SugarCRM previews next generation of customer engagement platform

SugarCRM gives a sneak peek at the next version of its customer engagement platform as the software company could be preparing for an IPO later this year.


NEW YORK — SugarCRM kicked off the second day of its week-long expo with a preview of the next generation of its customer engagement platform, Sugar 7.

See also: SugarCRM adds private cloud option with automated data isolation

The big themes of the latest version of the CRM solution are making these pieces of software smarter and more social.

Powered by HTML5, Sugar 7 sports a new embedded "Intelligence Panel," which is designed to offer more visibility at business and social intelligence online through a single dashboard. Customers can tailor these dashboards to their own business needs for internal and external social data about their contacts and accounts.

Further on the social front, Sugar 7 is touted to come with improved activity news feeds that are "fully CRM integrated," meaning they should offer real-time information about every account, contact and deal.

"This isn't just social on the side," remarked CEO Larry Augustin while speaking during the opening keynote of SugarCon 2013 on Tuesday morning, reiterating that Sugar has built activity streams into every single workflow.

Sugar 7 is also said to be built with an open architecture for integrating third-party apps and tools, which is becoming an increasingly popular trend — especially among cloud storage providers ( just look at Box and Google Drive ) but also among  CRM competitors such as .

The preview of Sugar 7 could also add momentum (or pressure) for SugarCRM as the enterprise software business could be declaring an initial public offering later this year.

In November , Augustin told Bloomberg that his company's goal is to go public, adding that this could happen as soon as 2013.

Sugar 7 is scheduled to roll out for general availability this summer.