Social Networking Police See Warning Signs

Over at Readwriteweb our friend Alex Williams is doing a great job laying out SugarCRM’s run at respect. Their column on SugarCRM and its new features imagines a challenge to the erstwhile market owner, Mark ‘Aloha’ Beniof and his magical mystery tour de force. Sugar replaced their CEO and did some serious reorganizing to get back on the radar of many of their fans. While I don’t see them coming up with an IPO to raise enough money to compete with Beniof,, there are a lot of folks out there who really do mind paying a large premium just to go to Mark’s parties.

Social Networking Get You Down?

The features available for SugarCRM will allow you to gather research from external databases such as Hoover’s, LinkedIn and Twitter and append that information to your profiles. So, if you have a "prospect" and you’d like to sell him an enterprise business management application, and you can’t find the right people, these API’s allow you to easily search and grab more data than you’d imagine is available.

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Automating the Acquisition Process with Enterprise Level CRM
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Course this is the stuff Mark Tamis and Prem Kumar of the #scrm crew have been waiting on to see how this changes the whole online perspective. Sure, we’ve heard the laughs, what are you going to do with all that useless information people tweet about and how is that helpful to me selling enterprise security? We can only imagine who would be interested or smart enough to figure out how to mine this data but in one of the posts at readwriteweb, we found the following comment:

We use sugar as an enterprise CRM solution for sales, current customer tracking, tech support case tracking, and knowledgebase creation at a medium sized tech startup.

"SugarCRM has some very simple, lacking and failing features and defects in the knowledgebase area and case tracking area. It could be that we are power users and are pushing it to the extreme, but for search to not work unless you use % signs? For cases, there are many defaults that are hard to change, and workflows that are difficult to modify. They’re basic WYSIWYG text editors are so buggy and lacking that its sad. They could adopt open source WYSIWYG code out there that would be 3 times better. Also, we cannot provide our customers simple links to Knowledge bases, or toss around links to cases. All of their pages have cryptic URL, that are not reference-able if you wanted them to be.

"Sugar is relatively stable, which is nice. Ive been on platforms that were not as reliable and quick as sugar. Also, their reporting and graphing is very UI oriented, intuitive, and friendly to make your own custom reports.

"Hopefully they are not developing for the wow factor too much, and fix their product for the base-needs and working order. Otherwise, customers like us will soon be finding other solutions.

"We could give a cr@p if they have every customer linked to linked-in, and post youtube videos or feeds. Thats what we have the other sites for."

Posted by: Nick Yeates December 3, 2009 2:29 PM

After reading Nick’s illuminating thoughts on his company’s issues with SugarCRM, I noticed he signs off with his Facebook account. So I clicked over to see how this would fit into my impression of who he is. On his public page, a similar issue hit Mark Zuckerberg, Nick tell us:

"So yeah, I am an open minded person who likes to have fun and hoping I can find my way in life. Im now in my job for 3 years now. I like to get drunked on weekends and relax and chill with friends. I also love to travel, my last few adventures have been: Biked 600 miles, North Carolina Beach House, Portland for a 3rd time, California, St Louis Arch and cardinals, Portland city gorge and oregon coast, 13 european countries and Egypt for a month :-D"

And beyond his Facebook page he adds some web pages: and his personal pix at: and

So from a single post, we are able to locate just about everything there is to know about old Nick and more of his personal information than I would want folks to know frankly. Now if I were one of the many guys selling CRM or ERP software and wanting to get into Nick’s graces, I might read and learn what bothers him about his existing situation and present my story around that. I might also find someone, whom I know, in his network who got [drunked] with him and would love to help me out. As I write this, Jim Cramer’s MadMoney is on and he’s talking to Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi and she’s explaining the nature of communications. I paraphrase, "Jim, I’ve checked out Facebook and these other hot Internet sites and it’s not for me but you know what, these kids can spread the word virally about anything they like and they can also do a lot of damage if they don’t like what they see. That is why business has to be very careful with all this social networking." Amen, Indra, amen. I can’t wait for this data to arrive and to see how folks use it. I expect a lot of folks who have put themselves out there thinking it was not a problem may want to retrace their digital footprints and make sure there isn’t anything there that won’t come back and bite them.



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