Why You Should Care: As the recession drags on, businesses are looking for more cost-effective IT, and Intelestream is pitching its version of the open-source SugarCRM in hopes that it fits the bill
The Lowdown: Intelestream got its start as a services company, providing consulting, implementation, data migration and training services built around open-source software such as SugarCRM, Compiere's ERP applications and Talend's data integration software.
"We help companies displace their old, antiquated legacy systems wand their big [operational] price tags," said Ray Stoeckicht, vice president of consulting services at Intelestream.
Last year, however, the company began developing its own Software-as-a-Service CRM application based on SugarCRM, tailored for such vertical markets as the recruiting/staffing industry and real estate/property management companies. Now the vendor is in the early stages of assembling a channel partner program to enlist solution providers to work with its Intelecrm application.
As IT budgets get tighter, more businesses are looking for alternatives to what Stoeckicht says are more expensive CRM applications, and he said Intelestream is having some luck dislodging Salesforce.com and other CRM software suppliers. Combine that with many customers' lack of experience working with open-source software and Intelestream sees opportunities for solution providers who can combine Intelecrm with the right mix of consulting and technical services. Stoeckicht also sees small and mid-size companies that rely on Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks and Sage Act for managing their sales and marketing efforts as good candidates for Intelestream's offering.
Stoeckicht said Intelestream is still working on the details of its partner program, including the criteria for the program's partner tiers, the amount of discounts offered at each level, the geographies to be covered and program participation fees.
Some partners will likely resell the Intelecrm service and provide first-line support for customers, he said, while others will just reference-sell the service and leave customer support to the vendor (Stoeckicht said that because the product is based on open-source software, actually turning the code over to resellers would be problematic).
Intelestream has already been working with about a dozen solution providers who carry Intelecrm, and Stoeckicht said they would be the first recruits for the program once it's formally launched later this quarter.