W-Systems joins SugarCRM! Read Blog
Last week I traveled down to San Antonio to co-sponsor a conference with SugarCRM. It was the first time we showed-off SugarCRM version 7 and Sugar’s new mobile app during a tradeshow. I usually spend all day surrounded by Sugar deployments, Sugar customizations, Sugar upgrades, and Sugar support. Because I’m around the product all the time, I sometimes forget just how advanced SugarCRM is compared to other CRM products in the market. It was nice to take a step back and get a fresh perspective on the Sugar product from an audience that has never seen it before. Below is some feedback I received from attendees and my experience demoing the new product.
My biggest takeaway was that Sugar’s version 7 was the easiest product I’ve ever demoed. The day before the conference, I set up my dashboards and arranged the fields I wanted to display in the mobile app. It took me no time at all to figure everything out and get the system up and running. As I was demoing the product during the show, I noticed a trend in what people wanted to see and what they thought was unique to the Sugar product.
1. Sugar’s Mobile App: This was definitely a crowd pleaser. SugarCRM finally knocked this out of the park. The mobile app is built on the same framework as version 7 which means that the data sync in real time. You can configure the layout and fields shown in the mobile app from the desktop application. The app is native to your mobile device which means you can click a phone number from a Contact record and dial out. After the call, it will automatically ask you if you want to log the call in Sugar. Also, with one click, you can pull up a Contact’s address on your phone’s map application.
2. Sugar’s Activity Stream: The ability to easily collaborate with other users in the system was also a big hit. Communication often gets lost in emails. With the Activity Stream, users can share files and comment on specific records or cases within the CRM system. Those comments will remain as part of the history of the record.
3. Sugar’s Reporting and Dashboards: The new dashboards in version 7 showed very well. The data in the dashboards within the intelligence panel are updated based on what record you are viewing. This is a really nice feature of Sugar 7 and gives the user more info about a record in a way that is easy to digest. For example, when viewing an Account record, you can see what Calls and Meetings you have coming up that are related to that Account. You can also see a nice graph of the opportunities won vs. lost vs. open for that particular Account record.
4. Sugar’s Flexibility: Another thing that made Sugar stand out was the flexibility of the application. The fact that you can easily change the fields, layouts, module names, and more to work for a specific company was a relief to some. SugarCRM isn’t locked down and can be completely modified depending on what the company needs, which is a big differentiator.
5. Sugar’s Activity Management (Calls, Notes, Emails, Tasks): You would think that the ability to log calls, notes, tasks, etc. is pretty standard for what a CRM system should offer. However, not all of them do! In Sugar, not only can log your past and future activity, you can create alerts for these as well. For example, if you create a task and assign it to another user, you can create an alert so that users receive an email informing them that a task has been assigned to them. You can also create reports and dashboards to see this activity, which is great for the end users and managers to see a high-level view of what’s getting done.
Overall, the attendees were pleasantly surprised to see all of the cool features of Sugar 7 and its mobile capability. We even caught the attention of some of the other sponsors who wanted to see a demo of Sugar. After seeing the product, one sponsor told me, “It must be really nice to get to demo a product like that with a mobile app and everything.” I thought that was a pretty awesome good compliment coming from another software vendor.