A Bailout Package That Doesn’t Need an Act of Congress

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As a product marketer, I often look at software pricing models, license and subscription fees, etc. And of course, as a competitive intelligence analyst I am often looking at competitive pricing and how vendors look to work price positioning.

That background, coupled with the lingering economic effects of the credit crunch, has led me and my team to think up a new idea. Like the Economic Bailout plan Congress recently approved, SugarCRM is announcing its own bailout plan – rescuing companies from the crushing effects of overpriced software. Let’s call it a Salesforce.com User Bailout.

Just as businesses in general are feeling the hit of the economic downturn, many great companies are simply suffocating their IT budgets by spending more than necessary on SaaS CRM software from Salesforce.com. I mean, come on, now that people are seeing lower Gas prices, shouldn’t we have lower SaaS prices? (Ok, maybe that’s too much of a stretch, even for me.)

My colleagues and I put together some TCO models of SugarCRM’s Professional On-Demand SaaS offering versus the same level of functionality in Salesforce.com Professional edition. You can see the chart below. It is kind of alarming how much more companies are paying for basically the same, and in some cases even less, functionality.

It amazes me how much people are willing to pay for less functionality. But given this economy, how can businesses afford to continue paying more for less. I mean, making an apples to apples comparison between Sugar Professional and Salesforce.com’s Professional edition I found myself surprised to learn what WAS NOT included in Salesforce.com: Mobile capabilities (up top an additional $50 per user!), intergation and workflow capabilies, limited ability to make custom tabs, no field-level access control. All of these are standard and no additional charge in Sugar Professional On-Demand.

So, if companies are feeling the high priced proprietary SaaS crunch – and I am sure a lot are – they should consider the Sugar bailout option. With up to 40% lower costs year-over-year depending on your deployment, it can’t hurt to think about your SaaS CRM deployment, and the kind of alternatives there are. And the great thing about Sugar’s On-Demand offering, it can easily take in all your Salesforce.com data. And, with Sugar On-Demand you can easily port your SaaS deployment to your own servers, something Salesforce.com and most SaaS providers simply do not offer. How’s that for security in an uncertain world?

Like I said, it can’t hurt to reconsider your SaaS alternatives. The model makes it easier than older premise-based models to switch. And to bring in my Phillies for one more forced metaphor – You don’t need a Brad Lidge to save you from high SaaS prices.