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SugarCRM: Recession? What recession?!?

Open source is helping SugarCRM to steer clear of a recession, it seems.

SugarCRM's John Roberts is on the lookout for a recession, but doesn't see it anywhere within the company's growth trajectory. The company employs more than 150 people today and plans to double its size (revenue and headcount) within the next year.

Recession? Not in SugarCRM's world.

I've worked with John for three years now. He's always impressed me with his appreciation of the power of open source. But John takes this further, marrying open source with Software as a Service, and happily benefiting from both. With over 125 integration partners deploying SugarCRM on-site and in a SaaS model, theoretically SugarCRM's partners could be its biggest threat. But John isn't worried:

Roberts welcomes head-on SaaS competition from SugarCRM's own partners -- because customers are demanding "infinite knowledge" and want to evaluate every aspect of a SaaS service before choosing a partner, he added. And plenty of companies continue to deploy SugarCRM on-site. But SaaS coupled with open source, it seems, is the story everyone wants to talk about -- from Silicon Valley to Wall Street.

That's the promise of abundance. It's far better to have more adoption than less, with different models to monetize that adoption according to the price points and pain points that drive a particular customer. John groks this and has built a business to thrive on it.

I'm an advisor to SugarCRM, so I suppose I'm biased. But I continue to see SugarCRM as one of the premier open-source companies in the industry. More than any other company (with the possible exception of the former JBoss), SugarCRM understands that open source is an online, data-intensive business and has built its sales model accordingly. The company is well-poised to exceed its 100 percent growth targets. It will be fun to watch.