According to Gartner, CRM is expected to reach $36 billion by 2017, making it one of the fastest growing segments in business software. One of the companies leading the charge is SugarCRM, a relatively young company that is quickly making its way to the front of the pack due to innovation and a focus on user experience. In a recent interview, Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM, reflected on 2013 and shared his thoughts on what the coming year will bring for Sugar and the industry as a whole.
The 2013 Wrap Up
2013 was a huge year for SugarCRM. In the interview Augustin expressed what a tremendous year 2013 was for the company with accomplishments including:
- The company’s now grown to over 400 employees, and over 7,000 customers
- The major release of 2013, Sugar 7, was a huge success and has been getting fantastic feedback from the industry.
- Gartner put Sugar in their visionary quadrant for CRM.
- Sugar raised $40 million in funding from Goldman Sachs.
- Revenue was up 80% in Q3.
What Are SugarCRM’s goals for 2014?
With a successful and profitable year in the books, Augustin noted the opportunity they have in 2014 to invest their money in growth initiatives, bring on more customers, and gain market share. Augustin points out that, although CRM has been around for a long time, there is plenty of the market left to be had:
“There are only about 20 million users of commercial CRM software today. To put that in context, compare it to people in sales or customer facing roles today. There are over 200 million users on LinkedIn. Those tend to be business professionals who are meeting with customers. And there’s a to least 500 million people in job titles in customer facing sales, support and marketing. So we see the market is quite open. Gartner says Salesforce only has about 15 percent of the market. Think about that. Salesforce is the company everyone thinks of, and it’s a huge, successful company. But they’re only 15 percent marketshare because it’s expanding so quickly. Gartner will also tell you this, it’s the fastest growing market in enterprise software today.”
In the interview Augustin also noted that in 2014, while the CRM industry continues to grow and innovate, it is important to remember both as a business consumer and as a software provider, flexibility it key, not everything needs to be in the cloud, and balance is important.
“I’m not saying cloud is bad — just that cloud is not the answer to every problem and nobody is going to have their entire world just in the cloud.”
The CEO briefly touched on a recent conversation he had with some of Sugar’s customers who were quite clear about their need for both cloud and premise solutions, backing up Augustin’s predication that the market will begin to move slightly away from the Cloud in 2014, something SugarCRM will be ready for:
“They’re saying, if you’re a cloud company, I don’t necessarily want your solution. I want something that gives me flexibility and choice.”
Read the full interview