SugarCRM Version-Release Policy and Support Policy
Sugar announced a new product release policy in September 2017. According to this policy there will be
- 4 Releases per Year for On Demand.
- 1 Release per Year for On Premise Customers.
There 4 releases are
- Sugar Summer Release – tentatively falling in July.
- Sugar Fall Release – tentatively failing in September.
- Sugar Winter Release – tentatively falling in January.
- Sugar Spring Release – tentatively falling in April.
All the on-demand Sugar customers get new features and bug fixes every quarter of the year. Whereas the on-premise customers get the new features and bug fixes during the Spring Release that is falling tentatively in April.
As Per the SugarCRM’s Support Policy, all on-premise releases are supported for 18 months from the General Availability date or from the date of release of the version.
Sugar released its last 7.x version for On-premise customers in 2017. And from then onwards it started giving a new number every year.
- Sugar 8 is released in April 2018,
- Sugar 9 is released in April 2019
And Sugar 10 is going to be released in April 2020 for both On-Demand Customers and On-Premise Customers.
Let us understand what is the impact of not upgrading Sugar to the latest 9 version.You will miss the new features and enhancements.Sugar releases new features and enhancements aggressively through the quarterly releases. Sugar product team constantly researches the features most of the customers want to have and tries to prioritize the feature release.
So essentially as a customer you are paying a price and not using the new features that are provided.
So you may have the same need as other customers but when you implemented Sugar 7.x or 8.x, you might have chosen another mechanism for servicing that need. Because at that time Sugar had not provided those features.
So it is time to review your needs and use Sugar to the best possible extent. Otherwise, you feel you are paying more for the product. You may be missing some of the most important features of the product that might improve your ROI.
So when your on demand customers are using some of the features with the automatic upgrade, as an on premise customer you are not using them. Some of your employees who may have used other products may feel Sugar has less features than the competitor.
Major Feature Releases in Sugar 8.x and 9.x
- Significant Performance Improvements.
- Better User Interface for enhanced user adoption.
- Enhanced Workflow Automation Features with SugarBPM.
- Data Privacy and GDPR Support.
- Quotes and Quote Line Items.
- More out of box reports and Drillable dashboards.
- Enhanced Email module features.
This article takes SugarCRM Enterprise Edition as the base for feature discussion.
Significant Performance Improvements
No matter how proficient users become at working in SugarCRM, they can only operate as quickly as the system allows them. Sugar made huge improvements in 9.x versions by tuning a lot of performance parameters, so end users can access the information they need quickly..
There is a very good performance improvement in terms of loading speed of list view, record views and accessing linked records etc. Sugar RESTFul API has been optimized with measurements showing improvements in List View performance of up to 600% when large datasets are used.
Filter API is one of the most commonly used RESTFul API of SugarCRM . It is used to load List Views, Dashlets, Subpanels. It is the most commonly used API for integrations that need to synchronize data between Sugar and any external system.
In a nutshell, if you do not upgrade your instance to the latest 9.x version, your application access appears to be slow, users spend more time and the IT department spends more money on hosting.
Check with your key users if you need to immediately upgrade your Sugar to 9.x version.
Enhanced User Adoption
User adoption can be improved by two areas :
1.Better User Interface – Users like good UI and good Colors
2.Better User Experience – Users like the application that is easy to use.
Sugar’s better User Interface
Sugar has completely changed the defaults colors of its application to make it more attractive and clear to the Users.
The base colors have been improved from black and grey to white background. This improves the visibility of the text well and the reports colors. The dashboards and reports both in the desktop application and mobile app look attractive in 8.x and 9.x
Sugar’s better User Experience
Sugar has added many features in 8.x and 9.x that make the life of the user simpler. It made efforts to predict what is the next action that is expected by the user and made it available with fewer clicks than 7.x. Let us look at some of these features that enhance User Experience thus paving the way for better User Adoption.
Editing via Preview and Subpanel Preview
SugarCRM has introduced a Detailed View and Intelligent pane for showing the record view. The intelligent pane is used for showing dashlets and also quick preview of the sub panel records. The below picture depicts the practical example how to edit the record view preview.
In Sugar 9.x the preview pane can be used for editing the record. Instead of opening the record in the detailed view, the preview pane itself can be used for editing and changing the records. This feature makes the users who migrated from excel to wonder how simple and usable Sugar is.
Service Level field
The Service Level dropdown field has been added to the Accounts module and to custom modules built using the Company template. It can be used to capture each account’s customer service tier.
