SugarCRM has long been a contender for a CRM shortlist. Industry commentators have had it as a potential winner for some time. Recent market movements have made it a heavyweight contender and not a challenger.
IBM is leaving Siebel behind for a new CRM system based on Sugar. IBM had the largest Siebel implementation in the world and now appears to be replacing it with SugarCRM.
An IBM executive was asked why IBM decided to go with SugarCRM. He responded that there were three factors: 1) the open source nature of SugarCRM was compelling, 2) IBM liked the user interface and look and feel of SugarCRM and 3) IBM liked the flexibility of an offering that could be run on premise — providing “flexibility in where and how we run it.” IBM obviously has a strong technology expertise and might want to control its application in ways that wouldn’t be possible with salesforce.com.
IBM needed a CRM system that played well with its own forecasting tools—Cognos, SPSS—and plug into its collaboration software suite.
With this decision, the achilles heel of SUgar ( it being Open Source) has become its biggest ally. AT the same time, Salesforce’s greatest strength ( cloud deployment) has become its weakness in large deployments.
Salesforce has responded with a strategic alliance with HP. HP currently sells Microsoft Dynamics CRM but will be adding Salesforce.com to the kit bag. Let the fun begin!