Customer Relationship Management is very important to every company. Through CRM, companies are able to relate to their customers better.  They are also able to gather information as to what their existing and future needs might be. And so CRM is actually the manner by which the company handles their relationship with their customers. It could include processes involving sales and customer support. It could also include sales that do not entail direct  contact with customers as with automated or self-service sales. And CRM also includes the analysis of customer data.

And since running CRM needs software, SugarCRM has its own offering. SugarCRM as a company actually started as an open source project of Sourceforge in 2004. The company’s open source software became such a smash success that they were able to raise enough amounts to continue the project.

SugarCRM now has three versions to offer. They are Sugar Community Edition, Sugar Professional and Sugar Enterprise. While the Sugar Professional and Sugar Enterprise are distributed through an annual subscription, Sugar Community Edition is an open source software. It is distributed for free. It contains about 85% of the functionality that both the Professional and Enterprise versions have. All these software are based on Linux as its operating system, Apache as its web server, MySQL as its database server and PHP as its programming language. It can run on other platforms like Windows, Mac OS X and Solaris, and under the Oracle database too. 

What SugarCRM really brings to the company is a means to automate its sales force and customer cases. Reporting is also made efficient by making the information available to employees for its use in their own respective functions. And of course, it brings forth collaboration enabling the company to deliver better customer service.

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