In his words: "To summarize, SugarCRM v6 is now hype, technology, trend, and coolness compliant - you can do pretty much anything you want w/it."
It seems like a good time for Sugar CRM. Larry Augustin is telling a story any CEO would like to tell: a huge spike in growth, channel partners showing 100 and 200% growth.
That's on top of IBM's deep presence here with high level executives from the software group, including Sean Poulley, vice president for IBM's social business cloud efforts.
Here is some of the news shared in today's analyst meeting:
- Seven quarters of record revenue.
- 9 million software downloads.
- 800,000 users who use the service.
- Added eight more languages, bringing total to 22 with better tools for administering the service.
- Three new mobile platforms: Sugar Mobile for Android, Blackberry and iPad along with offline synchronization and HTML 5 charts. All Flash has been removed.
- A social business focus with product enhancement that include integration with IBM partnerships, customer collaboration with Google Docs, Cisco WebExMeet and other services. Plus the addition of activity streams to replace its feed terminology.
The theme here is about the future of business being open. It's a good message. And one that can't be told by competitors, most notably Salesforce.com.
This is a different event than the Sugarcon I attended last year. In conversations I had with executives at last year's Sugarcon, it seemed like there was a bit of frustration. When Salesforce Chatter came up in conversation, Sugar CRM executives maintained that they have had feeds for a while. But that pointed to the issue. Feeds were the term being used for activity streams. That was confusing for people. And to be honest, a feed is more associated with RSS readers than the current activity stream technology. This year, the language seems more modern and therefore more effective.
The other part of this event is IBM, talking about its social business and the integration with Sugar CRM to the extent that the term "hand and glove," is being used to describe the relationship.
It's a good time for Sugar CRM. IBM's deep involvement in this event may be most significant for the business. As Paul Greenberg tweeted:
"#IBM needs #SugarCRM for CRM street cred. Sugar needs IBM to get to enterprise credibly. Great combo."
I could not have said it better myself.
Sugar CRM is ahead of the curve as an open company. It is hitting the right chords. Interestingly, the company is not focusing at all on social analytics while Salesforce.com just acquired Radian6 to get a foothold in the market.
Sugar CRM CTO Clint Oram said customers are not asking about social analytics. "We are not focused right now on social analytics."
That may be the right approach. We're a bit ahead of the curve in what we write about sometimes about data and analytics. But the demand for social analytics will come. We'll just see how that demand will emerge and how Sugar CRM will fit into the story.
Sugar CRM covered the airfare and hotel for the author to attend the Sugarcon event.