BroadVision and SugarCRM Join Hands for Closer Integration

SugarCRM and BroadVision have teamed up to integrate their respective products — SugarCRM’s namesake CRM app and BroadVision’s Clearvale enterprise social networking platform — to give users a fuller view of what is happening in the enterprise, the companies announced this week.

This is not a full-bore integration between the two products, however. Rather, at various touch points — starting with customer service, marketing and service — users of Clearvale will be able to pull information from the SugarCRM system without having purchased a seat, and vice versa.

“I am not encouraging people to skirt licensing issues here,” Lou Leporace, BroadVision’s vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas, told CRM Buyer. “I would encourage users to get a seat, but there are situations where a Clearvale user might need CRM information on an occasional basis, and in those situations, buying a seat isn’t cost-effective.”

‘People Who Don’t Have a Seat’

The benefit of the integration flows both ways, however, in that SugarCRM users also have limited access to Clearvale’s collaboration and social enterprise platform.

The companies accomplished this with a data exchange. With that groundwork laid, Leporace said, they can develop integrated points or use cases wherever they see fit. The companies went after the “low-hanging fruit’ of sales, customer service and marketing first, but now plan to explore other areas, he added.

Sales was a particularly natural fit, Leporace said.

In this scenario, a Clearvale user — say a company whose corporate team is collaborating on a big prospective sale — would use the collaborative platform and then access relevant CRM data from SugarCRM.

“If I am discussing tactics and strategies for a sales account, this meeting might include people from marketing who don’t have a seat for SugarCRM,” he explained.

The new integration would give such users a window into an activity stream — a view of the pipeline that has been pulled out of SugarCRM, say.

‘A Collective View’

Conversely, SugarCRM users might tap the integration with Clearvale to develop a sales deal room where the team can discuss accounts and develop sales strategy.

Similar functionality is available in customer service and marketing. For example, Clearvale users can promote self-service content such as a video to customers via the integration.

Beyond these particular use cases, the integration also serves a larger purpose, Leporace said.

“Most people licensed for a particular application tend to have their communication siloed around that application,” he noted. “This integration provides a collective view across the enterprise.”

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

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