SugarCRM Inc. this week begins offering a new version of its core application that adds campaign management, E-mail marketing, sales forecasting, and wireless support. The release puts SugarCRM in a better position to compete with customer-relationship-management veterans Salesforce.com Inc. and Siebel Systems Inc.
Its price--$39.95 a month per user for the on-demand service--also should make it more attractive to cost-conscious CRM buyers, Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone says. "You've got to take a look at what you're getting for that $39 a month, and you're getting a lot," she says. Siebel's and Salesforce's on-demand offerings are nearly twice as expensive as SugarCRM.
SugarCRM also is available as an on-premises application for $239 a year per user. The supporting Sugar Cube Linux-based server starts at $4,000. "The corporate world is starting to take open source much more seriously than they were a year ago," CEO John Roberts says.
Other functionality in SugarCRM 3.0 includes a group-scheduling server that lets users point their Outlook clients toward dedicated Linux servers to coordinate calendars, project-management tools, and a CRM employee directory that can be populated by importing data from a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol server.