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

A Busy Day Two

Today is the first day of planned conference content, which kick off with akeynote address, “The Future of Business is Open," by SugarCRM CEO LarryAugustin and Sean Poulley, VP, Social Business Cloud, IBM and other members ofSugarCRM's leadership team. Attendees have a full day of 48 breakout sessionsacross the eight tracks being offered at the conference. Today’s agenda alsofeatures a second keynote, “Big Data and the Emergence of Social Selling,” byUmberto Milletti, founder of InsideView, which provides insight on the impact ofgrowing 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 andsocial media. SugarCRM and IBM have joined forces and are offering tighterintegration with IBM Lotus Collaboration products such as LotusNotes and LotusLive.The integration allows a collaboration environment within Sugar. Thecompanies hope that the collaboration features allow users to become moreengaged with the people they are interacting with.

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

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

In addition to the IBM integrations, Sugar 6 now also integrates withmultiple web meeting tools such as WebEx and GoToMeeting, and with GoogleDocuments. 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 arenecessary for managing their CRM interactions.

Learning Opportunities

Other enhancements to Sugar6 include:

  • Activity streams, implemented using the emerging emerging Activity Streamsstandard
  • 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.