Sugar CRM Review

"SugarCRM is a horizontal CRM platform and application offering aimed at customers seeking highly user-friendly solutions that make even the most complex end-to-end customer processes simple to manage."

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Leading Open Source CRM Application

SugarCRM, Inc. was founded by three CRM veterans with over twenty years of experience spanning marketing, application design and the engineering of commercial CRM applications. The desire to build an open source CRM company is based on the value Open Source software delivers to corporate buyers and the realization that existing commercial CRM applications are overpriced relative to the actual engineering dollars required to build these applications.

The Team

The Sugar team is led by three co-founders: John Roberts, Jacob Taylor and Clint Oram. The team has both large company and startup experience representing an excellent mix of engineering and marketing expertise. The three founders’ work experience includes; E.piphany, BroadVision, Aurum Software, Octane Software, Hewlett Packard and Symantec. The three founders’ academic degrees include: BS Business, BS Computer Science, BS & MS in Computer Science.


SugarCRM has secured Series A financing from premier Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) – one of the first and largest investments in a commercial open source applications startup.

The Product

Sugar CRMIn their words: SugarCRM will change everything you know about CRM
Attain results quickly with your CRM implementation.
Experience a business tool that requires little in the way of financial or IT resources
Allow your sales people to choose a personalized user experience.
Have your sales people thank you for a fast application, that’s enjoyable to use.
See real-time business insight into who you’re doing business with, how your business is going, and what’s ahead.

If you are considering an OS CRM, Sugar should be on your short list.

The SugarCRM website is impressive. I like their branding.

Sugar CRM Review

User Review Of SugarCRM Professional On Demand Version

Recommended Open Source CRM solutionThis SugarCRM review is focused on SugarCRM Professional Version 6.5.5, On Demand. We upgraded from an older Community Edition for a variety of business reasons and we have been running on this version for about 6 months. We have made a number of minor customisations but nothing significant.

The first thing you notice is the look and feel. The default layouts are more intuitive and the drop menus get you to the majority of your tasks in one click. The “Recently Viewed” functionality improves on this even further.

All the usual functionality is there and the designer tool has been improved upon to a point where you can handle most of the usual customisations without code (drop downs, layout, panels, etc.)

The On-Demand version of this open source CRM is fine for typical users (we moved from hosted in-house), but you will need to monitor usability. In our case we had to upgrade bandwidth to the internet from one office.

The only plugins we tested for Sugar was for Outlook 2012 and we were very disappointed with the results. We had several instances where people’s desktops locked up. Hopefully this will be fixed in later releases

The functionality for non-sales modules e.g. Project, Case, Campaigns, etc. remain very basic and we have had to use other tools to fill the gaps. It was relatively straight forward to interface to Sugar with ready interfaces to Marketo and ZenDesk available. Updating Cases from our own system was also quickly done.

The Suger Reports Designer is good and easy to use. It was sufficient for our needs but if you want anything unusual you will have to access the database directly with the tool of choice. Same for exporting data.

We are now starting to do custom development on Sugar and it is likely that we will have to move from the on-demand service as these changes will not be supported. This is something to consider if you are upgrading. We have found getting developers relatively easy and considerably cheaper than for MS Dynamics CRM or SalesForce.

Overall the SugarCRM solution is proving cost effective and flexible enough to meet the majority of our requirements. The MS Outlook plugin is a significant issue if you want to have a complete view of the customers and the on-demand option is great when you have distributed work force but an issue if you have legacy customisations you want to carry forwardan issue if you have legacy customisations you want to carry forward.

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