SugarCRM has always been a bit of an anomaly in the CRM market. It comes from open-source roots, was built fairly organically, and tended to combine multiple services into an omnibus platform as opposed to separate suites. But now the vendor is going through some changes, and having wrapped up its annual "SugarCon"-fab this week, seems like a good time to assess where they're going.
Like other vendors in this space, SugarCRM is working to apply AI to its platform, particularly around recommendations and predictive scoring. The firm also announced new mobile app development capabilities. The latter will likely be greeted positively by Sugar's somewhat DIY-oriented customer base, who will look to create or extend native mobile experiences.
It seems like in recent years, SugarCRM has been improving the technology more in depth than in kind. Challenges linger around the somewhat narrow scope of the product (though that's a boon to some), poor reporting, and dearth of industry-specific solutions.
On the other hand, the vendor has a comparatively loyal customer base (even after jettisoning the open source "community" edition), who may not prefer major change.
Evaluating the Vendor
The bigger story here is that the company may be more focused right now on operations, as it shows various signs of prepping itself for a sale or some other investor exit. So let's take a look at how we evaluate SugarCRM's strategic considerations.
SugarCRM ratings for Strategic Considerations. Source: RSG CRM Evaluations
What the Future Holds
Customers may see some turbulence in the near-term. Fortunately the vendor targets a fairly specific niche, and the strength of their ecosystem mitigates some risk in the long run.
You can download our complete evaluation of SugarCRM (it's the sample chapter for our CRM vendor evaluation research stream) and decide for yourself.