Salesforce vs. Sugar CRMThe salesforce.com vs SugarCRM competition is heating up. SugarCRM recently received $40 million in funding from Goldman Sachs. In 2013, Salesforce.com continued on its aggressive acquisition path and has continued its rapid growth.

Salesforce.com and SugarCRM have several things in common. They are both CRM companies based in the San Francisco Bay Area and they are both represent alternatives to traditional, Microsoft-based technologies. However, SugarCRM originated with the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) stack, whereas salesforce.com is mainly a Java/Oracle platform.

We have published a report that is a factual comparison of Salesforce vs Sugar. The report was updated on March 13, 2014. Below are several text-only excerpts from the report. The report also includes many, illustrative screen shots. Here are four of the twenty-seven comparison points that can be found in the free report.

Salesforce vs Sugar Comparison Points

Editions and Pricing

Salesforce – Salesforce is available in five different editions. The editions range in price from $5 per user per month to $300 per user per month. All editions are the same underlying product — specific features and functionality are either enabled or disabled, depending on the edition (PDF). Salesforce.com’s most popular edition, Enterprise Edition, costs $125 per user per month. The Professional Edition is priced at $65 per user per month.

The Salesforce.com Foundation provides free and/or discounted licenses to certain categories of organizations such as 501(c)(3) corporations and B corporations.

Sugar – SugarCRM has three different editions of its commercial product: Sugar Professional, Sugar Corporate, Sugar Enterprise, and Sugar Ultimate.

Sugar Professional costs $35 per user per month. Sugar Enterprise is priced at $60 per user per month and Sugar Ultimate costs $150 per user per month.

The Sugar license pricing is the same regardless of which of the four hosting options a customer decides on. For some hosting options, there can be additional costs. For example, if a customer decides to host with Amazon EC2, those charges would be in addition to the Sugar licensing cost.

Third Party Ecosystem

Salesforce – Salesforce.com manages its own third party application site, AppExchange.  The AppExchange also has applications from Salesforce.com’s internal, Force.com Labs.  There are over one thousand applications listed on AppExchange.

All applications must be certified and pass a periodic security check. All AppExchange applications are installed with the same series of clicks.

Some of the apps are free and some are paid.  Not all applications are compatible with all editions of Salesforce. For example, many apps require Professional Edition or higher.

Sugar – Sugar’s third party applications site is called Sugar Exchange. Sugar Exchange is a marketplace where Sugar users can can download apps that provide additional functionality.  Certified listings undergo a 90-point certification checklist. There are approximately thirty certified listings on Sugar Exchange and many other applications listed.

Applications can be browsed by category, by edition (Enterprise, Professional, Community) or by Sugar version.

Duplicate Detection and Merge

Salesforce – In Salesforce, a user can check for any records that match the Lead record that the user is currently on. Results will display potential matches across the Lead, Account, Contact and Opportunity objects.

Up to three records can be merged into one. Salesforce provides an interface for selecting the “best” data fields for the Master Record (winning record) from each of the matching records. The losing record or records go into the Recycle Bin.

Sugar – Sugar allows users to check for duplicates within modules such as Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, Cases, and Bug Tracker.  Users can select specific fields for duplicate criteria.

Users can then merge duplicate records. When merging multiple records, a user can choose a primary record and merge in fields from the records they do not want to keep. These deleted records are kept in the database but no longer appear in Sugar.  There is no set limit to the number of records that can be merged into a single, primary record.

Data Import and Integration Tools

Salesforce – Salesforce has a wizard for importing records into the Lead object. There is also a wizard for importing records into the Account and Contact objects as a single operation.

In the Salesforce Enterprise and Unlimited Editions, an application called the Data Loader can be used for importing data into any Salesforce object. The Data Loader has a graphical user interface, but can also be run in command line mode. Command line mode allows for using relational databases as sources and targets, which means that the Data Loader can also be used for integrations.

There are third party products such as Informatica Cloud for migrating data to Salesforce and for integrating data with Salesforce.  Service providers are also available for data migration and integration.

Sugar – Sugar allows for importing Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities and Cases from several different formats.

There are a host of third party products and service providers available for performing data migration and integration.

Salesforce vs Sugar in 2014

This is a sampling of the comparison points between Salesforce and Sugar. The CRM industry vendor competition will certainly accelerate in 2014 as the overall market grows. The Salesforce vs Sugar competition will be a key one to watch.

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