SugarCRM Release Offers Social Networking Tools, iPhone Links


SugarCRM will launch Sugar 6, a new version of its open-source CRM software, later this month with new iPhone and iPad applications, new social networking capabilities and support for additional languages.

The new Sugar Mobile for iPhone software expands the existing mobile capabilities in Sugar, allowing iPhone and iPad users to access the CRM system as a native iPhone application. The mobile software add-on is available through the Apple Appstore.

The iPhone application is the first of what SugarCRM plans as a series of mobile applications for users of Android, BlackBerry and other devices, said Martin Schneider, senior communications director at the company, in an interview.

"I think the next big area of development among our partners is going to be mobile," Schneider said, noting the opportunities the iPhone application presents for solution providers, who account for 65 to 70 percent of Sugar sales.

Sugar 6 provides a range of "social CRM" tools, including a Twitter Connector for monitoring key Twitter accounts, an enhanced version of the two-year-old Sugar Feeds social collaboration tool (a direct competitor to Salesforce.com's Chatter service), and integration with Qontext, an on-demand social networking application.

On the globalization front, Sugar 6 has new certified language packs with support for 13 languages and local currencies. While communities of Sugar users and solution providers developed different language versions of the application, the new language capabilities are fully integrated into the new release.

That makes the product easier for partners around the world to work with, Schneider said. Nearly all SugarCRM sales outside of North America are made through the channel, "and we're trying to enable that channel as much as we can," he said.

Sugar 6 is also integrated with Microsoft Outlook 2010 and now supports the Google Chrome browser.