year with 132 total students in attendance!

 

Learn more about Sugar University training and certification classes!

Follow the SugarBuzz blog space to make sure you stay up to date with news from SugarCRM!

Your Success Matters Most

Posted by remy_malan Employee Jul 28, 2016

your-success-matters-most-300x232.jpgYou’ve been hearing a lot from us about Customer Journey alignment and tracking. I wanted to take a moment and share what we and some of our customers have learned about how to obtain a clearer understanding of one’s customers, about how to improve your business by looking at it from the outside in, from the viewpoint of your own customers.

 

The Customer Journey mapping process begins with decision to understand your customer’s experience from their point of view. Having gone through the Customer Journey Mapping process myself, I can tell you that it is a powerful technique, but that it also takes practice to master looking at yourself through your customers’ eyes.  It also does require leadership because your findings from the process will typically challenge how you do business and how you think about the functions and departments in your organization.  In addition, to be successful, you need to make this a permanent change in how you think about your business.

 

So how to get started?

 

At SugarCRM, we did a Customer Journey mapping project to help us understand where our customer interactions could be improved.  In our formal process we zeroed in on the interaction between Marketing and Sales as place to better streamline our business for customers.  We also applied the same principles in other parts of our business through informal, on-going journey mapping.  We’ve had great success applying these principles to coordinate our support, account management, services and renewals functions.

 

Start in an area you understand.

 

Perhaps you have not done a journey map but you can see that your customers routinely comment on one or two areas where they would like to see you do things differently.  That’s a great place to start outlining a new customer outcome or experience you would like to deliver.

 

Mix teams and create different roles as you refine your customer goals. Multi-disciplinary, multi-departmental functions and virtual teams are a key organizing principle to use in changing your company’s orientation. As your virtual teams interact with customers, make sure their information is shared.

 

Use analytics to measure customer outcomes.  Build automated measures of how your customers are using your products and services. Feed these back to people who can use the information.

 

In closing, and this is what you would expect from the Chief Customer Officer, but I’ll say it anyway: Your success depends on the success of your customers. Learn their journey, act on what you learn, and become more successful as a business by providing enabling your customers’ success.

 

Follow the SugarBuzz blog space to make sure you stay up to date with news from SugarCRM!