SugarCRM and Microsoft, NetSuite and Fujitsu, Sage and Rand, Free Kayako, Intelestream, DisputeSuite

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

SugarCRM and Microsoft, NetSuite and Fujitsu, Sage and Rand, Free Kayako, Intelestream, DisputeSuite

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Tom Waits's Rain Dogs. Yesterday was a Sinatra kind of day, today's a Tom Waits kind of day. What can I say? These things happen:
In what Microsoft officials characterized as "a continued effort to show support for open source technology," The House That Bill Built made SugarCRM Community Edition available for free download on the Windows Web App Gallery.

The Microsoft Web Platform is a Microsoft framework for developing, deploying and hosting Web applications. SugarCRM and Microsoft have had a partnership since 2006, when SugarCRM announced support for Internet Information Services as well as optimization for Active Directory and SQL Server.

Lauren Cooney, group product manager at Microsoft, called SugarCRM "a great addition to the Windows Web App Gallery."

Based on the Sugar Open Cloud, Sugar CE, as well as all other SugarCRM products, can operate in any cloud environment, according to company officials, adding that SugarCRM's application "offers a single system for managing customer interactions across different lines of business."

"More than 60 percent of SugarCRM installations worldwide run on the Windows platform today," notes Clint Oram, vice president of product management at SugarCRM, adding that many of their customers are running SugarCRM "deployed on top of Microsoft Web Platform components such as IIS and SQL Server."

The Microsoft Web Platform offers a way to build and host Web sites, services, and applications, combining what Microsoft officials say are a Web application framework with "a supporting cast of tools, servers, and technologies."

Founded as an open source project in 2004, SugarCRM applications have been downloaded over five million times. Sugar Community Edition is currently used by more than 55,000 companies and 600,000 users.

NetSuite has partnered with Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Business Systems to distribute, resell and support NetSuite in Japan, NetSuite officials announced.

Fujitsu officials say the partnership gives them a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning offering for small to mid-sized enterprises. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NetSuite officials say its Release J is a localized Software as a Service business management suite available to Japanese businesses, providing support for Japanese accounting requirements, including Tegata payments, J-GAAP compliant financial statements and Consumption Tax configuration capabilities.

Partnering with NetSuite gives Fujitsu an immediate presence in cloud computing, as well as the cloud-based ERP offering for SMEs. The companies have collaborated on a strategy to expand the reach of the product, calling for 500 new customers within three years.

According to terms of the partnership, Fujitsu will promote NetSuite to mid-market manufacturing companies, while FJB and its external partners target SMEs in the industry-specific verticals.

The deal "enables Japanese companies to run the core aspects of their businesses in the cloud," NetSuite officials say.

NetSuite Release J was launched in December 2008.

Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite, says Fujitsu and "FJB's experience and reputation" will help the growth of SaaS in Japan.

"Fujitsu is confident that the alliance between NetSuite and Fujitsu Group creates a new leader in the Japanese SaaS ERP market, powered by NetSuite Release J," according to Taro Mizuno, President of Manufacturing and Distribution Solution Unit at Fujitsu.

NetSuite K.K. opened in 2006 to solidify the company's support for the growing number of NetSuite customers in Japan and provide infrastructure for further growth. 

Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited reported consolidated revenues of $47 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009.

Business technology consulting firm The Rand Group has announced that it's adding "a range of" Sage products for small and mid-size businesses, including ERP, human resource management, fixed assets and CRM solutions, to its portfolio.

The Rand Group will be offering its clients the full Sage MAS ERP line, as well as Sage Abra HRMS, Sage FAS, and Sage SalesLogix lines. Company officials add that Rand will open new offices in Dallas to serve businesses in the region.

Ron Rand, CEO of the Rand Group, said partnering with Sage adds a "range of products to our portfolio of services."

The Rand Group serves customers in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Austin and is involved with community charitable work in support of March of Dimes, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Houston Public Radio. It serves industries such as oil and gas, manufacturing, distribution, construction, property management and technology as well.

Open source CRM consultant firm Intelestream has announced that the company is reaching out to its partners and contacts through Twitter.
Chicago-based Intelestream officials say they believe Twitter can help people better understand open source applications: "User adoption is the main reason the company is encouraging CRM users to subscribe to relevant Twitter channels."

Noting correctly that "a lot of people don't fully understand CRM," CEO Jason Green said "office workers don't always know that their company's new CRM system is really there to help them do their job. The reality is that no one wants to read a giant user's manual."
Therefore, Green explained, Intelestream's goal is "to educate people one tweet at a time, by providing CRM users with useful tips every day. By staying informed without being overwhelmed, users should feel more comfortable with CRM and use it more."

Intelestream sells the inteleCRM application.

If you're a charity or open-source software projects today may be your lucky day.
Help desk software, CRM and live chat software vendor Kayako has announced the immediate availability of "free, perpetual and unlimited" licenses for their entire line-up of help desk products for just such organizations.

"As a business, we are aware of our social responsibilities. We are passionate about helping those in need, especially during markedly tough times for charitable and non-profit organizations," says Jamie Edwards, operations manager at Kayako. "We would hate to think that price is a barrier to entry for these organizations."

He added that Kayako "feels strongly about the undervalued contribution open-source developers are making to the progression of technology and software, which is why we are offering to give something back."

John Smart, IT director of the American Motorcyclist Association, said that the AMA is currently facing many of the same struggles which private industry IT departments are seeing today, because "we struggle everyday to control our support costs." He notes that Kayako are "putting a world-class support product in the hands of those who would otherwise consider this option as unthinkable within their current budget."

The free license on offer is perpetual and comes with twelve months of technical support. Eligible organizations are also entitled to receive any number of free licenses of Kayako's supplementary add-on products, such as KayakoMobile, a help desk management client for mobile devices.

Kayako products are available as both host-it-yourself and fully managed SaaS.

SaaS software vendor has been acquired less than a year after launch.
DisputeSuite provides Web-based customer relationship management and automation software for the financial services industry.

In 2006 Brett Ryckman founded and created to provide back-end software for credit repair, loan modifications, debt settlement, and short sales. The application is described by company officials as a "multi-tenant software as a service... supporting thousands of customers and users on a single platform."

In May 2008, the company publicly launched DisputeSuite. Ryckman said "shortly after launch," DisputeSuite attracted a capital investor and raised funding. Since the May launch, Ryckman says, "over 1500 companies have signed up for the software."

He says the company succeeded, in part, because "we went after an industry that had a giant void. No other software companies were targeting credit repair or loan modification businesses, so these companies were ecstatic."

Prior to launching DisputeSuite, Ryckman worked as a Web and software designer for companies such as Kforce, Verizon, Catalina Marketing, and Perficient. He founded Elite Web Tech, a Web design agency, when he was 18 years old and ran it throughout college.

In April 2009, less than a year -- just -- after launch, an offer to acquire the company came from a private investor, Ryckman said. The company was purchased by a private investor for an undisclosed amount.

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