Today is day two of the fifth annual SugarCRM (newssite) conference, SugarCon 2011, but the first day of content. Many of the platform’s half-million users arrived in San Francisco yesterday to learn about and influence the popular open source CRM’s product direction, which seems to be increasingly focused on the social enterprise.

A Busy Day Two

Today is the first day of planned conference content, which kick off with a keynote address, “The Future of Business is Open," by SugarCRM CEO Larry Augustin and Sean Poulley, VP, Social Business Cloud, IBM and other members of SugarCRM's leadership team. Attendees have a full day of 48 breakout sessions across the eight tracks being offered at the conference. Today’s agenda also features a second keynote, “Big Data and the Emergence of Social Selling,” by Umberto Milletti, founder of InsideView, which provides insight on the impact of growing data volumes on sales.

SugarCRM Gets Social

In addition to conference activity, SugarCRM has announced several additions to Sugar 6. The company is embracing the intersection of CRM and social media. SugarCRM and IBM have joined forces and are offering tighter integration with IBM Lotus Collaboration products such as LotusNotes and LotusLive. The integration allows a collaboration environment within Sugar. The companies hope that the collaboration features allow users to become more engaged with the people they are interacting with.

In addition to the Lotus Integration, SugarCRM will now integrate with Cognos Business Intelligence to provide reporting, analytics, dashboarding and scorecarding around their CRM data. Sugar also integrates with Websphere Cast Iron. SugarCRM and IBM are becoming quite the sweet little partnership; I know. I couldn't resist at least one sugar metaphor. 

The IBM SugarCRM partnership will also likely strengthen SugarCRM's position within enterprise clients and make IBM appear a bit more agile in social enterprise space.

In addition to the IBM integrations, Sugar 6 now also integrates with multiple web meeting tools such as WebEx and GoToMeeting, and with Google Documents. SugarCRM users will now be able to spend much of their time in one interface but be able to gain access to many of the tools that are necessary for managing their CRM interactions.

Other enhancements to Sugar6 include:

  • Activity streams, implemented using the emerging emerging Activity Streams standard
  • SalesView pre-loaded intoSugar 6

For those not attending SugarCon, the company is conducting a free webinar on Thursday, April 21. Register for this webinar.

Other vendors are capitalizing on the attention from SugarCon. EXo announced a SugarCRM plugin that customers can download from the SugarExchange. EXo customers can see the widget in action with SugarCRM in this video demo,

Are you at SugarCon today? We'd love to hear from you.