Social CRM is the latest epidemic among CRM solutions, while mobile features in CRMs are also hot. So, how do we choose which will be the best solution for us? Well, we don't have to because there is nothing wrong with either one. In fact, we can only admire all of the efforts made by CRM vendors to give us the software we need.
The Social CRM revolution was bound to happen. When your clients, vendors and all sorts of other contacts are on social networks, you will want to have more social features in your CRM in order to interact easily with your target groups. It might be a bit of work to implement social features in a CRM but since SCRM isn't that complex, CRM vendors are bombarding us with news that a new CRM has joined the list of Social CRMs.
One of the latest, but definitely not last, additions to the Social CRM list is the open source SugarCRM (news, site). The recently released version 6.1 kills two birds with one stone -- enhancing its social features and offering an iPhone native version.
SugarCRM Releases a Twitter Connector
This isn't the first version where you can find social features in SugarCRM. There were some of them in previous versions but now new ones, most notably a Twitter connector, have been added. With the help of the Twitter connector, you keep an eye on the Twitter streams of your contacts without having to leave your current session.
The Twitter connector comes as an addition to Sugar Feeds, SugarCRM's internal social-networking software, and the integration with Qontext, an on-demand social networking application. The Twitter connector isn't limited only to text messages, it also enables you to share any type of external data. If you don't want to be drowned by the Twitter streams of your contacts, you can set the filters to be more restrictive, leaving out any informationf you can live without.
SugarCRM on the iPhone
The second big new feature in SugarCRM 6.1. is that now it natively runs on the iPhone. Mobile features in a CRM are vital, especially when your mobile workforce relies mainly on their mobiles to keep in touch with headquarters, customers and the rest of the world. In this relation, the native support for iPhone is only the beginning and applications for the other popular mobile platforms, such as Android and BlackBerry will appear some time in the future.
Together with the improved integration with Microsoft Outlook 2010 and the new language packs (Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish), SugarCRM has become even more useful.