SugarCRM is partnering with open source groupware provider Open Xchange, a move that offers yet even more choice for enterprises of all sizes looking for affordable, flexible software solutions.
But the move is a little more than a “Microsoft alternative” situation. While Open-Xchange does of course handle a lot of the tasks as Microsoft’s tool, the Sugar/Open Xchange connection goes a little deeper, and does some really cool stuff.
The collaboration between the two products allows users to aggregate all of their contacts across various social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing, etc.) and store them in Open-Xchange as mail or phone contacts. And it enables these relationships to be quickly imported into Sugar.
What this means is that users of Sugar and Open-Xchange can now begin the valuable task of not only connecting to the myriad company connections not in their CRM database but rather in the vast world of social networks, but these users can also segment these lists. (Oh, and did I mention all of this data can be accessed anywhere, in the cloud, by any device?)
One of the issues of social media is that it is jumbled and inclusive. The unstructured nature of it all makes the typically neat and ordered tasks of online and direct marketing difficult. But with segmentation tools – and the ability to easily import all these contacts into a marketing automation system like Sugar – companies can now more effectively reach out to these vast contact lists.
SugarCRM and Open-Xchange are starting to bring real business value to the realm of social media. And this is a trend that will only continue.