SugarCRM Delivers New Integrations with IBM Software

At its SugarCon 2011 show, SugarCRM announces new integrations with IBM WebSphere, LotusLive and Cognos, among other news.

SugarCRM has announced new integrations with various components of IBM's software portfolio, including WebSphere, Lotus and Cognos.

At the SugarCon 2011 conference in San Francisco, SugarCRM announced new solutions that enhance the ability for enterprises around the world to conduct social business, gain deeper insight into their data and achieve greater information flow inside their organizations.

The new software builds on the growing relationship between SugarCRM and IBM to help organizations execute marketing programs, grow sales, retain customers and create custom business applications.

Available as of April 5, SugarCRM's the new solutions include an integration between SugarCRM and IBM LotusLive, new connectors for IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Suite and IBM WebSphere Cast Iron for SugarCRM integration platform. The announcements were made during SugarCon, SugarCRM's annual customer, partner and developer conference.

"These new combined solutions and connectors to powerful IBM solutions extend the existing relationship between SugarCRM and IBM," said Clint Oram, co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) at SugarCRM, in a statement. "As a member of IBM's Global Alliance Portfolio, we are dedicated to providing compelling solutions for enterprises around the world."

SugarCRM for LotusLive places social business capabilities into the hands of SugarCRM users. By combining CRM and collaboration capabilities including Web conferencing and document sharing capabilities right inside the Sugar system, sales, marketing and support professionals can better engage with their prospects and customers, thus shortening sales cycles and increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. The integration can be leveraged by both SugarCRM and IBM LotusLive customers.

"Social businesses are more engaged with their customers, partners and colleagues," said Sean Poulley, vice president of the Social Business Cloud at IBM and a keynote speaker at SugarCon 2011. "The integration of SugarCRM and LotusLive allows deeper levels of collaboration across company boundaries, making the process of supporting your customers and building loyalty easier and more effective."

As part of the launch of SugarCRM for LotusLive, IBM is offering SugarCRM users a 30-day, no-charge trial of LotusLive.

Moreover, the newly announced integration between IBM's Cognos Business Intelligence Suite and SugarCRM will offer users of the combined systems advanced reporting, analytics, dashboarding and scorecarding around their CRM data. With the combined solution, organizations can achieve greater insight into sales, marketing and customer support activities, providing predictability into these critical business segments, SugarCRM officials said.

In addition, SugarCRM officials said the best way to optimize a CRM system is to populate it with rich data from legacy and other third-party systems. WebSphere Cast Iron for SugarCRM makes integration easy, leveraging standard Web services to create a seamless flow of data into and out of a SugarCRM instance, the company said. And, with WebSphere Cast Iron for SugarCRM, users can integrate cloud-based or on-premises solutions with Sugar with the same ease and simplicity.

"Using IBM WebSphere Cast Iron integration, SugarCRM users can now extract more value from their CRM investment by getting real-time access to customer information locked away in other enterprise applications," said David Wilson, vice president for WebSphere Business Partners at IBM, in a statement. "With WebSphere Cast Iron integration, SugarCRM clients get a 360-degree view of their customers without logging into multiple applications and are able maximize their productivity."

In related news, also at SugarCon, SugarCRM announced that it has acquired iExtensions CRM from iEnterprises Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

"We are committed to providing our users with the most cutting-edge collaboration and social business solutions," said Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM, in a statement. "This acquisition accelerates our product strategy and allows our users to leverage the industry-leading features of iExtensions in their Sugar deployments."

For 10 years iExtensions has been the leading CRM solution on the market for IBM Lotus Notes, and in 2010 was the winner of the Best in Lotusphere Showcase award, SugarCRM officials said. iExtensions CRM was built from the ground up on IBM Lotus collaborative technologies, and features a scalable and configurable product architecture.

The newly acquired functionality adds enhanced support for IBM collaboration tools inside Sugar 6. The added features include native Notes support as well as Notes email and calendar plug-ins, and a connector to the IBM Domino product line. These added features to Sugar 6 create a complete collaboration suite inside the Sugar platform.

As part of the acquisition, iEnterprises CEO John Carini will join SugarCRM as vice president of Collaboration Solutions, effective immediately, along with other key members of the development team. In addition, iEnterprises will continue to sell its iExtensions framework as a certified value-added reseller in the SugarCRM Open+ Partner Network.

Initial availability of the iExtensions functionality will come in the spring 2011 release of Sugar 6, the company said.