Maybe it’s out of respect for Salesforce’s 16th anniversary that the executives at SugarCRM kept their lips zipped over the weekend. But today they’re talking.

This morning the CRM startup officially announced that it has acquired mobile app maker Stitch.

It's the thinking behind the acquisition, rather than the acquisition itself, that should make Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff think hard.

A Stitch in Time

Stitch, a mobile startup, was the darling of forward thinking sales professionals who spend more time on the road — in front of their customers and closing deals — than chained to their desks managing contacts, planning client calls and entering data.

While one might assume that mobility was Stitch’s magic, its big data analytical, machine learning and workflow capabilities really make it rock.

Why? Because unlike most other mobile CRM’s, Stitch zeroed-in on helping sales pros take advantage of “micro-moments.” It predicts what they should do next, and helps them act on that by putting the right information in front of them.

Whether its key, up-to-the-moment research to review, appointments to confirm, customer profiles to read before client visits or lukewarm leads to follow-up on during spare moments, the necessary details and prompts are all there.

These are key differentiators at this point and time, and SugarCRM now owns the intellectual capital and employs the talent that brought these capabilities to life. They are expected to be integrated into SugarCRM.

The acquisition somewhat resembles Salesforce’s acquisition of RelateIQ.

More than a Copycat

While some might see SugarCRM as a Salesforce wanna-be, it has many features that resonate in 2015 that Salesforce does not.

Learning Opportunities

For example, SugarCRM is Open Source — cool now, not so much in 1999 when Salesforce was founded. It’s also available on premise, private cloud and public cloud. Salesforce is cloud-only. And when it comes to price, SuagarCRM is significantly less expensive.

Factor the capabilities of Stitch’s team (they won the Salesforce hackathon last fall) and you have an undeniably attractive offering that Salesforce customers could find compelling.

While Salesforce die-hards are unlikely to say that SugarCRM can give it a run for its money, the Stitch purchase may give them yet another reason for them to give it a look.

Not only that, but SugarCRM is a Gartner MQ visionary that is racing its way to becoming a leader. Stitch’s capabilities should push them further to the right.


Look for our interview with SugarCRM leaders later this week.