SugarCRM announced a new Cloud Connectors program on Monday that opens the leading open-source CRM solution to cloud services like LinkedIn.
SugarCRM also got a bit more social, with a new Social Feeds feature that provides alerts and status updates found in Web services like Facebook.
It's a great way of opening up the SugarCRM system beyond mere source code, as PC World reports:
If you're logging into third-party sites "while you're on the phone with someone, you're going to be hemming and hawing and you're not going to have it at your fingertips," [director of product marketing Martin Schneider] said. "The idea is to drive adoption and keep people in one space, but also give them unfettered access to bringing content into the CRM system."
Windows, which SugarCRM is calling "Cloud Views," will pop up with relevant information, such as which of a user's LinkedIn connections work at a certain company. Users can also import this information into SugarCRM.
I find myself using LinkedIn, as well as SugarCRM, all the time in the context of my work managing U.S. and Latin America sales for Alfresco. Having both in the same place or, rather, having data from LinkedIn tied into my CRM system, makes a lot of sense and should help me to save time.
This is the next level of "source" integration. What was once purely about source code is now equally a matter of open, mobile data. While SugarCRM's Cloud Connectors feature doesn't break ground that others like Salesforce.com haven't already covered, the combination of open source and open data is a potent combination for enterprises looking to expand CRM efficiency while reducing CRM lock-in.
Disclosure: I am an adviser to and customer of SugarCRM.