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Startup Of The Week: SugarCRM

New data center edition of open source CRM application supports "multi-instance" deployments.
SugarCRM is a pioneer in the market for commercial open source applications. Over the past few years, its CRM software has been downloaded 4 million times and translated into 75 languages, and the company has more than 3,000 paying customers. In May, the company introduced a data center edition for service providers and large enterprises. --John Foley

We're 'really focused' on the data center, says Roberts

We're "really focused" on the data center, says Roberts

HEADQUARTERS: Cupertino, Calif.

PRODUCT: Sugar 5.0 CRM software

PRINCIPALS: John Roberts, co-founder and CEO; Clint Oram, co-founder and VP, Sugar Open Source Community Relations

INVESTORS: Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Walden International, New Enterprise Associates

CUSTOMERS: H&R Block, Men's Wearhouse

First came open source, then commercial open source, and later commercial open source applications. While IT departments had embraced Linux, Apache, MySQL, and open source middleware, their willingness to trust--and pay for--open source business applications is a newer phenomenon. SugarCRM competes with Microsoft,, and Oracle.

Sugar 5.0 supports sales-force automation (contact and account management, for example), marketing automation (lead management, analytics), and customer support (case management, bug tracking). The platform also includes collaboration, project management, an Outlook plug-in, and management tools. For companies that prefer to manage the software themselves, Sugar 5.0 can be downloaded or purchased as an appliance. It's also available as a hosted application for $40 per user per month.

Notable features in Sugar 5.0 include an Ajax e-mail client, a variety of new dashboards, fine-grained access control, and a tool for creating custom modules. The recently released Sugar Data Center Edition lets enterprises and partners deploy multiple Sugar instances and manage them from a central console. It includes design templates, one-click provisioning, and the ability to monitor usage across instances. Stack installers make it easier to deploy Sugar on Solaris and OpenSolaris.

A free Community Edition of Sugar is available under GPL version 3. Resources for developers and users include downloads, forums, and the SugarExchange online marketplace for extensions and more.

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