SugarCRM Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

SugarCRM Reviews

Updated 14 November, 2018
167 reviews

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3.1
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SugarCRM CEO Larry M. Augustin
Larry M. Augustin
98 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "They treat employees pretty well - good work/life balance" (in 7 reviews)

  • "I've found SugarCRM a great place to work" (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • "Growing pains, competitive market, and low name recognition" (in 10 reviews)

  • "Occasional lack of communication between the headquarter in the US and the office in Munich, which is quite common in global organizations" (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Support"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great people! Good pay. Management is pretty supportive as well.

    Cons

    Pushes out too much, too quickly.

    Advice to Management

    Slow it down.


  2. Helpful (12)

    "SugarCRM as a Company after 7 Years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advanced Support Engineer in Cupertino, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Advanced Support Engineer in Cupertino, CA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SugarCRM full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Sugar does a great job of providing people with the opportunity to be involved with their community. Volunteer options were always coming up. There was never any pressure to volunteer and to my knowledge no one was 'volun-told' they had to participate.

    - Strong understanding of their financial situation post 2016. Leadership in the finance department tightened the pocketbook, but was willing to explain why and work with departments to ensure continued, but measured, growth.

    - One of the finest support organizations in the world, as proven by customer feedback. Support leadership that understood how their organization could benefit the company and did a good job of keeping curious employees informed.

    - An excellent internal applications team who aren't afraid of turning down projects or pushing back when things don't make sense.

    - Individuals who care deeply about their job and helping the company succeed. Friendly, professional, and smart people who light up when they are asked for help or an opinion or an opportunity to grow.

    - Solid snack selection and a weekly lunch for HQ employees. May not always be something you want to eat, but the option was there.

    - Good benefit prices and coverage for people who are healthy, Kaiser Permanente is set up more for keeping you healthy rather than trying to deal with you being sick.

    - I was never expected to work beyond an 8 hour day. In fact I was asked to make my manager aware if I ever felt the need for doing so. Management felt that represented a failing on their part for not providing enough resources to address the problems at hand.

    - Pretty HQ campus as of 2017 and a good location for nearby restaurants or after-work entertainment options. A nice place to go for a walk and a convenient mini-Target for any mid-day emergency purchases.

    - A product that's actually pretty darn good when compared to its competitors.

    Sugar is not a bad company. Claiming it is the worst company ever is definitely hyperbole. Sugar is not the best company, saying so would be ignorant. Like any company it is run by human beings who have to struggle with the prospect of running a company 300+ people rely on for their financial well being.

    As I said during my exit interview, "SugarCRM is a great place to get your feet wet and to find out what you do and don't like about the tech industry. You can make a career here, but for many people it will be a 1 - 4 year stop on their career path."

    Cons

    - A small fish trying to swallow the proverbial CRM whale that is SalesForce.

    - Confused marketing directives. Play to your strengths, don't spend all your effort comparing yourself to the name everyone knows. There were several 'attack ad' style campaigns that ran in my time there. Not a good look to some people.

    - Difficulty recruiting and maintaining people. Just about everyone I knew at Sugar outside of Support left within my first two years for many of the reasons other reviewers, even the most recent ones, have highlighted.

    - Pay. If you're looking to be paid fairly for the work you'll be asked to do or the chaos you'll be expected to put up with, it won't happen. SugarCRM's pay is probably 10% lower than industry average and about 15% lower than SF Bay Area average. Management will tell you that the benefits you receive more than cover the spread, but that sentiment won't pay rent or the mortgage.

    - Despite an earlier mindset, remote employment is actively discouraged, particularly within Engineering. Long-time employees including development leads or senior architects, were given ultimatums to move to HQ or find employment elsewhere.

    - Corporate silos. Each org struggles communicating with the others. Non-managers are often discouraged from interacting directly, without first involving management. This gets really discouraging when you sit next to a Software Engineer who has one of the bugs you filed up on their screen and you want to offer assistance.

    - Pushing the product forward. While it does look pretty and operate pretty darn well, Sugar could probably due with a complete codebase rewrite. PHP is not a particularly hot language anymore and it is starting to show its age and limitations. However, convincing Engineering Management to create a team that rewrites the core codebase is going to be darn near impossible.

    - Talent recognition and retention. This probably goes hand-in-hand with pay, but like many organizations Sugar definitely suffers from too many managers who know someone. There are talented individuals who want to be at Sugar, but eventually break down and force themselves to leave because;:
      - Sugar won't give them the pay they feel they deserve.
      - A manager they may not report to but are forced to work with has been proven to be incompetent, but instead of being fired is promoted to a position with more responsibility, more power, and more opportunity to influence a product they don't understand.
      - They've hit the ceiling within their department, which their manager did not anticipate and therefore was caught blind when asked, "Where can I go from here?"
      - Despite showing competency in another business area, requests to investigate that area as a potential future career path are denied, blocked, or endlessly strung along.
      - Senior leaders who have driven success within an organization are pushed out/forced into retirement despite their success.

