“Big Bang” CRM vs. “More Bang for Your Buck”

Greg Gianforte, a man I respect and have known for a while, who happens to be CEO of SaaS CRM play RightNow, noted in a recent interview that he feels the “Big Bang” CRM sales are going to be few and far between in this economy.

While I certainly do not fault him for his conservatism, I think the models of pure SaaS plays, and other closed source vendors force this view. SugarCRM, on the other hand, is in a way banking on the “big bang” in some ways. But I think we may have a different notion fo what the big bang means…

To explain, I think Greg is talking about the traditional “buy a ton of licenses, perform a rip and replace, and try to get 3 departments up and running in six months” kind of big bang CRM project. And I think he;s right there. But I don’t think the econsomy has much to do with that. And just “going modular” as Greg notes will not necessarily help things either. Yes, customers want phased deployments, but there is more to it, especially in the enterprise.

What I eman is that more and more, we are seeing SugarCRM used as a kind of “rescue” CRM system. Wehave some banks and other large corporations that have grown without considering the effect a highly disparate CRM environment has on their users, and more important, their customers. Employees are rejecting multiple systems, and visbility into customer activity is limited.

Sugar’s flexible architecture allows it to pull from all these systems, so not only is it providing more up to date process flows, but also an inclusive data model for multiple divisioned companies with various legacy systems. The UI is clean and intuitive so adoption is high, or the flexible nature allows Sugar to make the UI look like whatever app the user in that division likes to or is used to accessing on a daily basis (we have some end users that may or may not realize they are actually using Sugar instead of Siebel).

These deployments are varied, but very far reaching. While they may not be huge “rip and replace” dela,s they are significant, and result in a greater value per subscription purchased versus even a modular approach with another vendor. By allowing SugarCRM to act as a bridging platform, customers are getting even more value from the system that the core CRM applications themseleves…and we expect this value-based message to weather any economic climate.