SugarCRM: Catering to Both Experimenters and Students

It’s been pretty busy here lately at Sugar HQ, always a good thing. But I had some time to catch up on my very backlogged blogroll (since I’m avoiding reading any reporting of how bad the Phillies might be due to their horrid start in the season opener) and saw an interesting concept in a blog post over at ExtremeTech.

The post basically places those who engage technology into two distinct buckets: experimenters and students.

Obviously – the experimenters love to tinker. They throw away the owner’s manual and break open their electronics to see how they work. And, in application software – they are the admins and others making customizations and add-ons. The experimenters are the reason Apple’s App Store has so many cool things to download, or why SugarForge has nearly 700 extensions.

Students, on the other hand, tend to go by the book. They learn how an application is intended to be used, and do just that. So, it’s a pretty simple dichotomy.

But in CRM, traditionally we tended to have vendors that do the experimenting (as well as partners) – and then the end-user organization were the students of the CRM system. They learned how to use it, usually changing their business patterns to adapt to rigid software.

But with products like Sugar – the end-user can be both the experimenter and the student. The amount of freedom offered to users via the commercial open source model, coupled with the great tools that even IT novices can leverage (Module Builder, Studio, Sugar Cloud Connectors, Portal Dashlets etc.) enables even end-user “students” to experiment for themselves – and without fear of breaking anything.

The web 2.0 revolution definitely bridged the gap between IT consumer and creator in the consumer side of things, and that interactive and hands-on approach to technology is bleeding ever faster into the business application world. And in my opinion, that is a great thing.