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  • Joe Wichowski 9:10 am on January 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , SugarCRM   

    TCG – The year ahead… 

    Happy New Year!  On behalf of all of us here at Traction Consulting Group, we hope your holiday was awesome, and you are ready to get-after-it in the new year!  As a primer to some of the innovations we have set for our customers in 2012, here are some of the exciting things we are working on:

    1. BizBoard – Our streamlined web-enabled metrics system is ready to engage your management team. With it, teams will be able to combine metrics from ERP, CRM, Spreadsheets, and other database applications – all into a single dashboarding solution. In addition, each metric will have an associated “Action List”. So not only will the metrics help you better understand your company, but they will also prove as a central hub of activity to improve where there is work to be done. This solution works from any web browser, including iPads and other tablets.
    2. BizBoard Mobile – We don’t want your iPhone or Android to be left out.  To that, we have created BizBoard Mobile, specifically formatted for phones with web browsers, to better react to just-in-time information while on-the-go.  Alerts are set up to push to users on a daily or hourly basis.  For example: customers and orders requiring follow-up, salesmen not performing to goals, opportunity not closing, and more.  Users can then interact with these alerts, and track them over time, giving them mobile tools to quickly react to changing business data.
    3. Traction LMS– As part of our ongoing focus of Mentoring & Training as an extension of the Development & Support services we perform for our customers, Traction has created a Learning Management System (LMS) to help customers gain traction within their educational initiatives.  No longer will your employees struggle to find policies, procedures, instruction, and expectations.  With our LMS, teams will find a one-stop-shop for everything – Instructions and procedures, policies, how-to’s, tips and tricks, videos, and more.
    4. Traction Alerts – Don’t hunt for information – have the information find you.  Our alerts/reporting system for Salesforce.com, Microsoft CRM, and SugarCRM delivers just-in-time information directly to a user’s inbox.  So instead of salesmen “searching” CRM for information, the information is pro-actively delivered to them.  We have many generic reports, like:  This week’s customers & activities, Customers you haven’t visited in a while, This week’s birthdays, and Opportunity Follow-up; but we can also customize these or add any additional as needs arise.  We also include these services free-of-charge with our Managed CRM Service Agreement.
    5. Traction Intelligence – For Microsoft CRM Online and Salesforce.com customers, it is often best to have a “local copy” of the information in order to do extended reporting, analysis, and data integration.  Traction Intelligence provides you with exactly that – a copy of your Online information, directly in a local database your resources can quickly reach.  You can choose your database – our data pumping system does the rest.

    Thanks again for all your support in 2011, and we look forward to continuing our rock-solid quality, service, and value for you in 2012.

  • Ian Leu 11:37 am on November 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: SugarCRM   

    Sugar CRM continued.. 

    While Sugar CRM does a lot of things really well, I’ve noticed some restrictions in the Sugar workflows that leave this part of the solution with something to be desired (compared to CRM 2011). A few things I’ve noticed that CRM 2011 can do in the workflow engine that Sugar can’t:

    • Create a workflow that fires when records are created new without adding a condition. In Sugar, no workflow fires unless you add a condition (there should be some warning when creating a workflow for new records about this).
    • Retrieve the value from a current record to update other records.
    • AND/OR operators for conditions. In Sugar if you want to accomplish this, you have to create multiple workflow records.
    • Change the scope of which users the workflow runs for or are available to, in Sugar it either runs for everyone, or no one.
    • “On Demand” workflows. It is very nice in CRM 2011 to be able to select records and run a workflow against them manually.

    If you need to automate some simple tasks (like email alerts, or creating new records with hard coded values etc.) the workflows in Sugar works great. But if you need something more involved, you are better off writing a custom function and adding it to the logic_hooks.php file for the module.

  • Ian Leu 2:06 pm on October 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: SugarCRM   

    Thoughts on Sugar CRM 

    Working with Sugar CRM’s workflow engine (available in the Professional and enterprise versions) makes me miss working with CRM 2011, where the workflows are much more robust. Much of what would be a simple and quick task in CRM 2011 could only be accomplished by writing custom PHP code in Sugar, where you also have to take extra pre-cautions to make sure all of the customizations are “upgrade safe”.

    Using an existing field’s value on one record to populate a related record is a common requirement, and in Sugar, I had to write a PHP class that performs an update query in the database. While this is easy to implement, I can accomplish the same thing in CRM 2011 in a matter of moments with no custom code.

  • Joe Wichowski 12:16 pm on October 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , SugarCRM   

    What exactly did I do last month? 

    In this month’s Wired magazine, Clive Thompson talks about how Daniel Giovanni utilizes 4SquareAnd7YearsAgo to mine his 4-square check-ins.  He then gets a daily summary of where he was last year.

    What a simple idea, and a great concept.  Sales teams often forget about the repetitive nature of sales – they end up focusing on “This Month’s Deal” instead of also making progress and touch-points on ideas and connections in the past.

    This offers a great opportunity for our daily alert streams that we create for our customers.  By sending Sales teams a summary of where they were, who they talked to, and what they talked about – 1 month, 1 quarter ago, or 1 year ago “today” – we can help remind them of the conversations and activities of the past, to continually “work” the opportunities of the future.  (The Daily Alert streamer is one of the custom tools we’ve created for our customers – if you need additional details, please email me)

    If you don’t have our daily alert streaming system (or some other alert-type system), you could also facilitate this via a simple report or view in Microsoft CRM, Salesforce.com, or SugarCRM.  It won’t “push” to the user, but you could add it to your “Monday Morning Process” and train sales teams on how best to utilize it.

  • Kurt Higley 6:10 pm on April 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , SugarCRM   

    Should be interesting to see how Sugar integrates this into their current solution.

    SugarCRM buys Lotus Notes tools, cozies up to IBM

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