Open-source vendor SugarCRM announced the beta release of Sugar Suite 4.0, an application the company claims has enough functionality to attract enterprises of every size.
Sugar Suite 4.0 has been developed with many more features than its predecessors. It has advanced-reporting capabilities and customizable dashboards, including campaign management, workflow management, and access control. Plus, the new version will come with enhanced lead-sharing capabilities and e-mail-handling features.
The additions of these features are in response to requests from the open-source community, SugarCRM chief executive John Roberts said. "They asked for deeper functionality across marketing, sales and support, customizable reports for better analysis, and greater administrative control to manage information flow across an organization," he said.
The new suite is the seventh major release for SugarCRM within the past year and a half. The company has noted that the pace of development is driven by a community of some 3,000 developers and 10,000 members.
Currently, the Sugar Suite has over 300 commercial customers, and, according to the company, is the most popular commercial open-source customer-relationship management (CRM) product.
In making the suite available, SugarCRM is promoting its suitability for companies of every size, emphasizing its flexible deployment options. The suite is available in an on-premise version as well as hosted and appliance-based versions. Users can move between deployment options if their CRM preferences or needs change.
Sugar Suite 4.0 is the most robust release in the company's history, said Roberts.
Although open-source CRM is not widely used just yet, companies have been showing steady interest in employing the strategy to create their own applications, according to Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone.
"Open source can give a company a more tailored solution," she noted. "With increased functionality, it will be even more attractive to companies that are already thinking about integrating open-source CRM into their environments."
The difficulty with open-source CRM is that companies often need in-house expertise to customize applications, but Kingstone added that the prevalence of code in the industry does mean applications do not have to be created from scratch.