"Some 35 percent of SugarCRMs customers are on Windows Server already, so finding a way to work together that serves them best was our target for this. It does not change any of plans for Microsoft Dynamics CRM," he said.
Some of those mutual customers are eager for greater interoperability between the two companies.
David Schmidgall, an IT manager for Superior Industries, a manufacturer of conveying systems and components, agreed, saying that the company, which has been running its business on Microsoft and Sugar Professional for some time, expects this collaboration to improve its back-end database integration and streamline its system administration.
Valerie Kozikowski, a partner at professional services firm BDO Seidman LLP, agreed.
"We recently deployed Sugar Professional edition on the Windows platform. Increased interoperability between the two will allow us to take advantage of the reliability, ease of use and simplified administration of the Windows platform," she said.
Asked if he was concerned about the size and scale of Microsoft and the fact that it also had a competing product in the market, SugarCRMs Roberts said the reality is that a lot of organizations run mixed environments and it is up to customers to decide which application suite is best for them as both product lines had different advantages.
"The overall CRM market is still maturing, and there is a lot of growth left. There is plenty of room for both of us in it," he said.
Microsofts Hilf also stressed that this is not a "predatory" move in any way.
"We do have a competitive CRM product, but we also have a complementary suite of products that SugarCRM can take advantage of," he said.
Bob Sutor, the vice president for standards and open source at IBM, was not surprised by the move, given the similar deal Microsoft struck last year with JBoss, saying there is a lot of open-source software that runs on Windows.
"Microsoft has a business model that they are trying to maintain here. I think they will continue to experiment, but I have no idea where they are going to eventually go on these things," he said.
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