SugarCRM’s Enterprise Opportunity

by Bill Harrison on May 26, 2011

SugarCRM executives are the first to tell you that they are squarely focused on the SMB (Small/Mid-Sized Business) market.  And why not?The SMB space is growing fast as CRM costs decline and progressive companies adopt cutting edge technologies to gain a competitive advantage.  The SMB space has lots of other advantages too.  Shorter sales cycles, less complex projects, fewer decision makers, and minimal bureaucracy.  Compare this to the typical enterprise CRM sale with its long sales cycle, complex pre-sale technical requirements, and cumbersome decision-making processes, and you can see why the mid-market is so much more attractive.

And yet, the enterprise customer keeps calling out to SugarCRM.  At W-Systems we’ve seen a number of large enterprise customers with a keen interest in Sugar.  There are three reasons why this is happening:

  1. A focus on Standards-Based, Non-Proprietary Software.  
    Enterprises have learned the hard way what happens when mission-critical business functions are trusted to proprietary, closed software applications.  Vendor lock-in causes huge cost increases and kills innovation because proprietary applications are simply too hard and too expensive to customize.
  2. Deployment Flexibility and Performance.
     Despite all the growth in SAAS-based applications, many enterprise customers want more control over application access and data security.  Enterprises are embracing flexible, cloud-based computing architectures just like smaller businesses, but they want the flexibility of running in a public cloud or in a private cloud infrastructure that affords greater control over data security and performance.
  3. Integration.
    CRM applications are quickly becoming the centerpiece in an ecosystem that links a wide array of best-in-class applications performing tasks as diverse as accounting, e-commerce, contract management and inbound marketing.  Being able to quickly and inexpensively integrate a wide variety of applications, whether a legacy ERP application or a cutting-edge email marketing platform, is the new table stakes in the CRM marketplace.

SugarCRM, it turns out, gets very high ratings in all three of these categories.  And while many SMB customers purchase Sugar for some of these same reasons, the stakes are much higher in the enterprise.  And that’s why enterprises are looking with increasing frequency to SugarCRM as a robust, flexible CRM platform that eliminates the risks of proprietary, closed-architecture CRM applications.

SugarCRM and its business partners have not put a lot of effort into pursuing the enterprise market.  But we are finding that the enterprise market is pursuing us.  I for one, can’t wait to see how this relationship shapes up.  To quote Humphry Bogart in Casablanca, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!”

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PRODUCT: SugarCRM

AUDIENCES: End Users Administrators

Bill Harrison
VP of Products and Technology at W-Systems
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