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2/7/2008
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SugarCRM Goes Mobile, Obtains Another $20 Million

The "click and run" Mobile Edge Express app is designed for small- and midsize-business users who want to get SugarCRM information on their BlackBerry devices.

SugarCRM, the open source CRM supplier, has landed $20 million in second-round venture capital financing and launched a "click and run" application.

Dubbed Mobile Edge Express, the application is designed for small- and midsize-business users who want to get SugarCRM information on their BlackBerry devices.

SugarCRM founder and CEO John Roberts announced the second round of funding at SugarCRM's annual three-day user group meeting at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday. New Enterprise Associates led the round, with former investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Walden International also participating. SugarCRM has raised a total of $46 million to date.

SugarCRM said it will use the money to fund R&D and its continued expansion in the CRM market, especially in Europe and Asia. The funding "will allow SugarCRM to accelerate its goal of moving CRM from a proprietary lock-in model to an open, value-based model," Roberts said in a prepared announcement.

SugarCRM, founded in 2004, claims 3,000 commercial technical support accounts for its freely downloaded product. Its CRM applications are available either for on-premises or as an online service.

SugarCRM is partnering with iEnterprises, a desktop and wireless CRM consulting firm, to deliver CRM information to mobile small business users. Mobile Edge Express is client software that can be downloaded from the iEnterprises site or SugarExchange, SugarCRM's site for auxiliary applications, to a BlackBerry device. That transforms the device without IT staff intervention, into a supplier of SugarCRM data, such as customer contact, sales leads, and customer service data, as an on-demand service.

IEnterprises CEO John Carini said small and medium businesses are ready for software as a service but need it in an easy-to-access, easy-to-install package. They've been "stranded, burdened, and underserved when it comes to getting access to their CRM wirelessly," he said in a prepared statement. More information on Mobile Edge Express for SugarCRM is available at www.ienterprises.com.

Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz was a keynote speaker at the user conference, and Sun and SugarCRM jointly announced that SugarCRM applications are available with wizard-based installers for both Sun's supported Solaris 10 and open source OpenSolaris. The announcement marks the availability of SugarCRM on a new platform. It previously was available to run under Linux and Windows.

SugarCRM applications can be installed with an open source stack that includes the MySQL database, the Apache Web Server, and PHP scripting language and tools.

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