Highlights from the 2018 SUGARCON

Tom Risbrook
October 15, 2018

Highlights from the 2018 SUGARCON

Last 2018, the directors decided to head to the annual SugarCRM Conference. This year’s event brought us all the way to the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas in the middle of the Nevada desert, to showcase the future of Sugar and CRM.
It was an awesome, action-packed 2-day event featuring a range of excellent speakers, breakout sessions with business and technical topics focused on getting more out of SugarCRM and providing a view on where the product is heading, plus the occasional alcoholic beverage!

Day 1: Welcome & General Sessions

David Guetta’s This One’s For You kicked off SugarCon 2018 with an incredible aerial performance by an incredible acrobat and 2 strong men. (I’m still struggling to understand the connection between acrobats and SugarCRM but no doubt it does exist)
The welcome keynote was started off by Maribel Lopez, the founder of Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm, who took the stage to discuss how companies should follow the example of Renaissance man Leonardo Da Vinci to build and improve customer relationships by mastering CRM and collaboration tools and adapting them to customer needs.
Next on stage, SugarCRM’s CEO, Larry Augustin, highlighted why organizations need to personalize their offerings for each customer in order to keep customers happy, as well as how it can lead to new business. Larry also discussed what a modern CRM should look like, and how to stay ahead of the constant change in technologies. (Did you know that Larry made his first billion dollars by the time he was 38!
Juan Herrera, VP of Sales of SugarCRM, led the “all-star” customer panel with Ivonne Van Zuilen (Ben), Pam Holt (Rheem) and Marty Madsen (Tyson) on the challenges and opportunities of delivering CRM experiences and driving user adoption.
Clint Oram, CMO, and Co-Founder of SugarCRM was invited on stage by Maribel Lopez for a fireside chat (without the fire) to discuss how to put back the “R” (relationships) in CRM by moving beyond productivity and focusing on customers.
Called a “controversial leader of the new world order,” Leonard Brody, President of the Clarity Digital Group, delivered a fantastic keynote on today’s rapid pace of change, innovation, and disruption in both industries and humanity.

Leonard was a highly energetic and credible speaker, with some cool random stats:

- Man is 3 – 4 cm taller than 100 years ago
- Life expectancy has increased significantly
- Global poverty has been reduced significantly
- We are living in an awesome time!
- Most people now have 2 identities, one physical, one virtual
- Apparently, the virtual one is going to grow
- Apparently, the virtual one is more trusted than the physical one
- The only way to be successful in business is to continually reinvent yourself!

And finally, Rich Green, Chief Product Officer and CTO of SugarCRM, took the stage. Rich Green is a visionary and a very capable individual with a tremendous track record in delivering software outcomes.

Rich presented the latest and greatest in SugarCRM updates and new products, including:

The SugarCRM Hint update in December will include proactive and configurable customer alerts for signals and interesting moments, including funding, personnel changes, general company announcements, and M&A activity. Note that Hint will apply for both businesses and individuals.
Project Dossier is SugarCRM’s upcoming standalone Relationship Intelligence app that gathers information on your records and significantly cuts down the time your sales team spends on research. Project Dossier uses AI to help you optimize your day while pulling information on your contacts using SugarCRM’s systems.
Updates to Sugar’s customer support tools, including the Knowledge Base and Portal, will allow you to use Sugar to significantly improve customer support experiences.
This included a ‘Sentiment’ dashboard that gives the agent a view on the level of happiness of the customer (based on the text in the case! Cool)
Customized Quotes - allowing administrators to add custom fields to the Quotes module. (currency fields included)
SugarCRM UX Design - including a redesigned record view with multi-column layouts, a new compact view, tabular subpanels, and more

Day 1: Breakout Sessions

Lessons in Sales Management - A Practical Approach for Building Great Sales Teams

"Death, taxes, and the forecast calls every Monday ... count on it," said Juan Herrera, in his breakout session where he reviewed his strategy for building and leading a high performing sales team. The session opened into a panel of experts to discuss building sales team with Jerry Straw, the moderator, who is SVP/GM North and South America at SugarCRM and was joined by Pat Connor (MacAllister Machinery), Marina Cardone (Axserve) and Steven Schumer (IBM).

When CRM is as Simple as Asking Alexa - Panel

We keep hearing that AI and ML technologies are taking over...but when? In this session, a panel of experts spoke about how voice and other AI technologies are currently converging with CRM. While many people are skeptical that these technologies are becoming the new norm, these experts explained why we should be thinking about these technologies, especially in relation to CRM and how we do business. Rich Green (SugarCRM), Brent Leary (CRM Essentials), and Mitch Lieberman (Opus Research), all spoke on the panel which was moderated by Maribel Lopez (Lopez Research).

Day 2: Morning Keynotes

Maribel Lopez kicked off the morning keynotes and introduced Clint Oram, to discuss their largest CRM deployment with Danny Barnett, Leader of Sales and Marketing Solutions at IBM, and announced that they have successfully moved IBM to Sugar Cloud (formerly known as On Demand). (These guys have 80,000 users, James and I met him over lunch and had a good chat, 2 interesting findings: a) They have their own private tenancy in the SugarCRM cloud with access to the database b) they use Revenue Line Items but approx. 92% of all their opportunities have one-line item!)
Zac Sprackett, VP of DevOps from SugarCRM confided in the audience that he only buys travel size toothpaste. How does this relate to our beloved CRM you may ask? Well, just like Sugar, he wants to make sure that he always has the latest innovation whether it be Sugar Cloud or the best possible whitening toothpaste technology. By buying smaller tubes, he’s betting on toothpaste brands releasing new innovations before he needs the next tube.

David Rowan, the Founding Editor in Chief of WIRED shared his advice for creating innovation in corporations:

- Reframe your value.
- Build an ecosystem.
- Be agile.
- Build room for failure.
- Import a culture.
- Empower your team.
- Find your blind spots.
- Leverage new technology.
- Enable collisions.
- Exploit a crisis.
Last but not least, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”, said Rich Green, SugarCRM’s Chief Product Officer, and CTO, who re-entered the stage to provide insight into machine learning analysis and future updates coming to the Sugar product line.
Our Software Partners
No items found.