SugarCRM Offers Beta of Next Release

 
 
By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2005-12-12
 
 
 
Open source customer relationship management software provider SugarCRM Inc. announced Monday the beta release of the 4.0 version of its open-source platform.

Sugar Suite Version 4.0, the biggest launch in the companys history, brings a host of new functional upgrades—reporting, customizable dashboards, campaign management and workflow management—along with some upgrades to the previous suite.

The 4.0 version of Sugar Suite is the companys seventh major release in less than two years, with many of the upgrades driven by the companys user community of 3,000 developers and 10,000 members, officials said.

SugarCRM has an open-source model but licenses its enterprise and professional versions. The company has about 300 commercial customers.

For the 4.0 release, SugarCRM has upgraded functionality across whats become known as the three legs of the CRM tripod: sales, marketing and support. Major upgrades include the ability for users to design and display custom reports from within any module in the suite. Reports can be rendered in a number of formats—line, bar or graphs, for example—and can be tailored to specific users.

Customizable dashboard capabilities provide users with an as it happens view of business performance indicators, meaning real-time information is delivered to the desktop. Users also have the ability to drill down into specific information provided in the dashboards.

A workflow management capability lets users automate how information flows through the modules, and at the same time automate business processes across the suites modules.

An access control capability basically provides a stopgap for information, enabling administrators to gain or restrict access to information based on user credentials. It also allows users to view but not alter documents or to own modules within the suite without having administrative rights.

A campaign management module lets users develop, test, launch and then measure the efficacy of marketing campaigns, with an emphasis on e-mail marketing initiatives. There is also new functionality for managing subscription lists, suppression rules, and target group segmentation, officials said.

Click here to read more about Sugar Suite 4.0.

An inbound e-mail processing capability lets users automatically convert e-mails into customer cases. At the same time, upgraded lead sharing capabilities let users automate the transfer of marketing-generated leads into the sales pipeline.

The beta release is available now for the SugarCRM community to preview and test; the Sugar Enterprise and Professional versions will be available Dec. 16.

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