Project of the Month - August 2006
Description of projectAn integration of SugarCRM and NetOffice (Luis Wang Edition) allowing the tight integration of Users, Opportunities, and Accounts while still allowing the native netoffice interface to be used both inside and outside sugar.
Why are you a leading contributor in the SugarCRM community?
I have always believed in the underlying philosophy that if someone else has written it, embrace and extend it. Sugar is a perfect example of a great foundation for building tools upon, by embracing Sugar and the Sugar community and extending on what they built we are able to make it better for all. Having been active in many opensource projects over the years it's great to see Sugar's focus and that plan being realized with frequent updates and expansion. This allows us to continue to build upon the base of SugarCRM to meet our needs and hopefully the needs of the community at large.
What are the benefits that you experience from your involvement?
The benefits range from business to personal to professional. This has allowed our sales team to be more efficient and provider better communication. It's allowed us to bring the delivery process and the sales process together in a fashion that allows each to focus on what they do best, but keep the other informed along the way. In all it has allowed us to work smarter and accomplish more.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Plain and simple, focus. There are so many area's that I could see the potential for expanding the capabilities that we needed to focus on what was key for us. Once that's completed move on to the next area. So many in the community have developed great enhancements and modules that it's hard to keep focus on what your doing when there's so much out there to play with.
What inspired you to create this project?
We were using separate tools to manage our projects, our documents, and our sales process. With the addition of ZuckerDocs we were able to combine our sales process and our document management, but it left the project execution in a separate tool. This mean that our sales teams and senior management had to move across multiple tools, figure our relationships to accounts and opportunities in order to get the benefit. With YashOffice they all have one interface, can easily see what projects are associated with each account or opportunity.
What business pain points were you solving specifically?
Project Lifecycle visibility. The life of a project starts much earlier than when it gets passed from the sales team to a delivery organization, and likewise it doesn't end for the sales team when delivery takes over. We needed to show that overlap in a simple to use interface in the tools that people were used to seeing.What are a couple of notable examples of how people are using your software?
It's something we use everyday and that alone is a perfect example of how it's being used. A sales team is able to enter a new account and opportunity. By doing so our presales team and delivery organization are notified that it exists, and are then able to begin the planning process and offer support to the sales process. Once the opportunity is closed the sales person and account management are able to see how the project is progressing, and are aware of any new opportunities that the project may uncover.Where do you see your project going?
We have some plans to continue to expand the project. The first is the integration of KnowledgeTree into YashOffice. This will allow those using ZuckerDocs with SugarCRM to be completely integrated in all aspects of their document management. We will merge the YashOffice forums with the upcoming SugarCRM 4.5 forums capabilities to make it a seamless capability. The YashOffice support request system will be merged with the SugarCRM Cases to expand the capability of both to make a better solution. There are more idea's floating around as well, but that's a good start.What do you want to build next for Sugar Suite?
Talk about an open ended question. There are a number of things I would like to build, some great idea's that have been passed on from our team, or that I have seen in other projects. But in the end I'm going to maintain focus on YashOffice for now, and possibly continue to throw in some assistance to other established projects that we use as well. Once we are finished we'll take a look at what's needed and make the decision from there.
Past Projects of the Month