I spent a lot of the day on calls, between me and CEO Larry Augustin and several with financial analysts. It seems there is a lot of interest in there in SugarCRM’s model where our partners do much of the hosting and SaaS delivery – enabling the kind of flexibility, choice and portability promised by the Open Cloud.
The conversations, all great and with very bright guys, got me to thinking. In so many ways, SugarCRM and Salesforce.com are alike. We both offer great CRM solutions and a strong platform on which to extend them. We both have some form of Cloud strategy. We both play more to smaller companies than many would like to admit (at least on Salesforce’s side).
But in a lot of ways the similarities end there. This is mainly due to two inherent factors in the SugarCRM model: open source and the channel-friendly nature of the company strategy.
What does this mean?
Ok, when I look at Salesforce.com, I can (in my opinion) safely say that Salesforce.com is a player in the CRM business.
…and in the Hosting business.
And in the middleware business.
And in the datacenter business.
And in the integration business.
And in the platform business.
And so on…
When you are “in the business” of something, it means you have competitors. And when I think about middleware, platforms, cloud infrastructure, data centers, integration, etc. – I think of HUGE companies like Amazon, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Rackspace, Informatica, to name just a few.
I DO NOT want to be competing with these guys.
I want to be partnering with them. And, guess what, SugarCRM does. In all the above areas, SugarCRM has awesome partners (Amazon, Rackspace, IBM, Microsoft, SnapLogic, Talend, Oracle) that has enabled us to give our customers choice, best of breed technology, and lower TCO. And on the flip-side, it has enabled SugarCRM to do what it does best – provide great CRM software at a great price, without a ton of infrastructure costs and other overhead that would divert attention away from that goal.
Whats more, these partners help create great options for our expansive VAR network – aiding our distribution model and putting more solutions out there to sell versus any type of competition. Cool.
Denis Pombriant makes a great point when he says “Don’t Forget About B2B CRM.” We certainly have not…and I think it is why we have been so successful.
I am sure a lot of readers have an opinion one way or another here. I’d love to hear your thoughts…as this is a bit of thinking out loud to get a conversation started…