Continuing on the theme of flexibility, Sugar won two of the three biggest awards at the CRM-Expo in Germany. This event is the biggest CRM conference in Europe with all the usual suspects in attendance. Oftentimes, these awards are pay-for-play, but this one is most assuredly not. Microsoft, SAP, and Salesforce.com all had booths and sponsorship deals much bigger than us. Still, Sugar and its partner Insignio were recognied for the work we did with WeberHaus, a real estate firm in Germany which one the Best B2C award, and Kassel Initiative, which one most Innovative CRM deployment.
Why did they win?
It comes back to the flexibility of open source. When code falls into the hands of capable people with a vision in mind, innovation happens. Weberhaus used Sugar to build a CRM system that turned home buyers into repeat customers (quite unusual in that business) by offering them cross-sell and up-sell opportunities for their new homes. Kassel, a region in Germany, used Sugar as a social network platform to facilitate communications between tourists, prospective businesses and community members to increase the visibility of the community.
If you were a judge with Acquisa, the publication that chose the award-winners, you probably heard many cookie-cutter nominations from the proprietary vendors (after all, you can only take a proprietary application so far), and then you heard about Weberhaus and Kassel, who were truly doing something different. In the end, I suspect it was an easy choice.