While attending SugarCon 2013 in New York this past week, I was introduced to what I consider the most compelling CRM product I have seen in my 9 years as a software consultant. SugarCon being SugarCRM’s annual event where its customers and partners learn the direction the company and product are going. Before attending the conference, SugarCRM had not hidden the fact a new release was coming. However, as history has shown me, the more hype a developer generates around a new product release the less likely that release will live up to the hype. Well SugarCRM has proven the opposite is true is well. SugarCRM kept its ALL NEW Sugar 7 platform tight lipped during the months prior to their announcement last week.
Below is a recount of my first moments with Sugar 7…
As I walked in to the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria, I realized the room I was standing in had been witness to so many events in world history, from presidential and international politics to hosting the social elite and stars of the Silver Screen. This room had seen a lot in its 82 years. Would it see something of some significance today or just another techie convention where everyone pretends to be impressed by another lack luster “product” announcement? As I sat down to a seat toward the center of the room and began to scan the stage I begin seeing a catchy tag line “Every Customer, Every User, Every Time” on EVERY screen. Unlike the conference themes I had been subjected to in the past, this one seemed more promising and product focused. As the room filled with a less than skeptical audience, I began to hear the chatter of fellow consultants peppered with questions like “Do you think they fixed this? or Do you think they added that?”. I myself had my own list of improvements I hoped to see but I knew what we were about to see would be mere lipstick when what was needed was a makeover.
As the lights dimmed and the first speakers took to the stage, I had the feeling one gets when using their DVR remote to skip the commercials to see the SHOW! Once the audience had been thanked profusely by every speaker for traveling thousands of miles (Partners from Australia in attendance) to attend the conference, we were getting closer to the moment. What we were all here to see, Sugar 7.
As speaker after speaker rose to the podium and descended, each building up the announcement that was to come, questions started filling my head. Would Sugar 7 live up to the hype? Would it include badly needed new features? Would it be easier to sell? Would it make me more money? ….
Find Part 2 in Jason’s SugarCRM review here