SugarCRM Adds a New Layer of Functionality

SugarCRM has released version 5.1 of its open source CRM platform, building on functionality it debuted in last year’s milestone 5.0 release, which included new development tools, a new Ajax e-mail client, and a new multi-instance on-demand architecture.

Among the new features in version 5.1 are enhanced reporting, a mobile client and a new interface.

Besides the analytics and mobile extras, SugarCRM sports improved data import features, enhanced tools for creating custom objects and modules, and new tracking functionality that allows SugarCRM administrators to get a better view into system usage and performance.

“All of these new features are tools for users to get more out of the system and out of the CRM data,” Chris Harrick, vice president of product marketing, told CRM Buyer.

The point is to give users something far more valuable than mere data at their fingertips: actionable insight into their operations.

Adding Analytics

SugarCRM has built up its analytics capabilities with the addition of several new features at many stages of the application — the wizard that walks the user through report creation, for example.

New reporting sets allow users to create complex reports in multiple modules, including contacts, accounts, opportunities and cases. The system also provides support for combining two data sets (inner joins) or reporting on unmatched records between two data sets (outer data joins).

Expanding Wireless; Tracking User Behavior

New wireless features give SugarCRM users more functionality: access to edit, detail and list views, as well as the employee directory, store preferences and recent items. A rich HTML client lets the user view the SugarCRM data through a standard Web browser.

There are also new search capabilities.

The upgrades give administrators better insight into how, and how often, the system is being used. Tracker Reports, for instance, provide a snapshot into system usage with reports on weekly CRM activities, records and modules viewed, cumulative login time, and online status of other team members.

System Monitoring provides information on potential stress points for the application. Administrators can see which modules are heavily used, monitor response times for requests, and view CRM utilization by teams and individuals.

Custom Modules

SugarCRM also enhanced its Module Builder tool, which allows users to build custom modules from scratch or combine existing or custom objects into a brand new module.

Now users can relate new modules to multiple existing modules. There are also new auditing features and template options.

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