SugarCRM growth surges by 52 percent in Asia-Pacific Japan

A strong channel, acquisitions of new customers, and growth experienced by existing customers drove the company's hike in the Asia-Pacific Japan region during 2014.

SugarCRM may be competing against big names such as Salesforce, but the open-source customer relationship management (CRM) software supplier has already seen significant growth, particularly in the Asia-Pacific Japan region.

During the 2014 full year, SugarCRM reported that Asia-Pacific Japan was the company's top-performing region, experiencing a 52 percent year-on-year growth. This is up from November last year, when the company reported that it was already seeing a 37 percent year-on-year growth.

SugarCRM APJ regional vice president Wayne Goss said the result exceeded the company's expectations.

"We were only expecting a 30 percent growth," he said.

Goss said a combination of three factors fuelled the company's increase in the region: A strong channel; growth experienced by existing customers; and the acquisition of new enterprise customers such as HTC.

A majority of SugarCRM's customers globally are enterprises with a high customer-facing employee count, according to Goss, such as in technology manufacturing, general services, and financial services. More specifically, in Australia and New Zealand, it targets tertiary education; in Hong Kong, it's the gamification industry; and in the Philippines, hospitality and real estate sectors sign on.

Parallel to this, Goss said the company invested heavily in the region in an aim to build rigour into its business processes. This resulted in a 400 percent increase in the company's local representation, where the company hired people from Salesforce, SAP, Microsoft, IBM, and Optus.

"We significantly increased the footprint of SugarCRM, mainly in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Greater China is the next area of growth for us," he said.

Goss added that customers are beginning to turn to SugarCRM mainly because there is a growing realisation by the market that deploying CRM will give them control over stored customer data.

As a result of market feedback, Goss said SugarCRM is able to make intelligent investments in its own technology or through acquisitions.

Most recently, SugarCRM announced its acquisition of San Francisco-based mobile startup Stitch. The company plans to bolster its own mobile app with Stitch's capabilities.

SugarCRM made its firm move into the mobile market during SugarCon 2013, when it unveiled its HTML5-powered mobile app.

"Stitch is an example of us hearing from customers that mobility is important in Australia. A mobile workforce is a very important topic driven by productivity."

"There's an expectation we'll increase our productivity of our workforce by leveraging technology like the NBN to enable people to work remotely, and, by default, a need for mobility," Goss said.