Sugar introduced a Tags module to create grouping of records adhoc. And then these tags can be used for global search.
Sugar’s Customer Support Improvements
Customer support executives are always on the calls and noting the discussion quickly is a very important need. Prior to Comment log, customer support executives use a call log or notes module for keeping the notes. Getting to the old discussion is a cumbersome process of accessing multiple calls and notes records. .
With a comment log, you executives can keep adding their discussion on the main detail view of the record. And it is recorded with the corresponding executive name.
Comment log field is a default field for Bugs and Cases modules. It can be added to any other modules.Comment log entries are expandable and collapsible as per the user’s convenience. This new feature enables users to foster collaboration and provide a time-stamped record within Sugar so that everyone is on the same page.
Follow Up Date field
The Follow Up Date field has been added to the Cases, Bugs, and Data Privacy modules as well as to custom modules built using the Issue template. This helps you not going to the Meetings and Calls module for setting up the next follow up activity. Reducing a few clicks for the executives.
Resolved Date field in Cases Module
Sometimes cases will be reopened after they are declared closed. But now the Resolved Date field automatically clears if the case is re-opened. And when the reopened case is closed, the new date gets reflected as the close date.
Enhanced Email module features
In Sugar 8.x, Sugar has moved the Emails module to Sidecar framework. The list view of the email module is available like any other stock sidecar modules like Accounts or Contacts.
In addition to this the Email module has ‘n’ number of new features like creating more default Email signatures, and configuring Multiple Outbound emails. With multiple outbound emails, users will have the ability to send an email from the other user email ids. Emojis can be added to email text as well as other modules.
Quotes and Quote Line Items
Sugar has introduced Quote Configuration features in the admin area to choose what quote line item fields to be captured in the Quotes module.
Admin users can configure the available fields and their order for quotes worksheets, generating clear, comprehensive, and accurate quotes for prospects and customers. Prior to Sugar 9, these types of changes required costly code-based customizations. Now they can be done inside of Sugar with all-new and upgrade-safe capabilities.
Quote’s Product Selection Dashlet
When we create a quote from the product catalog, the selection of products happens with 2 clicks and a pop up. With the new version, a product catalogue dashlet placed in the intelligent panel helps in choosing the product easily.This improves the user experience of the sales team that gives quotes to their customers.
To Know More about Sugar 8.x Features please read — Our Bhea Blog “Sugar 8.x Features”
To Know More about Sugar 9.x Features please read our Sugar 9 Review Blog — “Sugar 9.x Features”
Enhanced Workflow Automation Features with SugarBPM
Sugar introduced in 8.x a new framework called SugarBPM for business process automation. It has combined the process author modules and workflow definitions modules into a comprehensive ecosystem.
With SugarBPM you can create a Case based Escalation Matrix or Quote Discount approval process.
To know more about SugarBPM and its power – please access “What is SugarBPM“ .
Comprehensive revamp of Report Engine
Reports are the most valuable tools in sugar which helps users to build, generate and manage information for all modules. Sugar has introduced new 110 stock reports to make the users work easier. The users can use these stock reports and can rebuild new custom reports according to their requirements. 60 of these new reports come with charts that you can bring into your dashboards to give everyone on your team an at-a-glance view of the most important business metrics.
All the reports based dashlets are made as drillable reports and scheduling has been improved. The below picture depicts the Data Visualization in Reports.
From Sugar 9.x all types of Reports can be exported to CSV.
To know more about Stock reports in Sugar 9.x please go through “SUGARCRM REPORTS AND DASHBOARDS“
Data Privacy module and GDPR support
Data Privacy modules and roles are introduced the moment GDPR support has been enforced in Europe. Data Privacy module allows users to record and track data privacy requests and events. With advanced versions this module has been improvised a lot like earlier when the data has been removed from the Data privacy module but it is still available in Database.
But from 9.x the users in the Data Privacy Manager role can immediately and permanently erase personal information fields from their Sugar database via erasure request in the Data Privacy module.
Users can now generate a unique link to send to customers which, when clicked, will mark opted-out email addresses as opted-in, ensuring your customers are giving clear and explicit consent to future communications. This feature can be used to enable double opt-in capabilities.
With so many improvements, if your SugarCRM version is Sugar 7.x or 8.x it is time to move to Sugar 9.x and prepare for the 10.x
Welcome 9.x to experience new Sugar
Bhea is a leading SugarCRM partner implementing SugarCRM for more than a decade. Please do not hesitate to Contact Bhea if you are keen to upgrade your Sugar instance or enhance your Sugar implementation.