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SugarCRM Community Review

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Open Source Community and Ecosystem

Known By The Partners You Keep
With over 9 million downloads and a vibrant community of more than 22,000 developers, Sugar has developed a community and ecosystem that is as important as its application software. The combined efforts of Sugar and its community provide comprehensive quality assurance, software extensibility and a broad software marketplace of integrated add-on products to accommodate specialized functional requirements, unique business processes, vertical markets and geographic considerations.

Additionally, SugarCRM has become a channel driven company form a sales and distribution perspective—a benefit for customers seeking local or specialized professional services providers. The company sponsors six types of channel members, including Channel Partners (resellers), Consulting Partners, Learning Partners (trainers), Technology Partners (developers), Referral Partners and OEM Partners.

In an August 2010 McKinsey report titled the "Ten tech-enabled business trends to watch", the number one item listed was "Distributed cocreation moves into the mainstream". The report commented that "In the past few years, the ability to organize communities of Web participants to develop, market, and support products and services has moved from the margins of business practice to the mainstream." This type of virtual and global community collaboration is clearly at the heart of Sugar and pumps the life blood through the company.

Sugar goes out of its way to build and retain trusted and transparent partner relationships. Virtual forums and online training are supplemented with global road shows and annual events for face to face dialogue and in-person collaboration. The company holds developer sprints with its engineering staff working side by side with partner developers. This type of knowledge sharing and shadow training is invaluable in passing along coding standards and QA practices, as well as the reinforcement of joint publisher/partner relationships.

Sugar has recently stepped up its alliance IBM. In 2011, SugarCRM acquired iExtensions CRM from iEnterprises, Inc. iExtensions is a leading CRM solution for IBM Lotus Notes, and in 2010 was the winner of the Best in Lotusphere Showcase award. This acquisition adds enhanced support for IBM collaboration tools inside Sugar 6 as well as native Notes support, Notes email and calendar plugins, and a connector to the IBM Domino product line.

Additionally, Sugar's recent release of an IBM iSolution Edition is designed to make it easier and less expensive to acquire and deploy the open source customer relationship management software on Power Systems iron. iSolution Edition operates on the IBM iOperating system and hardware and further strengthens its ties with the IBM community, its positioning with IBM's cloud programs and most importantly its alliance partnership with IBM. This alliance will aid Sugar in expanding its foothold in enterprise businesses—and may even lead to an acquisition event as IBM struggles to be relevant in a growing CRM market without a CRM product.

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In the past few years, the ability to organize communities of Web participants to develop, market and support products and services has moved from the margins of business practice to the mainstream."

~ McKinsey

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