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SugarCRM's Clint Oram: "Open Source is More Than Just Sharing Code"

SugarCRM Co-Founder Clint Oram Speaks at Enteprise Open Source Conference

SugarCRM Co-Founder Clint Oram spoke about creating valid business models within the context of open source, at a presentation made in New York June 5 at the Enterprise Open Source Conference and Exhbition. During the presentation, he outlined a free side and a commercial side to the company's ongoing development efforts.

"There is more to open source business models than just sharing code," said Oram, whose company is focused on a CRM market that is served by traditional proprietary companies. He outlined some reasons why SugarCRM feels it is different from its competitors. "With open source, we build software in a different way than traditional CRM vendors," he pointed out.

Oram had amusing insights into the CRM market, including his contention that salespeople, normally the end-users of CRM software, "typically hate their CRM applications. (They hate the apps) because most are back-office and ERP apps that are brought to the front office." He noted that CRM applications are often difficult to use, but that salespeople "typically have high expectations about the ease of use" of software programs.

The classic uses of CRM are in managing leads, prospects, and support, Oram noted, but also stated that "the value of CRM is not just about managing leads, etc. but all the activities with customers."

He said there have been 1.5 million downloads of SugarCRM, and that the company offers prize money to the "more interesting and interesting modules built on top of SugarCRM" through its SugarForge website, where developers, system integrators, and VARs can build components and distribute them.

Oram also said the company will soon be launching SugarExchange, "the commercial side of our business, where people can build software and sell it."

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CRM News Desk trawls information and news sources for the latest developments in Customer Relationship Management, and brings you relevant material about the current and future software tools being used by companies to manage their relationships with customers, including the capture, storage and analysis of customer, vendor, partner, and internal process information.

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