SugarCRM CEO John Roberts Describes SaaS Strategy, Potential 2010 IPO

John Roberts is sitting in the middle of the perfect storm. As CEO of SugarCRM, he leads one of the fastest-growing open source application providers. And roughly 30 percent of SugarCRM's customer wins now involve software as a service (SaaS) or an on-demand approach -- meaning the company competes with traditional CRM (Siebel) and hosted models like

I interviewed Roberts for our June 19 MSPmentor: Live podcast. We covered four key topic areas:

  • SugarCRM's business history and open source strategy
  • On-premise vs. on-demand/SaaS approaches
  • SugarCRM's partner strategy
  • The company's long-term financial strategy: Will SugarCRM ever launch an IPO (initial public offering)?
When I asked about potential IPO plans, Roberts painted a long-term picture -- reiterating the company's history of growth. But can SugarCRM go public? Roberts said it would be difficult to predict a potential IPO date, considering the financial climate on Wall Street.

But after describing SugarCRM's momentum, Roberts answered: "Absolutely...we can become a public company one day....Absolutely, we're looking at an IPO here in the next two years. The question is, there's a lot of uncertainty, and the business section isn't a fun part of the paper to read these days. So, we'll see what happens. But for us we absolutely believe we're on the road to building an incredibly large company."

Here's a link to the actual podcast.
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