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Open-source customer relationship management (CRM) software specialist SugarCRM
announced its latest version of their flagship software solution, Sugar
6, is now certified for deployment on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud
computing platform. With the availability of Sugar 6 on Azure, SugarCRM
developers and users have more choices in deploying and developing
Sugar 6 in the cloud, the company said.

Azure is a “platform-as-a-service” in that all aspects of the
technology infrastructure below the application layer are managed by
Microsoft as a service. In addition, Azure includes both data and other
services layers to speed deployment and development times. Sugar 6
offers users integrated social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook
and LinkedIn, as well as any number of social media feeds, inside their
SugarCRM user interface.

“Sugar 6 on Windows Azure showcases the openness and flexibility of
the Azure platform,” said Prashant Ketkar, director of product
marketing for Windows Azure at Microsoft. “With great performance
coupled with the ease of deployment offered by the cloud, Windows Azure
is an ideal environment for Sugar developers, users and partners

SugarCRM first brought its CRM system to Windows Azure in November 2009.

SugarCRM said it plans to bring the power of Sugar 6 on Windows
Azure to market through its channel network, including regional value
added resellers (VARs) like Plus Consulting. Heath Flicker, managing
partner at Plus Consulting, said Azure and Sugar 6 represent the future
of CRM in the cloud. “Deploying Sugar 6 on Windows Azure gives our
customers the ability to deploy a flexible and robust CRM solution,
without the headache of managing hardware and other components
themselves,” he said.

“The availability of Sugar 6 on Windows Azure continues the great
advancements SugarCRM has made in offering organizations and developers
the most intuitive, flexible and open CRM solutions on the market,”
says Clint Oram, vice president of products and co-founder of SugarCRM.
“It is now easier than ever for users of SugarCRM on the Windows
platform to make the move into the cloud.”

Microsoft announced an Azure appliance during its Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference this week.