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A comprehensive CRM comparison

When it comes to CRM, there are many products to choose from. But where should you begin? To get you started, we thought it would be useful to compare three renowned products – Sugar, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

The first thing to point out is that, regardless of deployment model, Sugar users get the same features and functionality, choice and control. This is especially important in regulated sectors where data privacy and ownership is contentious. Sugar offers the most choice in deployment, including on-demand SaaS, public cloud, partner-hosted option and Sugar on-site.

Future-proof CRM – on your terms

In our experience, customers need a product that will allow them to make a system their own – without unnecessary levels of complexity or work. Sugar offers a truly open, standards-based platform based on open technologies like PHP, Linux, REST and JavaScript, making this tailorable CRM solution attractive in terms of speed, ease and cost-effectiveness.

The Salesforce.com platform is built in a closed format that can be unfriendly to customers and developers. This gives customers limited deployment options and choices in terms of managing the system. To build on the Salesforce.com platform in-house, users need to learn complex, proprietary languages, or pay additional fees for a developer to do it for them. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee customisations and integrations will work forever, since Salesforce.com can choose to introduce new products at any time. With Sugar, CRM investments are future proof because it only uses open, industry standard languages and APIs.

Microsoft, as we all know, is a global giant which sells databases, servers, desktop software, business applications and more. And while it’s done a fantastic job of building a CRM tool in MS Dynamics that works well with its own technology, the truth is that many IT organisations are not 100% Microsoft.

At SugarCRM, 100% of development is in CRM, which means more emphasis is placed on building the best CRM possible for customers. Sugar offers flexible, future-proof CRM that runs in virtually any IT environment, with the flexibility to change as rapidly as your business changes. Built on open, industry standards, Sugar is guaranteed to meet CRM needs today and in the future. Sugar’s unique Sugar UX™, the individualized CRM user experience, offers greater usability and a more modern UI (user interface) than Microsoft Dynamics. Sugar has a stronger track record of innovation, with seven major revisions to the core Sugar product, as opposed to Microsoft’s four in the last ten years.

Smooth, consistent, predictable CRM

All of Sugar’s editions are based on a single, tightly unified code base. The Sugar product is the same code base regardless of how it is deployed, whether as an On-Demand SaaS deployment, on your own servers, or in the cloud. Microsoft’s cloud and premise-based products are two different products. This means that depending on your choice of deployment, some critical features or functionality may be missing from your CRM system.

Many customer-facing processes span multiple departments. Sugar allows you to create unified, highly streamlined custom process automations that break through departmental data silos and result in more consistent, positive customer experiences. CRM systems built from multiple point applications and data models lack the native ability to create such seamless automations. Sugar provides organisations with a true platform for growth, not just a few features out of the box.

The truth is, all SugarCRM does is CRM. The organisation’s employees and partners work together with customers to ensure every step of their CRM journey is flawlessly planned and executed, resulting in a smooth, predictable CRM rollout, saving customers’ time and money.

More CRM for your pound

An effective CRM deployment involves smart planning, people and processes to make every customer interaction extraordinary – and get the most from investment.

SugarCRM has always offered clear, simple pricing with its three editions – which are offered at an affordable rate to meet the needs of every business. Microsoft offers different pricing models for its various deployment models, and there are a lot of add-on costs for additional tools like mobile access (that, incidentally, SugarCRM includes for free). It’s also worth considering the types of hidden and additional fees Salesforce.com may charge when calculating your annual CRM spend – on items like API and data overages, mobile access, and mobile application customisation fees.

SugarCRM allows its customers to be strategic with their CRM vision for a low total cost of ownership. It also offers a future-proof product and consistency of roll-out because SugarCRM is 100% focussed on CRM.

For a further information, download our CRM comparison infographic.

Download infographic

Author: Mark Hallett, 7 December 2015

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