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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM (Part 3)

Posted on Thursday, Oct 23rd 2014

Larry Augustin: Today, we have a virtual office for that. That virtual office is social media that sits around the person. Today, you may not be selling by physically sitting in that person’s office, but you may be sitting in their virtual office – what they are saying on Facebook or their resume on LinkedIn. Do their kids play soccer or softball? What is it that they care about?

Sramana Mitra: There’s a lot more information accessible today given the virtual nature of information flow than you would gather by visiting someone for an hour.

Larry Augustin: That’s true. Being able to present and pull all that information together for a person and give them that virtual office view of the person is a very important part of what I think social CRM needs to be. That’s my angle on social CRM.

Sramana Mitra: You said that Salesforce’s view of the world is database-driven. How is your technology architected? Is there a fundamentally different architectural build?

Larry Augustin: That’s a very good question. The way we have designed our solution is to be that interactive dashboard that the customer-facing individual uses to pull all these information and understand the customer better. We have what we call the intelligence panel that is available on the screen, in which the individual can plug-in analytics. For example, explain what else is happening around this person. The company can pull in things like Twitter feeds and other social media data around an individual that is completely personalize-able and  configurable with the person.

We also have a time activity stream view of the interaction with the person in which you can drag and drop things that are happening in and out Twitter into that, and understand the view of the history of interaction, as opposed to, “Here are all the emails I sent the person.” We can still view all the emails sent to the person, but what you really want is to understand the pattern of communication in a time-based view, which is, “I sent them an email. Then, I called them up over the phone. Then I followed up to this posting made on Twitter.” I’m understanding the flow of communication as opposed to just the elements of communication.

We’ve architected our solution to bring those pieces together as well as an open platform that easily integrates with all of those components. That’s incredibly important in this day when you may have Twitter and Facebook. We don’t know what’s next. You need to be able to integrate with all these different pieces. An important part of it is that platform that enables all these pieces to come together. When you look at our customers out there who do this in a great way, they’re very good at pulling all those pieces together. Many times, they’ve selected us because of that easily extensible platform. Whether it’s someone like the New York Times or IBM, all of them have built those pieces around the platform. There are some differences in how things are architected to make that happen.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM
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