SugarCon 2013: Sugar 7 catches up with the competition

By Fabien 24-04-2013


Fabien Obadia, af83 VP Business Development, took part in the 2013 SugarCon. This annual event dedicated to the SugarCRM partners, clients and developers took place in New York City from april 8th to 11th, at the Waldorf Astoria, two steps away from Central Station. This conference’ goal? Introducing Sugar7, the 2014 version of the Open Source CRM.

SugarCRM, company created in 2004, is one of the 3 major players on the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) market, with 1.2 million users, 350 employees and a $100 million revenue in 2012.


This 2013 SugarCon, held with plenary sessions during the morning and workshops on the afternoons, gathered 600 attendees and around twenty partners. It was the opportunity for those partners, with dedicated booths, to present their added value to the Sugar platform, that is to say services or extra software layers for:

  •     answering specific needs (industry, business, sales process...)
  •     offering an additional module (Marketing, Lead Generation, Electronic sign-up...).

It’s with a policy of true opening to developers and outside streams that SugarCRM C'est effectivement avec une politique d'ouverture aux développeurs et aux flux externes que Sugar CRM stands out from competition (SalesForce, Microsoft, Zoho, SAP). With a lot of partners, the potential customers have increased chances to find the answer perfectly tailored for their needs.


This edition was focused on three burning topics:

    1/ Mobility

The first Sugar 7 version that will be released end of 2013 / beginning of 2014 is going to offer a responsive interface theoretically working on any device. For summer 2014, SugarCRM will release mobile versions for iPhone and Android.


After attending the various sessions, Fabien Obadia’ feeling was that SugarCRM still hadn’t managed to choose between responsive web and native apps and finally went for both options.


    2/ Social CRM

There are two ways of using social CRM:

         - With clients

The key idea is to have a collaborative space open to suppliers and clients, allowing an easy communication. It’s like Basecamp for project management, but blended inside the CRM.

         - Internally

This collaborative space dedicated to an account or a commercial lead is opene only to participants, often with different profiles, and sometimes distant (salesforce, consultant, developers, project managers…).

In this version the social CRM has nown a real improvement and SugarCRM makes up for lost time on SalesForce, which was one of the forerunners.


    3/External data

SugarCRM was introducing a important number of partners whose core business is to generate leads thanks to social network posts analysis. The technologies showcased now seem mature and reliable enough, and still address B2C markets to 80%.


And that’s the real SugarCRM weak spot (to be honest, it’s the case oh most of the players), with a basic answer to B2B sale processes and issues. Sugar 7 brings also really beautiful improvement of the interfaces and the overall user experience, placing currently itself as the most modern SaaS platform on the market. The performances too are quite impressive for a web interface, especially while changing content without dedicated form.


To sum up, Sugar 7 makes up for most of the lost time on its rivals. The fundraising of almost 40M$ in the second 2012 quarter also allowed the company to heavily invest in R&D.



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