Software as a Service (SaaS) is a wonderful model for enterprises and end
users that don’t want to deploy software on their own infrastructure. But
what happens if you want to set up your own SaaS business and don’t want to
just pass of customers to a big SaaS vendor?
That’s the general idea behind professional open source vendor SugarCRM’s in
development Sugar Data Center Edition (DCE). Sugar DCE enables SugarCRM
partners to effectively have control of their own SugarCRM SaaS deployments.
The new SugarCRM offering comes as both the CRM and SaaS marketplaces heat
up with Salesforce.com and NetSuite pushing to grow share and revenues.
“What this is essentially is SaaS in a box,” Martin Schneider Director of
Product Marketing at SugarCRM told InternetNews.com. “It’s packaging
up our infrastructure and allowing our partners and our customers to take
advantage of that to deal with multiple instances of Sugar from one
SugarCRM already offers a SaaS offering called Sugar On Demand which is
where the technologies for DCE were refined. The DCE version will enable
third parties to do On Demand themselves with systems management, monitoring
and provisioning tools for Sugar.
The DCE is a more viable approach to deploying multiple instances of Sugar than simply using virtualization according to Schneider. In a basic virtualization scenario a provider could simply clone an instance
of Sugar and run it on multiple virtual machines. Schneider argued that
Sugar DCE is a bit different. He explained that DCE includes subscription
and license management tools as well as activity reports that are all
customized for the needs of a Sugar deployment.
“If you’re doing Sugar this takes the legwork out of it,” Schneider said.
“We’ve been building it for ourselves and this works. It’s highly available
Making more money
Fundamentally though, the Sugar DCE is about enabling the ecosystem of
SugarCRM channel partners to make more money.
“I used to be an analyst and I’d see SaaS partners with Salesforce and
NetSuite get a little bit of money up front but when they renew the vendor
would come in and push them out,” Schneider alleged. “We’re not trying to do
that, we want to give our partners the power to create highly verticalized
and localized solutions so they can control more of the margin and more of
the revenue over the lifecycle.”
Schneider added that the benefit to SugarCRM is they get some of the
license fee and the Sugar brand expands.
“With SaaS the vendor is also the service provider,” Schneider said. “We’re
trying to let our partners be all of that.”
The DCE itself is not Open Source, though Schneider noted that it will still
benefit open source users. Schneider argued that a partner could just as
easily deploy the community open source edition of SugarCRM as the
commercial version. SugarCRM is available under a dual commercial and open
source license model. Since the 5.0 version
the open source license has been the GPL version 3.