ZDNet Australia looked at seven CRM solutions: Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, SugarcRM, SageCRM, Oracle CRM, and LeadMaster. Here are the SugarCRM highlights by ZDNet:
- The marketing module is easy to use, with a wizard that tracks the whole campaign and a comprehensive HTML email creator.
- The search function is also impressive, displaying dynamic search results in drop-down lists for quick access.
- Online meetings such as GoToMeeting, WebEx and Lotus Live can be scheduled directly from within SugarCRM.
- Get Data button retrieves contact information from Hoovers, Jigsaw and ZoomInfo and automatically merges that data into a contact.
- Documentation and help is impressive as are the online forums.
- SugarCRM now offers native Notes support, Notes email and calendar plug-ins, as well as a connector to the Domino product line.
- Flexibility and choice in deployment: you can run SugarCRM in-house on Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL databases, you can also choose to host SugarCRM on Amazon Web Services platform. You can also opt for Sugar on-demand. SugarCRM offers deployment flexibility by allowing to move your SugarCRM set-up from one hosted environment to another or even to an on-premise installation.
- Customisation is easy, with simple support for calculated and dependent fields without having to call upon a developer.
- When creating marketing campaigns, it's easy to create landing pages using drag and drop. Once registered, the leads can be automatically distributed to sales staff.
There's a Sugar Mobile "light" application for iPhone and Android, which requires an internet connection, as well as Sugar Mobile Plus (for iPhone/iPad and BlackBerry with Android support coming) which provides offline data, administrator control, a screen pop-up after a call for entering CRM information, and other powerful features. All charts are now rendered using HTML5.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are supported through what's called Activity Streams that show up directly in the user interface, and users can subscribe to team activities for leads, cases and opportunities, as well as reply to conversations.
SugarCRM is a comprehensive CRM suite, offering clear technical and business advantages for many situations. The open nature of the platform will appeal to many businesses and the flexible approach to deployment provides real choice.