Today's guest post comes from a man who needs no introduction; John Mertic of SugarCRM. John wears many hats including, but not limited to, Community Manager at SugarCRM, author, speaker, board member of OW2, and secretary of the OpenSocial Foundation.

See Part 2: What a diversified ecosystem means to you, as a customer…

If you haven’t had a chance already, go read Sugar’s very own Martin Schneider’s recent blog post on SugarCRM as “The Nexus of Engagement”. It quite eloquently called out our position as a “best of breed” provider in the CRM market space. This means of instead forcing our customers down one particular path for a complete solution, we look to compliment their existing software stack. This in the end, makes a more complete solution for the customer (look for a post later this week where I’ll dive more into that)

“Best of breed” is a great buzzword, but what does that mean to you, as a provider of integrations? How is the approach more enabling to innovation?

One thing I tell most people when I describe SugarCRM, and for that matter CRM in general, is the common fallacy of “one size fits all”. You can’t just go around the corner to Staples or OfficeMax, buy a copy of ACT!, drop it in your CD-ROM drive, and be ready to go these days. Customers demand interoperability; they don’t want their people to have to log into multiple systems to get their jobs done. They don’t want to be bottlenecked by systems that can work together. They want to engage easily with the people and departments that can help them close business faster and with more efficiency.

But you’re probably asking “Why not just get an entire organization on a single software stack then?” Many argue that’s an ideal world, but I for one coming from a more UNIX philosophy of having one tool do one thing really good just don’t see it that way. Organizations want choice and flexibility, and don’t want to be locked into one particular vendor across the board.

This fact alone is the key enabler in the Sugar ecosystem. Every customer out there is unique, with unique users and customers, all trying to improve the way they sell and service their customers. This creates an unparalleled opportunity for you as an integration provider to be innovative, taking CRM to places it’s never seen.

Go make that happen ☺