Sugar CEO, Larry Augustin Discusses Vision, Business Execution and the Future of SugarCRM
Larry Augustin, serial entrepreneur and SugarCRM CEO, discusses the three underlying constructs which guide the company and product direction, the company's business performance achievements and milestones, and how SugarCRM will advance in a competitive marketplace to earn greater differentiation, competitive advantage and continued growth.
Key take away points from the SugarCRM discussion with CEO Larry Augustin.
Larry describes three key tenants which collectively contribute to the company vision and design of CRM application software—User First, Open Cloud and Open Ecosystem. The User First tenant expresses Sugar's position and focus that the company's first customer is the customer-facing business professional who is an actual CRM software user. The company envisions that role, designs role-based use cases and then creates application software to support those roles. This effectively champions and answers the WIIFM (What's In It For Me) argument posed by so many users and which generally contributes to challenged user adoption and failed CRM software deployments.
SugarCRM's Open Cloud tenant begins by offering customer choice in deployment, be it on-premise or on-demand. However, Open Cloud goes much further by also offering cloud ubiquity and portability. Sugar CRM customers are not locked in to a single cloud, and in fact, may choose among multiple cloud providers based on the cloud delivery services most important to them (i.e. proximity to the data center, Service Level Agreement (SLA), price, etc.) Further, being able to switch cloud providers on demand delivers portability with the benefits of lowering the cost of exit and maintaining investment protection. Customers that have extended their CRM software investment with custom development or similar proprietary firmware are able to take and reuse those investments to the cloud of their choice.
Open Ecosystem includes and extends the Open Cloud tenant with additional resources such as ISVs, hosting providers, business partners and members of the community. The company's open source heritage, technology architecture and open source licensing dramatically expands the community available to serve customers. Open Ecosystem effectively grants customers a broad global community and a plethora of choices in terms of software procurement, deployment, customization and support.
Sugar CRM business execution is firing on all cylinders. The company is achieving triple digit revenue growth, has amassed over 1 million end users and has recently brought on a $33M venture investment at a time when the company is cash flow positive. In terms of understanding why Sugar is achieving the most consistent business performance to date, Larry cites a rebounding economy, the three discussed tenants which guide the company's strategy and product execution and the market's desire for an open CRM solution supported by a good partner.
To deliver more product differentiation and competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace, Sugar will continue its pure-play focus in CRM, will partner and integrate with other application providers (and not get distracted from its core competency), will continue to grow its business partner channel and will continue to focus on the midmarket while also expanding into the enterprise market.