Welcome to SugarBuzz! The new quarterly newsletter from SugarCRM. What's it all about? Getting the most from your Sugar investment.
The Strategic View
Are You Transforming Your Business?
A major trend we’re seeing among Sugar customers and in the industry at large is a more enlightened take on CRM – one where businesses are going beyond automation or internal streamlining and embarking on fundamentally changing the way they interact with their customers from the time prospects start to learn about the company through deployment of their product or service. Because digital communication channels are at the center of the disruption, the term “digital transformation” has been used to describe this shift in business thinking. Gartner estimates that 50% of enterprises have a digital transformation strategy underway, but the concept of business transformation is vital to companies of all sizes.
Whether you are breathing new life into a global sales organization, revamping channels for customer service, or launching a seamless end-to-end customer journey management initiative - these projects must be done with an eye to customer experience. This is not the same as a simple migration to more modern technology. Businesses must embrace new user paradigms, channels of interaction and put themselves into their customers’ shoes to better understand and address customers at every stage. While they call it “digital transformation,” it really comes down to optimizing the digital and human touchpoints along the customer journey.
A flexible, modern CRM like Sugar is central to operationalizing the desired changes, both as a single source of truth for all customer information, and as a powerful platform to coordinate and enable all customer-facing individuals. We at SugarCRM, along with our ecosystem of partners, are eager to continue to work with you, our valued customers, to reimagine your business from the customer's point of view, and engineer the changes needed to build extraordinary customer relationships.
Larry Augustin, (you all know what Larry does)
Sugar 7.6 Advanced Workflow is a Developer’s Joy
A CRM system is designed to better automate and optimize the processes surrounding your customer interactions. This is typically done using workflow management tools inside the system. With version 7.6, Sugar has introduced exciting new Advanced Workflow capabilities into its Enterprise edition.
What’s so different about Advanced Workflow versus the legacy workflow tools in Sugar?
Here are five ways Advanced Workflow raises the bar and allows you to derive even more value from your Sugar deployment.
- Visual Process Designer: Building workflows in Sugar used to be a time-consuming and complex exercise. But now, users can leverage a dynamic drag and drop visual environment to build all sorts of workflows, and quickly edit and copy them to build even better automations.
- New “OR” Operator: Advanced workflow in Sugar supports “or” scenarios (for example, notifying a manager when a discount is greater than 10% OR greater than $10,000 in an Opportunity) – saving time and energy managing fewer workflows to create more complex logic.
- Notification Templates: Whether it’s lead routing or discount approvals, Advanced Workflow makes it easy to build email notifications for all types of alerts using simple templates inside the system.
- Business Rules Engine: Build and re-use rules in a visual environment across all sorts of workflows and process automations – saving time and development costs.
- Process Status: With Sugar’s next-gen UI, users can quickly monitor the status of any processes running in the system, making it easier to act when processes are stalled or status is uncertain.
These are just five of the many ways Advanced Workflow helps optimize every customer facing process. Learn more about Advanced Workflow by visiting:
Two more key thoughts for any Sugar edition:
- v10 REST API for integrations: The best part of using this API is knowing that all Sugar clients (web, mobile, and plug-ins) use this same set of APIs. So, if you can do it in our user interface, you can do it using REST API.
- Extensions Framework: A super-easy way to extend Sugar with your code customizations and is the best way to ensure you’re creating upgrade-friendly customizations. If you aren’t familiar with all the extension interfaces we provide, you can find them in our Sugar Developer Guide.
Lastly, let me mention our Sugar Developer Blog, which you also can follow @sugarcrmdev on Twitter. It’s an easy and fun way to stay current on the latest happenings in Sugar Engineering and the Developer Community.
Matt Marum, Lead Developer Advocate (and also a developer’s joy)
Getting More Out of Sugar
Support for Parallel Workflows with Sugar Enterprise Advanced Workflow
Advanced Workflow provides a number of benefits over the legacy workflow capabilities in Sugar. One of these is the ability to manage parallel workflows and business rules inside a single Process Definition. This means Sugar users and admins can write one inclusive workflow that includes multiple sub-tasks, notifications, and triggers along the overarching process. This ability to create more comprehensive workflows saves time and reduces complexity in developing workflows, and makes Sugar Advanced Workflows easier to maintain too.
Here’s an example: let’s say a lending institution needs to make sure that prospective borrowers follow a certain set of tasks (filling out proper applications and providing proper documents) before closing a loan. That multi-step, asynchronous process can be managed in one inclusive process definition. You don’t have to create a separate workflow rule for each discreet stage of the process, like you had to with Sugar legacy workflow.
Or how about this: In a world where the “subscription economy” or recurring payment models are becoming commonplace, missed payments can lead to serious cash flow gaps. With Advanced Workflow you can track and manage the payment process, as part of a more inclusive customer lifecycle management approach. Smart workflows and seamless integrations can track against date fields, noting if a payment has been received by finance. When a payment is missed, alerts can be sent to both the customer and a service rep—triggering a follow up call. This can get customers back on track, and keep the revenue stream flowing. And you can build it all as one workflow with Sugar Enterprise.
There are scores of uses for Sugar Enterprise Advanced Workflow all across the organization. Here are some more to think about:
If you’re using Advanced Workflow in an interesting or innovative way in your organization, please let us know. We’d love to hear about it.
Dax Farhang, Senior Director Product Marketing (pretty serious guy)
Sugar is the People’s Choice!
We have to let you know. Last month we were very excited to learn that Sugar won the 2015 PC Mag Business Choice Award for Best CRM. We actually got the top rating in all categories! What’s especially cool about this is that the award is determined by a global Readers Poll -- just a straight ranking of what users think – right from the horse’s mouth.
