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August 29, 2014 Business Technologies

SugarCRM CE vs Pro Edition

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By Sonja Fridell

1. About SugarCRM CE vs Pro Edition

SugarCRM has a free, open-sourced version called Sugar CE. So how does SugarCRM Community Edition (CE) stack-up vs Professional? To give some background, Sugar has been the fastest growing CRM provider in the last six years. SugarCRM uses Community Edition to allow potential users to get their feet wet with Sugar’s interface, hoping that once people use it they will then migrate to a paid edition — “Professional” or “Enterprise” for ever-larger businesses.

Sugar Community Edition is not hosted in Sugar’s cloud, it is a non-SaaS (Software as a Service) or “on-premise” edition (you can still run Professional on-premise). CE is a free download that lives on your web server. For a full comparison between Sugar CE vs. Professional, download our comparison guide for both software platforms.

2. So what’s the difference between SugarCRM Community Edition vs Professional?

To use the Professional version of Sugar, you need to buy a minimum of 10 user licenses. Sugar CE is a good starting tool for very small businesses looking for a great product and a free intro CRM, but does not give you nearly as many features as Professional Edition. CE really isn’t a version you can really grow your business with forever. CE has limited functionality compared to the paid and (optionally) hosted versions, Sugar Professional and Sugar Enterprise.

3. Top eight features in professional not in Sugar CE:

  • Sales forecasting/prediction modeling
  • Contract creation
  • Quoting and estimation
  • Creating marketing reports (segmented email lists)
  • Integration of automation platforms (Net-Results, Pardot, HubSpot, etc.)
  • Customized dashboards
  • Access to SugarCRM support and knowledge base
  • Plugins for Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel, etc.)

4. Top five reasons people move from CE vs Pro:

  • Need the ability to build reports 
  • Can’t build workflows in CE
  • Want to restrict user permissions by creating roles
  • Want Sugar to be hosted in the cloud with automatic software updates
  • Free support (that’s a big one)
  • Want activity stream with social integration like chatter

Community Edition is a great way to dive into the world of Sugar. Be weary that if you do use CE, you will face a migration cost to move to professional unless you start fresh. Be sure not to develop a gigantic database in CE or the migration will be more challenging. If there is loads of customization in CE it can become even more of a problem once you move to professional.

5. Download our full CE vs Pro comparison guide:






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