SugarCRM on Wednesday announced the general availability of Sugar 7.9 with a new quote-generation and management feature that helps users turn opportunities into closed deals.
The upgrade provides next-generation reporting capabilities, plus enhanced advanced workflow, which lets users trigger a process based on fields changing to or from specific values.
Sugar 7.9 includes additional operators for evaluating text fields, and additional variable user options for record assignment. It has an improved data query framework, as phase one of the company’s reporting feature remake.
Other new features:
- a new list view based on Sugar Sidecar;
- a new Sugar Intelligence Panel and other new report capabilities;
- an enhanced data query framework;
- support for PHP 7;
- prepared statements, which help prevent SQL injection attacks;
- a new help popup that replaces the existing help dashboard;
- structured global search using Boolean operators; and
- library updates.
Sugar 7.9 supports upgrades from 7.8.x and is available for all deployment types, including on-demand and on-premises. It’s compatible and supported for new installations and upgrades for customers running on MySQL, DB2, Oracle, or Microsoft SQL Server databases.
Sugar 7.9 PHP 7.1 certification will be released in a coming update, said David Folk, SugarCRM’s VP of product management.
“We’re targeting later this summer,” he told CRM Buyer. Until then, PHP 5.6 will continue to be the officially supported version.
New Quotes Feature
Sugar 7.9’s new quote-generation and management feature offers drag-and-drop line-item reordering, click-to-group, and new quote export capabilities. Users can export a quote PDF directly from the related opportunity record, saving time.
“These three features are direct responses to [user] feedback,” Folk noted. “In general, users wanted a more streamlined and intuitive quotes UI.”
Configure price quote technology “has high interest from companies,” remarked Cindy Zhou, a principal analyst at Constellation Research.
“Adding this feature shows Sugar’s adding features customers want,” she told CRM Buyer.
The quoting capabilities “are a great way for customers to get additional value from Sugar,” observed Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research.
“Edge apps such as CPQ deliver 4.2 times the ROI of core CRM features such as sales force automation,” she told CRM Buyer.
Sugar 7.9’s revamped reports list lets users leverage common features such as field filtering, favorites designation and the intelligence pane, Folk noted. It also lets users tag reports to improve their organization.
The new help popup lets users “see their intelligence pane content while reviewing help information,” he pointed out.
Prepared statements, for which SugarCRM adopted parts of Doctrine’s database abstraction layer, lets users optimize database queries, resulting in “significant performance improvements,” Folk noted.
“This latest release shows Sugar’s focus on platform development, and brings its business process management capabilities to more effectively compete against VPM-focused CRM vendors such as Bpm’online and Pega,” noted Nucleus Research’s Wettemann.
Sugar 7.9’s advanced workflow and quoting capabilities, user productivity enhancements, and attractive pricing versus other leaders in the market, “gives [7.9] a compelling value proposition,” Wettemann said.
The changes constitute phase one of SugarCRM’s remake of its reporting features.
“Phase two is in progress,” SugarCRM’s Flock said.
“Directionally, we’re focusing on charts — clickthroughs, improved support for rendering in PDFs, etc.,” he added.
“Advanced reporting and analytics is a key demand from CRM customers, and [SugarCRM] Chief Product Officer Rich Green is driving the changes based on his deep expertise in analytics,” said Constellation Research’s Zhou. “This is great for Sugar customers.”
Hurdles to Overcome
However, SugarCRM is still lacking deep functionality in areas such as marketing and sales force automation, which it delivers through partners, according to Nucleus Research’s CRM Technology Value Matrix 1H2017 report.
“Their biggest challenge,” Zhou said, “is that they’re in a highly competitive market with Salesforce, Oracle and other players.”