Change is inevitable.
Change is constant.Benjamin Disraeli
The Driving Force and Motivation
Our goal with SpiceCRM is to deliver the next level of Open Source CRM. We believe that with SugarCRM the Open Source part of the project has a great base but needs to be taken to the next level. Development of SpiceCRM is driven by a set of market forces and believes that are the base for the project and the successful collaboration in delivering a superior product.
We want to keep up the commitment to Open Source continuing where SugarCRM is leaving CE at this Stage. The core of SpcieCRM will remain Open Source and be available to the community driving and developing it further.
A core idea is to keep up a community that jointly drives the products core. Development should be driven by technology and Innovation but also by the customers and communities needs. The idea is to share what can be shared and allow cross utilization of new standards and ideas with the goal to make CRM more effective and affordable for everyone.
We want to keep Control on the product and the strategy and be able to drive it and influence the direction where the product is going. The power should remain in the hands of the team and community driving the product and not in the hands of single companies. We do understand that this process also costs time and effort but see this working in so many other products that we believe this will also work for CRM.
CREATE REVENUE OPPORTUNITIES
While we embrace Open Source as a driving pattern we are also focusing on developing strong business driving the Open Source Platform. SpiceCRM is also clearly intended to enable contributing partners to generate Revenue with extensions, services and support. The business Opportunity should be there for contributors as well as for companies using the provided technology.
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.Bill Gates
Vision and Objectives
We set a clear Focus and guiding principles for the development of SpiceCRM.
The focus for SpiceCRM is the enterprise market. Thus the technological layer as well as methods for operations, maintenance and configuration needs to be oriented on an enterprise customer’s needs. This is geared towards robustness of the product, capability to manage large and complex organizations as well as clear procedural driven IT operations.
Configurable & Deployable
The focus is to reduce the level of coding currently required to adopt SugarCRM and move this to a level of configuration where via settings in the system processes can be easier customized to match a customers need. At certain levels of customizations there will only be the requirement of extensions using custom coding but that should be an option not a prerequisite.
System changes in definition of metadata, configuration, languages etc. needs to be tracked by tools supported within the system to enable organizations to professionally operate SpiceCRM and be aligned with internal processes and Standards like ITIL or others. Quality of the software as well as quality of the change management and processes need to follow clear and standardized workflows.
Open Architecture and Standards
SpiceCRM will remain a product being based on open Standards. We intend and need to leverage industry leading frameworks (e.g. Angular JS, EXT JS) yet the choice shoud be clear and all developments as well as extensions should remain within that framework.
Performance, Scalability and Security
The Platform needs to follow the latest releases as published by the providers of the technology Stack (e.g. latest version of PHP, Database, Webserver, etc).
SpiceCRM must not be the blocking factor forcing a customer to not be able to upgrade the base platform to the latest, and for security reasons sometimes necessary, version.
Robust Functionality / Feature Rich
The first Phase Focus is to get the core platform right including an updated and state of the art HTML5 UI, mobile App as well as providing the underlying framework. Subsequently we want to step by step extend the existing functionality, extending where possible, replacing where this makes more sense than extending it, adding in areas where functionality is missing.
It is better to travel well than to arrive.Buddha
Areas of Focus
We know that Rome was not built in a day and that there is quite a task ahead of us. In any case we see several areas of improvement and focus along which we want to deliver enhancement and drive SpiceCRM to the next level.
We want to deliver a state of the art UI experience to the user. For the beginning we will leave the Technology as is, but update to a new theme.
In parallel we launch SpiceCRM Mobile as a new Mobile App for iOS and Android. The Design is based on Google’s Material Design, the app is built on ionic and supports full customization, full offline support, reporter integration and other features.
Targeting mid 2017 we plan to deliver a new User Experience based on an Angular 2.0 App and the Lightning Design Framework from Salesforce.
With Q4/2016 we will release a deployment manager that will allow controlled deployment from development to production environments supporting well defined processes and path with quality gates allowing proper operations of the system.
During the course of 2016 this is supposed to be enhanced by a tool supporting the change request management. Allowing to document processes, change requests, the workflow to support the change requests from creation to delivery and the implementation. This tool will be linked to the deployment manager.
Also during the second half year of 2016 we will release our Territory and Authorization Management that is already implemented with several of our joint existing customers. This will bring a proper authorization management to SugarCRM allowing also to manage large organizations properly.
First deliverable still in 2015 is a new REST API for SugarCRM it will be the base for connection of the mobile App as well as the next level of KReporter. Subsequent steps planned for Q1 2017 are a Language Manager that enable easy management of language label accross the application as well as a meta data manager that will change the way to look at metadata. A layoutmanager to manage screens replacing the current studio in SugarCRM will follow in 2nd half of 2017 for the new UI.
Accompanying new releases of the underlying technology (PHP and others) we will deliver updates to support these new stacks.
Still planned for Q4/2016 is a Full text search based on Elasticsearch integrated into Sugar. Furthermore a Outlook Exchance connector that syncronizes server side as well as an Outlook Plugin is to be done until end of 2016
Following in the second half of 2016 moving into the course of 2017 the target is to enhance SpiceCRM with new functionalities. Some enhancements will be fixes to current poor functionalitites (like Activities or Lead Management), others will focus on completing functions (like Support Management and Ticketing) others will focus on delivering new functionalities (like Sales Document Management, Project- , Activities- & Expensemanagement and others).
Also released is Reporting (with KReporter 4.0 becoming an essential part of SpiceCRM) as well as a Workflow engine as part of SpiceCRM.