    - Focusing on trying to take the company public despite recent industry examples. The board and C-level executives constantly talk about going public / getting ready to IPO. Considering the last few tech IPOs and how horribly those have gone, pushing that narrative shows a concerning lack of awareness.

    - Failed acquisitions of technology. Sugar has purchased a few interesting technologies but regularly fails to implement them into the product, even at a base level. These aren't competitors it is buying up and shutting down, they are existing products that would be beneficial, there's just a poor vetting and integration process in place.

    Advice to Management

    Get back to your roots. Be the plucky CRM that's better at the medium scale, 50 - 500 users. Big user counts mean big dollars, but they also mean big problems that you're not setup to address.
    Gut your PM team and go poach from your moderately successful competitors, before they go to SFDC.
    Really listen to the people who work there, take stock in their wants and needs. If it means abandoning going public, so be it.
    Stop taking on additional technical debt, solve your own even though doing so isn't sexy.
    Reward individuals who have shown exceptional talent and passion for the product and company. Find ways to retain them, instead of ignoring them until they begrudgingly leave for other opportunities.

  3. "account exec"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great teammates in all departments

    Cons

    growing pains slows business decisions


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Engineer and Development Disconnect"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Cupertino, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Cupertino, CA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SugarCRM full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Decent salary and benefits, even for remote employees.
    - Great people to work with
    - Flexible hours
    - Great IT support
    - A lot of opportunity for self-driven creative solutions, learning, etc.

    Cons

    I worked as an engineer in Enterprise Services for over five years, and the most glaring issues were miscommunication and mismanagement of people and products.

    Management constantly talked about bringing code from custom products into core and pushed engineers into doing "demos" of custom product function to facilitate this. Yet demos almost never translated into code being merged back into core. In fact, the process for getting code merged back into core was a mess, even for basic updates or simple bug fixes. Trying to get a new feature merged into core was basically an imitation of Sisyphus, especially as a remote employee.

    Many of these custom features would have been highly beneficial to core. At the very least, it would've saved engineers a lot of time, especially on transitioning between projects, and it likely would've made the product more marketable, too. Of course, this takes a solid process and a bit of invested time for merging and testing. People talked about the benefits that would result from such activity all the time, yet it never seemed to happen.

    It took me a while to realize that management was simply that short-sighted. They saw a "feature" that would take 3 business days from 1 core engineer, 1 development lead, and 1 tester from working on short-term projects and meeting deadlines. Everybody talked about the big picture constantly, but management wasn't willing to assign the resources required to make any of it happen. There was always something more important in the short-term, and thus, management constantly dropped the ball on the long-term. This was particularly maddening for developers and teams who did the legwork of demos and presentations but found that even if their feature was lauded that there was nowhere for them to go.

    There was also a strong feeling of "keep off my turf" when it came to the code that cut the heart of out pretty much any collaboration effort that crossed project lines. If a project had highly motivated individuals who came up with an interesting feature or improvement, it would benefit the project, but rarely (if ever) the core product. And, even worse, it caused anyone with specialized technical expertise to be yanked from custom products, leaving them to "supervise" or "mentor" developers... to be clear, this was NOT helpful training for developers to learn new skills. No, we were told to defer to so-and-so for certain development issues, which resulted in a coalescing of talent and product knowledge that created a horrible bottleneck and often created terrible miscommunication.

    Ultimately, the short-sighted nature of SugarCRM management resulted in an incredible amount of waste. Wasted time, wasted talent, and wasted features.

    This was - and likely is still - reflected in the product documentation. Locating accurate documentation is nearly impossible, and Sugar 7 did little to change this. The so-called "Sugar Developer Guide" fails to provide incredibly basic necessities, like a birds-eye-view diagram of SugarCRM's custom framework, a list of all known/core keys used in the product, and defined enumeration value sets. (The fact that I even had to write that sentence is ridiculous, especially for a company that has existed for over a decade and provides a web-based product that uses multiple programming and markup languages.)

    There was a lot of push for better documentation when I was at the company. A lot of engineers had their own notes, and some of us shared them for the sake of sanity. More than one of us tried to get this information standardized and distributed on the company level, at least for the engineers. Some of us tried many, many times to push for this. You'd think that the benefits of having something so critical to good engineering standards would be higher on Sugar's radar, yet this very basic necessity failed to get any traction with the higher-ups, so it never happened.

