On-Demand Plans

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2008-02-08 Print this article Print



Q: Where are you at with on-demand?


A: Today we only offer Sugar On Demand for our professional and enterprise editions. From our perspective, we're about 70 percent onsite and 30 percent on-demand. But our on-demand business is growing dramatically.


What's interesting about our on-demand business is we worked the last four years the right way to do on-demand, which is multi-instance. In general there was a solid first generation of on-demand software, then the next generation was multi-tenant, but it has a lot of weaknesses to it. Now it's possible to have a more modern generation called multi-instance - one instance, single-tenant, multi-tenant, multi-instance. We're not the only ones to do this. It provides complete upgrades, a complete framework, but gives customer their own database and makes backups a million times easier.


Q: What are your on-demand plans going forward?

A: Expanding our data centers. Right now we've invested heavily in data centers in Silicon Valley. We will invest in additional ones in Asia and Europe in the next couple quarters. The one thing...we allow our resellers to resell Sugar On Demand. Even though we don't have an on-demand environment in France, we allow [resellers] to run Sugar On Demand in local IT centers. That gives more localized versions, which we found to be a very powerful offering.

Q: Having a platform for the on-demand development of applications seems to be all the rage in the CRM world. There's Salesforce.com with its Force.com platform, SAP with Business ByDesign, Microsoft with CRM 4.0. Where does SugarCRM stand on the platform front?

A: Sugar 5.0 is a platform. One of the core capabilities of Sugar 5.0 is this thing called Module Builder. What's really exciting and unique versus proprietary companies is anyone in Sugar can build a module - an event module, or to manage media contacts - on the side. So now in Sugar 5.0 [users] can create [applications] completely visually. You don't have to be a programmer. What's nice is it saves it as a package, and you can share it across the Web.


So it generates license code, and stamps it GPL 3, whereas a company like Salesforce.com will go and invest in a proprietary programming language or create a very locked-in environment. I am not sure the world needs another proprietary language. SugarCRM is absolutely open. We have government organizations that use Sugar to manage and handle healthcare records...though I am reluctant to use the platform word; it's abused by so many vendors.


If someone is spending $90 million every three months on marketing and they want to use the platform word every other sentence, that's fine. But that doesn't mean it's a real platform, or a good platform, or it's worth what they want to charge for it. That's why I've been waiting for reality to settle.





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