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At SugarCRM's SugarCon 2012, IBM's VP of sales transformation, Gary Burnette, gave a
presentation about IBM moving to "social selling", a move that will dramatically change its selling
process. The new sales approach requires a new CRM infrastructure, which does not yet have an
official label, but has at its core SugarCRM along with a plethora of IBM technologies. Something
that was not mentioned, but came out after a direct question from Ovum, is that this nextgeneration
CRM infrastructure will over time displace the incumbent CRM product Siebel. Doing a
migration, even over time, of an enterprise application used by tens of thousands of sales
representatives worldwide is a non-trivial exercise.
What is just as interesting is that this major move is happening below the regular news radar, with
neither IBM nor SugarCRM doing the usual press and analyst outreach. However, as the
implementation progresses, we expect IBM and SugarCRM to do this once they have proof points
on business results and technology advances. For now, IBM is in the critical transition period of
replacing a system from one major partner with that of another.