SugarCRM and the cloud

SugarCRM kicks off its conference with a rockin' start

This week, SugarCRM kicked off its annual user and developer conference in San Francisco with a dramatic rockin' intro by Martin Schneider, guitar guru and self-proclaimed CRM Outsider. (Yes, that's Martin's profile in the conference logo.)

Despite a gloomy economy, the conference pulled in more than 500 people, a new record for the company. SugarCRM is well known as one of the most popular open source enterprise applications. Sugar goes out of its way to be developer friendly, and it shows. The conference sessions have plenty of technical meat as well as high-level keynotes by author Michael Lewis, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, and others.

In the opening keynote Monday afternoon, CEO John Roberts talked about the growth of the company, which now has 4,500 customers and 55,000 active installations in more than 190 countries. He also talked about how SugarCRM was "born in the cloud" and introduced new cloud connectors that provide integration with third-party services such as Zoominfo and Crunchbase. There's also a newly announced Cloud Connector framework that should enable developers to extend SugarCRM to other cloud-based applications. It's a smart move by SugarCRM to extend its reach beyond just CRM without having to build all the integration itself.

All of the discussion of cloud computing set the stage for an announcement Tuesday by Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz about Sun's own cloud strategy. Lew Tucker, CTO of Sun's cloud computing initiative, said that there would be many different types of opportunities for cloud computing, including private clouds comprising virtual datacenters that provide massive pay-as-you-go scalability. Sun is expected to announce further details on its cloud computing strategy in March.

Here's a couple of short videos of John Roberts and the guitar intro.

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