SugarCRM Sweetens Social Offering with IBM LotusLive Cloud Integration

SugarCRM and IBM partner will deliver a social CRM experience for users via IBM's LotusLive collaboration suite.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- SugarCRM, a provider of CRM software, has announced a new integration with the IBM LotusLive collaboration suite.

This announcement is the first in a series of offerings following SugarCRM joining the IBM Global Alliance Portfolio as a cloud-solutions provider, said Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM, in an interview with eWEEK at the Lotusphere 2011 conference here.

"The integration of LotusLive capabilities with SugarCRM provides a powerful set of tools for all of our users," Augustin said in a statement. "Now, sales and support professionals can connect directly with prospects and customers in an instant, helping to provide higher service levels and shorter sales cycles."

SugarCRM demonstrated the integration with LotusLive at its booth at Lotusphere 2011. The LotusLive integration with Sugar provides sales, marketing and customer support professionals with a fully integrated user experience; all the power and flexibility of LotusLive File Sharing and Online Meetings is accessible within the Sugar application. Moreover, since LotusLive and Sugar are cloud-based solutions, no software installation is required.

The integration between SugarCRM and LotusLive enables Sugar users to:

  • manage meetings at the account, contact, opportunity and support-case level;
  • access LotusLive directly from the Sugar Shortcut Bar;
  • launch Web and audio meetings directly from the Sugar user interface; and
  • attach notes and documents to a Sugar record, and share them with customers via LotusLive.

"The integration between LotusLive and SugarCRM is a no-brainer," said Clint Oram, co-founder and chief technology officer at SugarCRM. "The simple fact is that everyone working with customers today can benefit from simple, intuitive Web-based tools to better connect and share information. Sugar and LotusLive together does just that."

As a member of the Global Alliance Portfolio in the Cloud Solutions area, SugarCRM will work with IBM to provide integrated cloud solutions between SugarCRM and a number of IBM offerings.

The LotusLive integration is targeted to be generally available to all SugarCRM users later this spring.

"This integration came out of nine months of us working with LotusLive and out of the hope that Sugar could be a valued solution that we could marry with LotusLive and complement that," Oram told eWEEK. "We bring the sticky factor, and they bring the social factor. LotusLive enables us a social tie-in to CRM. It's all about solving business problems."

In addition, Oram said that although other vendors are making plays in the social CRM arena, "The LotusLive team has really taken the hype out of social business. There is no need try to be like Facebook. What I need to do is enable a customer on Facebook to interact with a company if that customer likes interacting on Facebook. Our strategy is to enable a user to use the existing mechanism they use. That's where you get the real value out of social CRM."

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