The tech does this by making personalized recommendations to users based on integrated analysis of data in e-mail, calendar and CRM systems. “Incorporating Stitch will make Sugar an even smarter, better-informed customer relationship management system, and put information at mobile users’ fingertips no matter where they are,” said Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Stitch’s IP will help make SugarCRM smarter by essentially mimicking the functions of a real-life assistant. Stitch learns how people interact and tries to make timely and relevant suggestions through a mobile app that ultimately works to improve customer experiences.
Jason McDowall, co-founder and head of product at Stitch, said the company is “applying intelligence at the intersection of CRM, e-mail and calendar data to make people more productive.” Joining forces with SugarCRM will help shape the future of customer relationship management, he said.
That’s a tall promise but it could shake things up in the CRM market when the next iteration of SugarCRM rolls out. Adding mobile engineering talent will help the open source company compete with Salesforce.com. In fact, the Stitch engineers are the same people who won the $250,000 grand prize for a mobile app entered in Salesforce.com’s hackathon competition last fall.
Investing in a Better Solution
We caught up with Brad Shimmin, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, to get his thoughts on the deal. He told us SugarCRM made a strategic acquisition.
“Beyond SugarCRM itself, this deal is representative of what we are seeing across a number of different domains -- there is power in analytics and how they can add value to a solution,” Shimmin said. “Look at the continued importance of e-mail and how information and knowledge is stranded inside. Stitch contextualizes it and makes it operational so salespeople can use e-mail in their daily lives to make smarter decisions.”
Shimmin said he can easily see how SugarCRM can infuse Stitch’s IP into its own solution. He pointed to basic collaboration tools from Cisco and IBM that are leveraging analytics to make e-mail collaboration more effective.
“SugarCRM is searching for some real revenues from traditional licensing but I think they’ve built a very solid, well-respected open source platform that is an important component of the industry,” Shimmin said. “I’m glad SugarCRM is making an investment in technology that’s going to make it a better solution.”