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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM (Part 6)

Posted on Sunday, Oct 26th 2014

Larry Augustin: What we find is that the open platform makes that very easy for anyone coming in. And that community buids very early integrations. Twitter is a great example. We had a Twitter integration available for our product long before most of us here even knew what Twitter was. It’s now part of the product, but it started out in that open developer ecosystem. That’s been a great success for us and that’s one of the reasons that we’re in business.

Sramana Mitra: That’s a good segue into my next question. You are in a very interesting vantage point to call out and introduce our audience to stuff that is happening now that are especially innovative. You talked about Twitter, D&B, Data.com type of integrations, which are kind of established partners at this point. What is the most interesting, exciting, and cool innovations that you’ve seen on that platform that’s from a startup?

Larry Augustin: Great question. I want to start with some of our customers in talking about cool integrations there. We have a customer called VetsAdvisor. Their job is to help veterans by coaching them as they move to civilian society. What is really interesting is they have integration with Fitbit, which is a device you wear as a wristband. They coach as they’re talk to the veterans. “Are you getting any sleep? What is your health and fitness monitoring?” It’s a great example of tying physical devices into a relationship management system. That’s one that I really like in terms of the integration of physical world and your customer. In this case, the customer in VetsAdvisor is that individual veteran. That’s one great example.

Sramana Mitra: I think we’ve had a good discussion so far.

Larry Augustin: Some of the interesting areas are in intelligence around the customer. Take IBM. IBM is a very large company. One of their challenges as a business is getting visibility to someone across the company who has expertise. They have a technology that has come out of their research labs called Expertise Locator. They’ve integrated that with our product where one of their sales people can look and say, “I’m going in to an account, but I need an expert in some particular technology or process area. Who in IBM is the right person?” That’s an example of bringing that intelligent information. That’s another example of what I think is an interesting innovation.  I think analytics and being able to pull that kind of intelligence are going to be a big area for innovation in the future.

Sramana Mitra: I would like startups around your ecosystem to work in the content marketing problem. I think content marketing is one of the most elegant ways of marketing. You can blast ads in front of people’s noses, but it’s much more elegant to engage people through content.

Larry Augustin: I agree with you completely. The thing with content is you’re delivering value to the person.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM
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