SugarCRM CEO Sets Aggressive 2010 Revenue and Channel Goals

Joe Panettieri, Former Editorial Director

December 23, 2009

SugarCRM CEO Larry Augustin loves stretch goals. A case in point: Augustin hopes to double SugarCRM’s revenues in 2010. To get there Augustin will need help from traditional channel partners and emerging Software as a Service (SaaS) partners. Here’s the open source CRM company’s strategy.

During a FastChat video interview, Augustin said two-thirds of SugarCRM‘s business already comes from the channel. No surprise there, since SugarCRM was one of the top companies in the first annual Open Source 50 report, which tracks the most promising open source partner programs (the second-annual survey begins January 2010).

In 2010, Augustin says, SugarCRM will strive to be a “world-class channel partner.” The open source CRM company has roughly 250 partners. Augustin expects more to jump on the bandwagon as SugarCRM promotes key tools like the Cloud Console. SugarCRM also will leave most of the SaaS market to partners. And there are plans to work more closely with Microsoft’s channel partner ecosystem.

Augustin’s Vision

The SugarCRM chatter will grow louder at the SugarCon conference (April 12-14, San Francisco). In the meantime, Augustin provides clues about SugarCRM’s business strategy in this FastChat video. Plus, you’ll find more analysis from us at the bottom of this blog entry.

The video includes…

0:00: Intro
0:13:  Why Larry Augustin became SugarCRM’s CEO
1:10:  SugarCRM’s key 2010 priorities, including the channel
2:02: Mixing traditional channel partners with SaaS partners
2:58: Cloud console for partners
3:15: Balancing SugarCRM’s own SaaS options with partner options
4:15: SugarCRM in the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud
5:05: SugarCRM doubling business in 2010?
5:55: Can open source companies and SugarCRM test the IPO waters?
6:55: Taking a longer-term view
8:03: Conclusion

Reality Check

I must admit: Former SugarCRM CEO John Roberts always impressed me. When SugarCRM’s board decided to make a CEO change in May 2009, I suspected something was profoundly wrong at the company.

In recent months, Augustin (Roberts’ ultimate successor) has answered skepticism and assured media (such as myself) that SugarCRM remains a growth story. No doubt, the company still has one of the strongest open source brands in the market. Even Microsoft is quick to proclaim its close working relationship with SugarCRM.

Still, I need to be careful of my own hype. It’s difficult to truly determine how privately held open source companies are performing. Most celebrate millions of software downloads but when you start asking about revenues you don’t often get straight answers.

In stark contrast, Augustin offered up quite a stretch goal. With the help of channel partners he hopes to double SugarCRM’s revenues in 2010. We’ll be watching.

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About the Author(s)

Joe Panettieri

Former Editorial Director, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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