Sugar Express, the Sugar Open Cloud, Low Unified Pricing…Does it Get Any Better for CRM Users?

Lots of really great news coming out of Sugar HQ this week, the biggest of which is of course the announcement of Sugar Express.

Available in 1-5 user or 6-10 user bundles, Sugar Express has all the great core CRM features individuals and small businesses need, plus tools like the Outlook, Word and Excel plugins, the Sugar Platform capabilities like Module Builder and Studio, and even all the cool Sugar Cloud Connectors (say all that in one breath) – all for about $7-8 bucks a user per month.

I have never seen a product with this much functionality at this price point. Seriously, this is great news for the small businesses of the world.

It makes great sense too. The way I see it, open source has a lot of great aspects. But for those non-tech savvy types, managing an app on a server can be a) too complex or needlessly complex and b) even more expensive than thebase $499 per year that Sugar Express costs. It’s a no-brainer scenario. Would you buy a server and maintain an application if someone offered to do all the work for under $500?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Of course – as will all of SugarCRM’s products customers can go on-site if needed.

And that flexibility brings me to the other news – Sugar’s streamlined deployment and pricing policies. Now you can get the great fucntionality in Sugar – either on-site or on-demand via the Sugar Open Cloud – all for a single great price. For $30 for Professional or $50 for Enterprise, companies now do not have to make a decision on whether to go on-site or on-demand…it doesn’t matter now. It’s cool to see Sugar taking its core message of flexibility and user-control to new levels.

I really think that the Express product will be a huge resource for a ton of small businesses. I see the Sugar Open Cloud – which will power all sorts of on-demand scenarios and will be managed not just by Sugar but by partners and big providers like Rackspace etc. – as a major milestone in the evolution of app software. No longer are organizations tethered to a “one or the other” scenraio when it comes to how they deploy and manage their software.

And given the fact that Sugar can now offer great CRM for a great price, all managed in the Sugar Open Cloud – well, it looks like sunny skies for small businesses seeking cloud-powered CRM (for lack of a more paradoxical cliche…)