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SugarCRM eyes a public offering

SugarCRM eyes a public offering

Speaking at SugarCRM conference, the Sun CEO touts MySQL's open source model and growth rate

What's the difference between SugarCRM and Salesforce.com?

Oram: There are three key areas where Sugar really differentiates itself from Salesforce.com. First -- and I think one of the things that people come to us first around -- is the flexibility of our deployment model. Being able to go onsite or on-demand is something that a lot of customers like. We have customers who start with us on on-demand and they intend to go onsite, but they don't know when, and they haven't done it yet. But they like having that flexibility. Other customers just start with on-demand and six months later they go to an onsite solution.

What's the difference in functionality between what you do and what they do?

Oram: From just a high-level functional perspective, we just look at the check boxes. We certainly are in the same space. We have marketing sales and customer support functionality. We have some built-in e-mail marketing capabilities that they don't have in their solution. Our e-mail client is a top-notch Web-based e-mail client, similar to what you might find with Google mail or Yahoo mail. You won't see that in Salesforce.com.

Our user experience is where we win the end users over. If it's end users sitting in front of Sugar versus Salesforce or Siebel or SAP or any of these other solutions, that's where we really win. We've got the most modern architected solution on the market today, with the most modern user interface that's designed to allow end users to personalize it to the way they want to use the application. On the home page, using AJAX [Asynchronous JavaScript and XML] technology, you can move and drag and drop the forms on the screen so that the data flows in the way that you're looking. You have the ability to do all kind of saved searches and reports.

Is SugarCRM profitable?

Oram: We've had a very good year last year. We're not talking about our finances specifics, but last year was a fantastic year for us.

You're privately held. Do you figure on going public or being bought up?

Oram: We're laser-focused on going public. Basically the last couple years have been really about proving that this model works. We're going public in eight to 12 quarters. We've got the company absolutely laser-focused on that.

Is there anything else you wanted to mention?

Oram: The first few years of SugarCRM were [focused on] proving that this model works, getting the software built, getting the company built. Really, [seeing] the marketplace evolving to the point where it was comfortable with the idea of purchasing commercial open source. And we're past that now. Now this is a company that's all about execution. We had a fantastic year last year. Basically we're past the "prove it" stage and now it's about execution and it's about focusing on going public in eight to 12 quarters.


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