SugarCRM Strengths and Weaknesses
Competitive positioning in the CRM market is highlighted with the following strengths and weaknesses.
- Sugar's development framework, customization tools and open source foundation offer the most flexible software customization in the CRM industry. Customers can choose to customize Sugar at various levels, including the data models, objects, columns, fields and user interface. The Module Builder is a helpful graphical tool which leverages building blocks and workflow patterns to facilitate the development of new extensions or applications.
- SugarCRM is one of the few cloud CRM vendors to offer SaaS CRM application portability. Users have the choice to select the cloud that best serves their reliability, performance and service level agreement (SLA) objectives. Customers can choose to run on Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace or other public clouds—or change clouds on-demand if a superior provider becomes available.
- The SugarCRM development community, SugarForge, is the strongest open source community in the business applications industry. There are more than 250,000 community members, 25,000 developers and nearly 1,000 extension projects. The strength of this community is responsible for a wide portfolio of add-on solutions and delivers local support anywhere in the world.
- As a commercial open source company Sugar benefits from the capabilities of both industries. On the open source side, the company's move to abandon a more restrictive attribution-style license in favor of the AGPL license demonstrates commitment to open source ideals and encourages greater community engagement from which Sugar and its customers benefit. On the commercial side, the vendor's vision, transparency, partnerships, customer support and continued innovation are comparable in strength and delivery to any other non-open source vendor.
- SugarCRM offers an unbeatable acquisition cost and one of the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) CRM systems in the marketplace.
- Sugar's four paid editions require a minimum 5 user count. This can result in a higher total cost of ownership for some small businesses.
- Sugar's Service Level Agreement for its On-Demand hosting service is competitively weak.
- Sugar lacks the public visibility of its much larger competitors. Similarly, despite a compelling story, the company suffers from limited market awareness outside the open source community. This is steadily improving as the company demonstrates continued business performance and growth, but remains an issue which holds back the company's customer acquisitions and market share objectives.
- Like nearly all cloud CRM providers, Sugar is somewhere between weak and absent when it comes to business intelligence (BI), customer analytics, data mining and predictive analytics. This void can be satisfied with SugarExchange partner solutions from IBM Cognos, GoodData Sales Analytics or Jaspersoft.
- Being a commercial open source product comes with a level of buyer hesitation or reluctance among some middle market and enterprise organizations. While there are legitimate concerns about open source software solutions that must be reviewed, most don't actually apply to Sugar. Nonetheless, there are many sale opportunities where Sugar simply isn't invited to participate. Again, increased promotion and more focused messaging could chip away at this perception dilemma.
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SugarCRM offers an unbeatable acquisition cost and one of the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) CRM systems in the marketplace.