Sugar CRM conducts a conference called SugarCon and they are promoting it heavily through various channels. Today I got an Email about this conference and found a curious announcement there:
To be frank, there is nothing new in this scheme:
- All major conferences invite experts to present sessions
- It is quite common to ask them to present their topics / ideas online
- With the emerging Social Web, participants vote and decide which topics should be presented in a conference
Now, Sugar CRM has combined this #1, #2 and #3 to a powerful Email Campaign, whereby it asks general public to submit their ideas and present them, if those ideas get enough votes. Smart, But nothing great.
But, look at it from the Social CRM perspective, you will understand how Sugar CRM has scored many big wins here:
- By making this sound like a contest, they are inviting clicks, whether people submit ideas or not, they will come to the website and read all about it
- They have opened this ‘Submit your ideas’ to everybody, not just experts, a perfect Social Web Scenario (More participation, better conversations, better relationships)
- By adding a prize (Free pass to SugarCon) element, they have made this more attractive, BUT it is not going to cost them anything, in fact having a speaker for free saves them money!
- But, what if many people jump at the opportunity and submit stupid ideas, just to get a free pass to the conference?
- No problem, introduce votes, Only if your topic gets high number of votes, you will win your pass
- This actually means, Sugar CRM needn’t appoint anybody to moderate / filter out junk topics, they are filtered by the real users, for free!
- OKay, What if I ask my friends and coworkers to vote for me?
- Again, No Problem, When you do that, you are indirectly selling my product (conference) to others, getting me new leads, again for free. So let me go and encourage you to do it (Notice the place where Sugar CRM actually asks you to spread the message, for your own sake of course 😉 )
- They haven’t announced how many such ‘public’ sessions will be presented in Sugar Con, Means they can control what is the ‘minimum number of votes’ you need to win the pass, and this can be used to eliminate all those ‘stupid, yet popular’ topics
- Best part is, they are making the CRM community think of innovative topics to be presented in SugarCon, that way it will be driven by real users, not just few experts / thought leaders, Priceless!
– Naga Chokkanathan, Direct (Innovation), CRMIT
Open source CRM projects are flourishing stupendously; just do a quick search in SourceForge Inc. and you will find more than 350 active open CRM projects listed there. How do we pick the good apples from this huge database?
Fortunately, focus.com has done the hard work and identified top ten open source CRM solutions. Here’s an overview.
- Sugar CRM Inc. is a major player in the open source CRM category that was founded by John Roberts, Clint Oram and Jacob Taylor in 2004. Being downloaded for more than three million times, company received almost $26 million in venture financing
- Splendid CRM Software Inc., founded in 2005, runs an application that is specifically designed for system integrators and is built on the Microsoft platform.
- Centric CRM with its seven years of experience in the field has been aimed to serve small business market. The application is written in Java that is compatible with MySQL databases and the administrative console in this app allow for a great deal of customization
- Hipergrate rated as “the most complete open-source Java CRM and groupware” actually has everything in its application. Being written in Java, this app is operating system independent and includes an assortment of functional modules
- Compiere Inc. provides a complete ERP and CRM application collaborated with a fantastic support for marketing and sales, human resources, inventory control and much more
- Vtiger CRM built upon the LAMP/WAMP architecture offers features like inventory-management, security-management, multiple database support, product-customization and calendaring along with some add-ons like Outlook Plug-in, Office Plug-in, Thunderbird Extension, Customer Self-service Portal and Web Forms
- Centra View Inc’s first version that supported Linux and Windows 2000/XP platforms was released in November 2004. But, today the software is offered in both hosted and downloadable forms
- XRMS CRM is an on-premise solution for companies of different sizes. This web based application is completely operating system independent and comes upgraded with human-resources management, SFA and CRM
- Cream CRM is a multilingual application written in Java and Java script that tracks services, sales orders, shipments, payments, online and print subscriptions. So, it is basically designed for media organizations
– Charu Mehta
For more details on these CRM solutions, just follow the link http://www.focus.com/briefs/top-10-open-source-crm-solutions/