SugarCRM - Easy, Yet Powerful and Customizable Contact Management Solution
Tom Kreiner | TrustRadius Reviewer
June 03, 2013

SugarCRM - Easy, Yet Powerful and Customizable Contact Management Solution

Score 9 out of 10
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Overall Satisfaction with SugarCRM

  • Customized Data - The system is extremely flexible and allows you to capture any data that is needed for your business, without the need for custom programming. It is all managed within the application.
  • Collaboration - It is easy to see what is going on amongst your team. The Activity Stream is constantly updated with activities going on within Sugar.
  • Extendable - Although custom programming isn't necessary to use the product, if you have unique programming needs, the application is very extendable through custom development.
  • Task Management - A task can be associated to almost anything in the system. This is great for reminders of work that needs to be done, including follow ups to potential customers. All tasks are easily seen on the Home screen so that you are always reminded of what is coming up next.
  • Email Integration - The system has a number of ways of integrating e-mail into the process. We currently use the built in e-mail client. This allows us to file e-mails that we received and initiate e-mails from Sugar that are automatically filed to the system.
  • Reporting - I feel that the system would benefit greatly from better reporting. In the paid editions, there is a basic report writer, but I see it more as a data extraction tool than I do a true reporting solution. We have worked with the ZuckerReports module as an add-on and this does give some better reporting options. It is a little difficult to install and implement, but it does work. We have also used Microsoft SQL Reporting Services as a reporting tool as well.
  • Our team is still getting use to having the Sugar environment available. However, we are already beginning to see collaboration improvements. We can see what everyone is doing and work together to make everyone successful. The data is centralized which makes finding information about our customers and prospects easier. We have integrated time and expense billing into our process which also encourages use of the system.
I was first introduced to SugarCRM through our internal sales and contact management system. I was placed in charge of it's implementation and as such, I have learned a great deal about it's capabilities. After learning our in house system, I began work with one of our customers who is currently using the Professional edition of the software. Through these two experiences, I have now begun recommending the SugarCRM platform to other existing customers and prospects. I think the simplicity of the application, combined with the power of the customizations, makes this an application that everyone should consider when looking at implementing a CRM in their own organization.

Using SugarCRM

  • Sales Management
  • Account and Contact Management
  • Project Management
We are a small company and that means a couple of important things.

First, costs are always an issue. We have been working with the Community Edition which is freely distributed. As an IT consulting firm, this has suited our needs well and is obviously very cost effective for us. At some point, we may consider the move to a paid edition for increased functionality, but at the moment, we don't see a need for it.

Second, we need the system to be simple. When you are a small business, you need to spend your time focusing on customers, not on internal systems. The SugarCRM system has been very easy to use and we see it as a tool the help our business.

Finally, we need a system that can grow with our needs. We value the incredible amount of flexibility that the SugarCRM system offers. We have already done a lot to add custom data elements to our system. We have added custom built Dashlets to help show us the information that is important to our business. We have integrated basic reporting so that we can get the data we need from the system in a timely fashion.

For all of these reasons, I can't see us leaving the SugarCRM platform.

Evaluating SugarCRM and Competitors

No - None. We needed to implement a new CRM system and decided on the SugarCRM platform.

SugarCRM Implementation

The software was very easy to install. You needed to have some basic infrastructure in place to start. For us, we needed to have a working Microsoft IIS web environment and Microsoft SQL Server installed. We added the PHP extensions to IIS through the install executable that is freely available on the web. Once the infrastructure was in place, it was simply a matter of copying the SugarCRM application into place and opening the web site. The application walked you through the install, step by step. You answer some basic questions about your environment, and the installation handled the rest.

SugarCRM Training

I spent some time with basic books that talked about how to use Sugar. These books were able to give a basic understanding of the system. Once you know how one module in the system works, it is very easy to see how the other modules work. After learning the basics, I found that the best way to learn the system was to use it. It is not very hard to learn and the more you use it, the more ways you learn as to how you can use it.

SugarCRM Support

Most of our support comes from the documentation on the SugarCRM web site. There is lots of documentation available, but sometimes, it takes a little time to find the piece that pertains to your system. The SugarCRM software has changed a lot over the years and documentation for all of the versions is still available on the web.
No - We are an IT consulting company, so we are very comfortable with technology. We decided to take on the issues we face on our own. Luckily, we have never had any real issues with the SugarCRM system that has caused us real concern. On the rare occasions that we have run into issues, a simple internet search has usually rendered the solution. There is a lot of documentation on the Sugar site to help and there are a number of forums on the web where issues can be discussed.