30
Jul
10

Relationship management web software from Sugar6


Sugar6 CRM Lets Users View Facebook Profiles of Contacts, But Lacks Authorization July 29th, 2010
By Josh Constine

Sugar CRM’s new customer relationship management web software Sugar6 includes strengthened social network integrations, allowing users to view Facebook profiles from within the product. Facebook vanity URLs or user IDs can be pinned to contact files or added as dashboard feeds, allowing previews of activity on the site. There is no social authorization system within Sugar6, though, so users must log in on Facebook.com on the same web browser and can only see profiles they usually have access to, such as public profiles and friends.

Sugar is one of a number of social CRM software providers, all of whom are trying to help businesses to figure out sales leads and other relationships from existing social data.

Sugar says it is slowly building the infrastructure for a more social CRM tool. In future releases of Sugar, it hope to include automatic syncing of social network data into contacts, data-centric social media monitoring, and the ability to track actions like wall posts and messages to contacts the way they currently track email.

Sugar6 provides a web-based, customizable, open source CRM platform for approximately $30/month/user. While some CRM services like Siebel and Microsoft Dynamics are more rigid, and Salesforce charges for simple customizations after a certain limit, it is free to use Sugar6’s Sugar Studio to create coding-free customizations. Those with PHP skills can even alter the source code to make more drastic changes to the platform. This makes Sugar6 a good choice for users who frequently need to adapt to changes, or whose requirements don’t match that of traditional CRM software.

Contact pages on Sugar6 can be customized to include Facebook Page and profile URLs, as well as Twitter and LinkedIn links. If the user has logged in to Facebook on the same browser, and have access to that contact’s Facebook content —because they are friends, the profile is public, or they have relaxed privacy settings— a custom tab allows a user to view that profile from within Sugar6. This could help a user monitor updates from a business partner’s Page, or see that a lead has left a status update saying they are preparing to make a purchase.

Sugar6’s goal is to eliminate the need for using multiple windows simultaneously to manage relationships. The lack of a native authorization system make this a bit clumsy, but usable. A future release that integrates authorization, auto-syncing, and the ability to interact with Facebook, not just watch it, will finally bridge the gap between the wealth of contact and behavior information available on the social network and the software meant to take advantage of it.

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