sugarCon2011Logosmall.JPGHave you noticed an increase in SugarCRM (news, site) activity streams today on your favorite social media window? Today, SugarCRM’s fifth annual conference kicks off in San Francisco. Sweet.

SugarCon 2011

Open source customer relationship management platform SugarCRM has grown rapidly in popularity since its humble beginnings on SourceForge. Today, the company lists over 7,000 customers and half a million users as economic pressures and the innovation offered by the open source vendor made the platform a viable alternative to commercial solutions.

Many of this huge community are convening today at this year’s two-day SugarCRM conference, SugarCon 2011. The conference targets the entire SugarCRM community -- users, developers and partners -- with over 60 sessions and eight tracks:

and speakers from multiple verticals and well-known industry leaders. This year’s general conference theme is “The Future of Business is Open,” and SugarCRM has said attendees can expect some surprise guests during the keynote sessions.

SugarCRM is also placing a big emphasis on social CRM and media at SugarCon 2011. A number of the tracks explore the concept in detail, which isn’t surprising given the collision course that all things social appear to be on with enterprise software.

CMSWire is attending the conference in San Francisco and virtually via the community site.

SugarCon Web 2.0 Style

This year, Qontext is providing free online access to the SugarCon 2011 Community. Anyone can register for the site to interact with attendees, speakers and sponsors online. Many conferences provide attendees, and sometimes the public, with online visibility into conferences with recaps and live video, but SugarCon has definitely taken things up a notch with the community site.

SugarCon 2011 community site

The community site is a full social media community with:

  • User profiles
  • A blog, wiki, whiteboards and folders for storing notes and sharing for each user
  • Interaction with other community members, SugarCRM team and speakers

Impressive. Even if you are not attending the conference, but have an interest in SugarCRM, you should sign up for the site for the sheer volume of information and access it provides.

Quontext has also announced that it offering all SugarCRM customers one year free of Qontext integrated with SugarCRM for up to 25 users. Quontext provides social collaboration features to SugarCRM, similar to what is available in the community site.

Are you attending SugarCon? Have you signed up for the community site? What are you looking forward to at this year’s conference? Let us know!