Sweeten up your Customers
Back in May, Sugar got some extra exposure by joining the Red Hat Exchange. Now it jumps to the other side of the fence by getting its customer relationship management software added to Microsoft's Web App Gallery, an online marketplace for business tools. It has had nearly 2,000 downloads in its first month and finds itself in heady company with the likes of Umbraco, DotNetNuke CE, SilverStripe and Kentico.
Sugar's open source CRM package is available for free in the form of the Community Edition. It can also be purchased in various editions including Enterprise (US$ 600 per user/year), Professional (US$ 360 per user/year) and Express (US$ 499 a year), depending on the needs of your company.
Recent additions to SugarCRM include Mobile Studio for creating interfaces for users on mobile devices. Another feature is dynamic team management, which allows for the creation of team records for specific projects.
Naturally, Sugar would rather you went for one of its paid versions with the extra features and support. But for getting it out "there", in offices and on desktops, there is nothing quite like a free product, and with some 60% of Sugar users running Windows, the Microsoft Gallery has to be a good shop window to be in. The two companies have been collaborating for some years under the Interop Alliance.
Spot the Difference
Sugar's Community Edition is currently at Version 5.2 and requires PHP, a server and database. As well as for Windows, it is also available for Linux, Mac and Sun users in a number of languages on the Sugar site. Dig around and you can find the latest 5.5 beta with the most up to date features.
The Community Edition features the Module Builder to help create custom apps, while the paid for versions add ever-growing numbers of features including access control, workflow management and mobile features.