Highland Solutions discusses SugarCRM/IBM alliance

Software as a Service offerings can be helpful to service and solution providers as well as their customers. Highland Solutions' Scott Tabak discusses how Highland Solutions works with both SugarCRM and IBM's SmartCloud.

Scott Taback, VP of Business Development at Highland Solutions, took time out of his busy schedule to share some thoughts about SugarCRM and the IBM/SugarCRM alliance. I appreciate your time, Scott.

Please introduce yourself and your organization

My name is Scott Taback, VP of Business Development at Highland Solutions. (former IBMer leaving in 2010). Highland Solutions is a provider of transformational solutions that help companies become more responsive and cost efficient. Our core business at Highland is helping companies develop business process automation using technologies such as SugarCRM.

What were you doing that needed this type of technology?

We typically do some customizations to provide services, using Sugar's OnDemand platform didn't work for us.  About 3 years back we decided to build out our own data center to host Sugar along with the technologies we were building.  This provided our customers better responses times etc. and allowed us as a custom integrator access to the database layer and root code of Sugar.

Moving some of our Sugar workload to the IBM Smart Cloud allowed us to "outsource" some of this physical infrastructure need.  We see the Smart Cloud as a place where we can start managing infrastructure rather then deploying it.

We are also excited to be part of the future of the Smart Cloud where we see the ability to start integrating IBM technologies and other third party applications into our own solutions. We also believe the Smart Cloud will allow us to become both Cloud Integrators an Cloud Consolidators.  As more and more work load goes to the cloud with various cloud solutions they will all need to integrate and share resources...we believe we can help companies save money on hosting costs by consolidating all of their cloud applications into one: The Smart Cloud.

What products did you consider before making a selection?

Our only other choice was to do everything ourselves.

Why did you select this product?

IBM and Sugar are coming together in a significant way.  Given our business model involves Sugar we felt it in our best interest to follow suit. Also, with my background at IBM, it is becoming clear that we can leverage my network and know-how of IBM to position Sugar within IBM accounts.

What tangible benefits has your organization gotten through the use of this product?

We've had throughput of 50-300% increases.

What advice would you offer others facing similar circumstances?

IBM and the Sugar alliance is significant and should not be ignored. If you are a large company but doubt SugarCRM's size or brand you should feel confident with the backing of IBM that you've made a good choice for your CRM needs.

Snapshot analysis

Cloud computing isn't just for end user organizations. Solution providers also can experience benefits by offering their product or services hosted in a larger, better managed data center environment owned and operated by a service provider.

This approach also allows the supplier's IT resources to expand or contract to address the ebb and flow of business without forcing a small solution or service provider to tie up a great deal of its own capital.


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