OK, by now we have all seen the news and the media buzz around Sugar Express – and how small businesses can be up and running with a great CRM package and platform for around $7 a month. Ridiculous how much value we provide to customers. Seriously, if you ask me this is THE best deal for small businesses when it comes to CRM. Period.
But…I think a really, really interesting fact got lost in the buzz around Express. Namely what the unified pricing really means for Sugar Professional and Enterprises users going forward.
What we’re doing in giving away BOTH a download key for on-site deployments along with a Sugar Open Cloud instance of every Professional and Enterprises account is a huge deal. While we do not see people immediately using Sugar in a “five users on site and seven on demand” manner any time soon, the dual deployment option creates an amazing amount of value.
Say you deploy 200 users of Sugar Professional on the Open Cloud environment. You then can download and install any number of development instances to sandbox, test and even create a free backup system for your CRM. OR – you can deploy and run On Site – but have a hot back up in the cloud – all managed by Sugar and with the peace of mind of a great SLA. (Edit: Now, this is not to say that right now all your data will instantly be “up there” in the cloud once you deploy with Sugar – this is the endgame vision I’m talking about here, so bear with me as I think out loud.)
So, what we’re giving people is essentially the ability to run a live system, with 100% redundancy (if they decide to take advantage of this capability) for NO ADDITIONAL SUBSCRIPTION COST. Zero. Nada. None. This is like running two completely functional versions of an application at once, for $30 bucks a user a month. When it comes to larger deployments, this level of cost savings is nothing to sneeze at. (Again – this is the vision – right now you could do some data loads and have a failover system that’s pretty good – but we’re not talking about a real time mirror just yet…)
Growing up I remember those “Crazy Eddie” commercials where he called his prices “Insane!” While I don’t think we have lost our minds (we have always been about providing true value per dollar spent on our software) I think that this new model is a serious game changer. I can not think of a single vendor that can offer this kind of value – both from a feature function and systems cost reduction angle – at this amazing price point.