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Open-source CRM firm marches into Europe

SugarCRM plans to use a new Dublin HQ to drive awareness of commercial open-source services

SugarCRM is opening an office in Dublin as part of a push into Europe.

The open-source CRM vendor announced on Monday that Clint Oram, one of the co-founders of SugarCRM, would serve as general manager for Sugar Europe and run the European team.

"The establishment of Sugar Europe signifies the importance of Europe as a key driver in the success of our commercial open-source model," said Oram, in a statement. "[It] will allow us to more directly serve existing customers and partners while extending our presence in Europe."

SugarCRM offers an open-source version of its customer relationship management application for free, and also sells licences for an enterprise version, which comes with extra features and customer support. The company also offers an on-demand service, and it claims its offerings can be used instead of those provided by rivals such as Oracle and Salesforce.com.

At present, around a quarter of SugarCRM's commercial customers are based in Europe, with demand concentrated in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

SugarCRM is planning to hire staff for its Dublin operation throughout 2007. Business priorities for the year include expanding the infrastructure that underpins its on-demand service, promoting the market for commercial open-source services to European companies, and developing support material for the French and German markets.