SugarCRM Community Edition: All you need to know about SugarCRM CE
By Sarah Meyers
SugarCRM community edition, also known as Sugar CE is the open source crm edition provided by SugarCRM and is still among the most popular of Sugar editions. SugarCRM community edition 6.5 was the latest version of Sugar CE after which Sugar switched to a paid hosted environment. But that is nothing to worry about. Sugar CE is still fully operational and is available for a FREE download.
We have compiled here everything you need to know about the community edition of Sugar including how to download SugarCRM CE, the features of SugarCRM CE, its limitations and above all how to overcome the limitations and beef up your SugarCRM community edition to get the best potential out of it.
First things first how can we download SugarCRM Community Edition.
How to Download Sugar Community Edition for FREE
Sugar CE, as mentioned before is still most popular editions of SugarCRM among users and is the best way to get to know SugarCRM better. It is not a SaaS (software as a service) product and is available for you on-premise.
There are many relevant links which let users download Sugar CE and its source code as well. But SugarCRM’s own website is the best and most reliable way to download the open source community edition of SugarCRM.
SugarCRM Community Edition Installation Guide
Installing your Sugar CE 6.5x is as easy as it can get. You only need to follow 6 steps and your Sugar CE is ready and running
1. First you will need to install the Linux, Mac, Window version of PHP, web server, and the database.
2. Secondly, you download the Sugar files.
3. Third step involves copying the Sugar files to your web server.
4. Then you navigate to the php.ini file which is located in your Sugar root directory and set the variables_order parameter to EGPCS.
5. Then you need to restart your web server.
6. Lastly, you install the Sugar Community Edition with the Sugar Setup Wizard.
Features of SugarCRM Community Edition
There are many features of Sugar CE that compelled others to come up with fork versions of it. For example the latest fork version of Sugar community edition 6.5 was SuiteCRM springing in 2013 with their open source crm. Vtiger CRM and SarvCRM are other fork versions of the community edition.
The features for which Sugar CE stands out from the other open source CRMs and for which millions still download and use it include
1. The flexibility of the community edition
2. The code structure of the latest editions of Sugar including professional and is the same as the community edition which makes it easy to make a switch later.
3. The users own the CRM completely; this includes the hosting, the source code, the upgrades as well as the support.
4. Multiple hosting options including on-demand, on-premise and private cloud.
5. It remains easily customizable
6. Sugar CE is a mobile capable CRM.
The limitations of SugarCRM Community Edition
Yes, there is no doubt Sugar CE does not provide the same level of capabilities as provided by the Professional and Enterprise versions. There have not been any updates after Sugar 7 was released in 2013 and trust me the depth CRM functionality has surpassed all expectations. Today CRM solutions are working on Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics to get advanced customer insights and buyer trends in order to stay on top of things
Coming back to Limitations of Sugar CE;
On Sales side: functionalities like Sales forecasting, Customizable workflows and opportunity tracking/management are missing in community edition of Sugar
On Marketing side: While Sugar CE provides all marketing integrations including Hubspot, Marketo, Act-on, capabilities like managing marketing campaigns and marketing reports is missing.
On Support Side: Bug tracking, Call center and knowledge base which make exceptional customer service possible in the paid versions is absent in the community edition.
Integrations: Multiple integrations (including Google Docs, MS Word & Excel) which SugarCRM provides in the paid versions is absent in the CE. That does not mean that you cannot integrate these platforms with Sugar CE. Here are some examples of the 3rd party platforms that can be integrated with SugarCRM.
Reporting: The latest reporting functionalities are absent in SugarCRM community edition but Customizable Dashboards is present.
How to get the most potential out of your SugarCRM Community Edition
With SugarCRM CE can be as effective a tool as you need it to be. It can manage client relationships, grow your revenue, make your sales strategies much effective and give you the best marketing capabilities and delight your existing customers
SugarCRM Community Edition Customization
The default version of SugarCRM CE might not give you the best output as it doesn’t recognize your specific needs and requirements. But there is great news for you! You can always customize your SugarCRM CE in order to make it fit your organization’s needs as a glove and give you the best return on your investment.
Clients who have customized the community edition of SugarCRM have always reported the same satisfaction with their solution as paid versions. The most popular customizations of Sugar community among many include
1. Sugar CE User Interface
2. Sugar CE Custom Modules
3. Sugar CE Custom Reports
4. Sugar CE Custom Relations
5. Sugar CE Custom Fields
6. Sugar CE Rules Implementation
Here is a complete post on SugarCRM Customization
Sugar CE Integration
While SugarCRM CE does not provide the integrations that are available for paid versions including Microsoft Office and Google Docs to name a few. As mentioned above this does not mean that the Sugar CE cannot be integrated with multiple useful platforms.
Integrating Sugar CE with other platforms makes your Sugar much more efficient as now the redundant data entry is avoidable. See the platforms with which Sugar can be integrated
Key Takeaway about Sugar CE
SugarCRM Community Edition is one of the most popular open-source FREE CRM which caters to the needs of millions of businesses worldwide. After all there is a reason SugarCRM still provides this version in the hope that many organizations will later switch to paid hosted versions. But there is a way to get the most potential out of SugarCRM CE. While there are no new updates on Sugar CE it does not mean that it should remain outdated with the default capabilities.
A great number of organizations have reported that Customizing and Integrating SugarCRM CE with the latest platforms (like Gmail, QuickBooks & Twilio to name a few) increases the depth as well as the breadth of its capabilities and makes it most responsive Open-source CRM to fit your organization like a glove.
Rolustech has a decade long experience with SugarCRM Community Edition and has helped more than 500 firms with custom implementations of SugarCRM