The internationally respected magazine said Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce.com “couldn’t hold a candle to SugarCRM in almost every measure of the survey.”
Sugar scored first in Overall Satisfaction, Reliability, Tech Support and User Recommendations, prompting the magazine to say SugarCRM was in “a class by itself compared to the competition.” Sugar’s Overall Satisfaction score was 7.1 (on a 1-to-10 scale), while the industry average was 6.0. And we were the only CRM company to elicit a positive response among readers when asked whether they would recommend their CRM to a colleague. “The scores are so bad for the others, that every other vendor managed a negative Net Promoter Score,” the magazine said.
See all the detail behind the ranking here: PC Mag Survey Detailed Results We’re not resting on our laurels, despite that last comment. It’s a competitive world, and we’re working hard to maintain our lead.
Andrew Staples, Senior PR Manager (knows everything before anyone else)
Become a Sugar Reference (be a super star)
As you may know, analyst firms like Gartner and Forrester regularly analyze and rank software providers like SugarCRM to better guide buyers and create accurate market positioning. They also point out successful use cases and highlight companies that are ahead of the curve when it comes to their CRM solutions. We believe Sugar users are innovative, forward-thinking and building more extraordinary customer relationships than firms using other CRM platforms. And we want to tell your story!
By becoming part of SugarCRM’s reference portfolio of customers, you help put Sugar in the best light possible, which helps us grow and re-invest into our products and services.
It also helps put the spotlight on you and your organization in a positive way. Perhaps you have an outstanding example of using Sugar for sales, marketing or in your customer service center. It’s a definite “win-win” for you and SugarCRM. If you are interested in becoming a Sugar reference, simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebecca Jukoski, Director Customer Marketing and Advocacy (and put the newsletter together)
SugarCRM & Marketing Automation Solutions Help You Win with Today’s Connected Customers
Think about the last time that you purchased something. Chances are, you started on-line to learn more about the product, check out reviews from other people who purchased the product, or watch various videos to see the product in action. With all this information at a buyer's fingertips, it's not uncommon for them to reach a decision before your sales rep has had the opportunity to even talk with them! This closing "decision window" has resulted in the rapid growth of marketing automation solutions that are designed to build campaigns, generate leads, segment prospects, and ultimately, provide sales with a focused set of qualified leads.
Visionary Marketing Automation vendors have integrated their best in-class-platforms with the Sugar platform, with big benefits for both Sales and Marketing. For example, IBM Customer Engagement Solutions, Act-On, and Salesfusion, surface marketing information directly in the Sugar user interface, allowing Sales reps to have visibility into key aspects of the lead right from their dashboard. One powerful feature of Act-On is being able to show the ROI of a marketing campaign. By synchronizing information from Sugar, information on won opportunities is tied directly back to the campaign that generated the lead.
All of these Marketing Automation partners have worked closely with Sugar to help align your critical Marketing and Sales efforts. Check out their profiles on SugarExchange. While there are some similar capabilities, each brings their own unique value proposition that helps you maximize your Sugar investment, and win new business.
SugarExchange has almost 150 application listings covering eight categories, and we’re constantly growing our partner network, improving the SugarExchange platform and finding innovative new technologies that will help you create extraordinary customer relationships.
Want to share your thoughts? ISV@sugarcrm.com
Mark Weitzel, Senior Director, Worldwide Technology Alliances (loves Sugar apps and ISVs)
Build your Sugar Smarts at Sugar U
Maximizing value for customers and partners is one of SugarCRM’s core principles. We do it through personal service, webinars, panels, regional and national seminars and expert partners. And this year, we began doing it through an education portal called Sugar University.
This is a website for customers and partners who want to learn the latest in best practices and achieve a higher understanding of how to get the most out of the Sugar platform. Our experts provide several free training options to give you the help you need when and where you need it. We also schedule webinars through the year on hot topics. Our free online training resources include quick video tutorials and topical, self-guided eLearning courses. Here’s a quick video to get you familiar.
Certifications are available for sales professionals, administrators and developers, and you work at your own pace. In its first year, SugarU has awarded about 1,300 certifications. We want you to be next! Get the most out of Sugar. Come to SugarU!
Kevin Freitas, Director of Global Training and Enablement (thinks school is cool)
Your Success Matters Most
One topic that comes up frequently in my conversations with customers is, “How can I realize the most value from my CRM implementation?” There is no single right answer to this question. The number of use cases that Sugar is deployed in span a broad range of business functionalities from traditional CRM sales and support applications to industry-specific and unique company-specific ones.
If there is no single answer to this question, how do you come up with a good answer? The key is to look at three critical elements that must come together in any high-impact CRM project: people, processes, and technology. Make it a point in your CRM project to deeply understand these three elements for success. Some examples to consider: (a) do a user assessment to know what kind of training and user adoption support the users of your CRM system will need, (b) consider what business process streamlining you should do as you automate your processes in Sugar, and (c) determine what integrations between Sugar and other systems will give you the best productivity return.
The approach I have outlined here is not only useful for new projects. If you are looking at a “phase 2” project, following the above approach will help you optimize your current CRM solution.
I would enjoy hearing from you on other topics you would like me to write about in future editions of the newsletter. Please feel free to email me comments here at SugarCRM at email@example.com
Remy Malan, SugarCRM Chief Customer Officer (in your corner)
Register now for SugarCon 2016! – June 13 – 16, San Francisco. It’s bodacious! That’s what they said about SugarCon 2015 – no kidding. Next year’s event will be even bigger and better, and registration is already open. Build SugarCon into your 2016 plan. Register now to get the early bird discount.
Marco Gallo, Director, Event Marketing (routinely entertains thousands)