The comments of Harry Debes of Lawson Software aside, we sometimes forget just how huge the potential is for SaaS CRM around the world. Especially outside the U.S., where small businesses are less clued-in to CRM as well as SaaS.
Outside the U.S. we are beginning to build more and more partnerships with the kinds of organizations that can effectively deliver SaaS applications to all segments of the CRM market. Our BT partnership is gaining steam, and it is good to see that they are sold on SaaS in a big way. The performed a recent study that reveals a major opportunity for SaaS in the U.K. and beyond.
Of course, SaaS CRM has to be marketed correctly, and the product has to live up to the expectaions. It is one thing to try and push the ease of deployment, and the custom nature of CRM in one web-delivered package. Many think otherwise, but CRM really is not a commodity tech sell. Every business is different and needs specialized CRM at some level. I think a lot of the more established SaaS players have learned these lessons, and are trying very hard to reinvent themseleves as flexible enough to handle the types of custom needs that companies of all types have.
This is where strong partnerships, the felxibility of our distributed SaaS environemnets led by Sugar’s Data Center Edition (DCE), and a generally more flexible SaaS product architecture give SugarCRM a nice positioning when it comes to global SaaS proliferation.
Just as we were able to go global much more quickly than proprietary CRM vendors thanks to the commerical open source nature of Sugar, I believe our take on SaaS will allow us to overtake global growth numbers for other SaaS providers because we understand that the monolithic, multi-tenant approach to SaaS does not work for the kind of scaled operations Sugar has in its overarching SaaS vision.