W-Systems joins SugarCRM! Read Blog

Sugar User Group: Best Practices in CRM and Marketing Automation Working Together

by Sarah Friedlander Garcia on March 29, 2017

8 minute read

On March 21st, we had our Sugar User Group Meeting, where we demonstrated how we use Sugar and Act-On for marketing and sales at W-Systems.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this meeting! Below is the video recording of the meeting, general notes as well as the questions & answers.

Still, have more questions about Sugar or the Customer Journey Plug-In? Feel free to reach out to our team here, and we’ll be happy to answer!


  • Recap of Last User Group Webinar
  • SugarCRM Company and Sugar News Roundup
  • Upcoming Sugar Training
  • Feature Topic – Dynamic Duo: SugarCRM + Act-On Marketing Automation 
  • Sugar Q&A Session

Last User Group Meeting, January 2017: Customer Journey Plug-In

News Roundup

eBooks and White Papers

  • See all of our eBooks and White Papers on one page.
  • Current eBooks and White Papers include:
    • The Dynamic Duo: SugarCRM + Act-On Marketing Automation
    • Best Practices for CRM User Adoption
    • Best Practices in CRM Data Migration
    • 10 Things You Can Do to Ensure Your SugarCRM Success
    • 50 Things Your CRM Should Tell You About Your Customers

CRM Evolution 2017 Conference & Exhibition

  • W-Systems will be exhibiting at the CRM Evolution
  • April 24 - 26, 2017, Washington Marriott Wardman Park
  • Click here for more information.

Long Island Business Expo

  • W-Systems will be exhibiting at the Long Island Business Expo, a growth, and education experience for small business 
  • May 3, 2017, Nassau Coliseum 

Sugar Releases

  • Sugar and Sugar changes include:
    • Important Security Update in - It is strongly recommended that you install this update (if you are On-Demand this security update has already been applied).
    • A number of minor changes which are detailed in the release notes
  • SugarCRM Mobile Application Configuration Service 1.2 - This latest release addresses bugs identified in prior releases and provides users the ability to delete apps created in MACS.

SugarCRM Resources

Upcoming Training on Sugar University

The Dynamic Duo: SugarCRM + Act-On Marketing Automation

Sugar User Group Q&A

Are your call-to-action forms created from scratch or are they based on a current Act-On template?

So some the Act-On form templates that we're using right now are just built into Act-On. They're just a very standard type of template that looks good on both desktop as well as mobile. From that template, we include our banners and customize the fonts, but for the majority of our forms, we are using Act-On's built in templates.

How long does it take to get started with Act-On?

A: So that's a great question. Act-on is a pretty user-friendly platform. You can be up and running within a week as soon as you set up a few little things that you need to setup within the platform. You can be sending email creating forms within a week then as you go along through implementation, you can get more sophisticated like W-Systems with how you setup your marketing automation. It's simple to get started.

Can Act-On send email?

Yes. Act-On can send email. It's very easy to create emails with drag and drop functions. We've made it very simplistic. You can also use that drag and drop function with landing pages and soon to be formed as well. Email is the first thing you can do. Then you can set up those automated programs to run as you saw with the W-Systems platform.

What is the average size of the marketing department using Act-On?

I think that's a great thing about Act-On. A marketing department doesn't have to be a specific size it can be a 10-20 person marketing team using Act-On to 1-2 people in a marketing team. I would think the average size is probably four to five. It's not as large as you would think but we do have enterprise customers down to one-man shops. So it's suited for any size of a marketing team, which is nice.

How can you show the Act-On Website Prospector Report in a Sugar Dashboard?

That is another one of our wTools dashlet types. We have an external content dashlet that which allows you to input a URL and then display that inside of a dashlet. 

How does Act-On speak to Sugar?

One of the reasons that we work so closely with Act-On is because they build and maintain the link to Sugar (they also have options to integrate into various CRM systems, however we just focus on Sugar). The process is as simple as configuring your Sugar instance location, username, and password and then Act-On is able to communicate with Sugar.

When you become an Act-On customer, they have a Customer Success Team that also makes sure that you're integrated to CRM and Sugar. It's a 20-minute process, and then any forms that you do from that point on will be pushed into Sugar. Also, your leads, contacts, and target lists will be synchronized between Sugar and Act-On so that your email lists are always up-to-date without having to do any manual back and forth. The fact that it's built into Sugar, so you don't need any third party module or integration work is a strong capability.

We usually say that when you pick a marketing automation system, probably even more important than the feature functionalities of the platform is the ability to integrate with your CRM system because they can get the leads and the marketing results to the sales force. You're never gonna get a return on investment if this is not setup correctly. So that's where Act-On distinguishes itself. It has great features and functionality as well, but the fact that integration is strong makes it really valuable.

Does Act-On allow the ability to merge opportunity data fields into the email templates?

It doesn't synchronize directly to the Opportunity module in Sugar. It has to be something that has an email address like a person, lead, contact or a target inside of Sugar. If there's opportunity data that needs to be merged in, that has to be copied to a formula onto one of those contact modules, and then it can be synced with the person record.

There is an initiative with Act-On to have a broader module integration to Sugar going forward. So that's probably more modules in Sugar that could be synced to Act-On over time, but currently, it's focused on person modules (leads, targets, contacts), etc.... If we need to bring other information we have to create fields on those person records to then sync in indirectly to Act-On.