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Open Source CRM
Because there are a lot of smart people outside of Silicon Valley
The Sugar Open Source Project and Community are at the heart of our mission. Creating an 'architecture of participation' where users from around the world can help to build a higher quality, more useful product is a superior form of development than the traditional Silicon Valley model of a few product managers dictating what features the world needs. The open source model embraces the world outside of Silicon Valley instead of keeping it at arm's length.
When we started SugarCRM, we hoped there was a better way to build and sell enterprise software. Now, years later, that hope has turned into confidence. There is always a better way.
Better Way to Build and Distribute Software
In an industry dedicated to improving customer relationships (CRM), it is interesting that proprietary software vendors spend between 50-70% of revenues convincing customers to buy their product (sales and marketing) and less than 10% of revenues actually making better products (engineering).
We thought there was a better way. Why not write our product in public and distribute it through an open source license? Individuals and companies would be free to evaluate and use Sugar Community Edition without restriction. If users decide they want advanced functionality, professional support and product extensions, they can engage with SugarCRM when they are ready for a commercial relationship. This Commercial Open Source model shortens the costly and time-consuming enterprise sales cycle while allocating more toward engineering (almost half our company is part of R&D). It also makes for more successful deployments because customers do not experience the 'bait and switch' sales model of proprietary vendors. The commercial open source model requires putting your product in front of your sales force, which means having a fast, intuitive application that is easy to learn, use and extend.
Customers want flexibility, not vendor lock-in
What if a real estate agent sold you a house under the condition that you had to arrange the furniture in a certain way or the house would fall apart? Or what if a car salesman sold you a car that you were only allowed to drive on certain roads or the car would fail? Sound crazy?
These artificial constraints are similar to the ones proprietary software vendors impose on customers. You can buy our software but only deploy it On-Demand and you must work through our narrow, proprietary interfaces. Or, you can buy our software but you must install it on-premise running on this type of server and operating system. These artificial restrictions are designed to benefit the vendor, not the customer. The more constraints they put in place, the more hurdles the customer must jump over, and the more locked-in the customer becomes.
SugarCRM is dedicated to placing the users and customers in control by abolishing the artificial restrictions imposed by vendors. Deploy SugarCRM On-Demand, On-Site or via an Appliance. Use Sugar Community Edition for free or pay for the commercial editions. Inspect and modify the source code. Create extensions that can be shared or protected. With Commercial Open Source, users are in charge.
We view open source as a meritocracy. If a product is strong and meets a need, an open source license allows the product to reach more people. Open Source enlarges markets and allows innovation to flourish. Sugar Community Edition gives you control and frees you from vendor lock-in. That is why, in just two years, Sugar Open Source has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times and translated into over 75 languages. Over 400 complements and extensions to Sugar Community Edition have been contributed by our user community.
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