    Also, the sales team and the development team need closer integration for Enterprise clients. Very often the sales team makes promises that the development team can't keep. Not only is it incredibly frustrating for both parties, it undoubtedly makes the client angry, too. Especially because the fix is so incredibly easy: get a developer into that conversation/room/pitch. That's all it would take.

    Advice to Management

    Innovative engineers need the ability to be effective beyond the scope of their short-term projects, otherwise you're just wasting a lot of talent, time, and money. Don't make your employees constantly badger leaders/management to get basic stuff, like merging new features into core, done. Also, find a way to eliminate the code turf wars, as they don't benefit the product, the company, or its employees.

    When it comes to basic stuff, get straight-forward processes into place, document those processes, and make sure engineers know about them.

    Don't schedule a dozen meetings where you discuss how important something is, reiterate how beneficial something is, and then do NOTHING to actually facilitate it. Talk to the developers outside of core for their experiences. Find a way to keep track of how much code (or how many features) are actually being pulled back into the product--this can give you an understanding of how much you are wasting.

    Set aside the time and resources required to achieve better product quality. Stop focusing on the quarterly numbers so much that you miss the big picture.

    Also, send the IT department a fruit basket. Or throw them a party. In all my years working at Sugar, I saw nothing but excellence from them, particularly C. Hicks. Great response times, great people, great support.

    SugarCRM Response

    26 Jul, 2018 – Manager, Global Talent Acquisition

    Thank you for your thorough feedback. Reading this was a bit of a trip down memory lane for us and a reminder of how far we’ve come as a company. You’ll be happy to know that a lot has changed in the... More


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Moving on"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at SugarCRM full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some good people, lots of snacks

    Cons

    Poor strategy and ability to execute, senior execs looking out for themselves

    Advice to Management

    None


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Good Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SugarCRM full-time

    Pros

    Good Management
    Good Leadership
    Flexible working hours and excellent location

    Cons

    Weak product unable to compete with the major CRM player on the market


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Trying hard, but stagnant in developing to potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SugarCRM full-time

    Pros

    Passionate co-workers, desire to improve

    Cons

    Lack expertise in some executive positions

  8. Helpful (12)

    "Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at SugarCRM full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free snacks and lunch. There’s not much else to say. Need to fill the 20 words minimum on Glassdoor. Done

    Cons

    - Lack of communication from the leadership. They pretend to care about the employees but really don’t.
    - There seem to be a mass exodus. Employees are resigning left and right for better opportunities elsewhere. All the colleagues that I know are looking or interviewing with other companies.
    - Execs keep preaching about going public at each company meetings but it’s been 14+ years, that will not happen anytime soon. Don’t believe this snake oil pitch.
    - There are no processes at this company. EVERYTHING is done manually.
    - That’s my PSA. Join SugarCRM at your own peril. Atleast now you know what you’re getting into.

    Advice to Management

    Management won’t take any advice. They will keep doing what they have been doing. There’s no point.

    SugarCRM Response

    24 May, 2018 – Manager, Global Talent Acquisition

    Thank you for your feedback. We welcome employee input as we take constructive feedback seriously and ensure it is always reviewed. We are sorry you have such a negative perception of SugarCRM. In... More


  9. Helpful (20)

    "Toxic people = toxic environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - People Operations in Cupertino, CA (US)
    Former Employee - People Operations in Cupertino, CA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SugarCRM full-time

    Pros

    This company has no redeeming qualities to speak of.

    Cons

    Employees are not treated fairly, your performance doesn't matter as long as you have a "friend" in management.
    HR asks current employees to write positive reviews on Glassdoor to counter the negatives ones
    Management doesn't take responsibility for bad decisions, but will happily throw employees under the bus to take the blame
    Turnover at the employee level is mind-blowing, yet bad managers linger here forever
    If you knew the number of former employees that have filed complaints with the DFEH and/or lawsuits against this company you wouldn't even consider applying to this joke of a company

    Advice to Management

    The way you treat employees will continue to come back and bite you! Get new leadership who know how to lead instead of point fingers and lay blame. Hire leaders who understand ETHICS and have a moral compass!

    SugarCRM Response

    7 May, 2018 – VP People & Places

    Thank you for your feedback. Allow me to respond to your comments in an open manner. We do encourage our employees to post reviews on Glassdoor, as we feel it is important to give them a voice to... More


  10. Helpful (5)

    "ok but chaotic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SugarCRM full-time

    Pros

    They never missed a pay day.

    Cons

    Things are often chaotic there.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on doing fewer things at once.

    SugarCRM Response

    4 May, 2018 – Manager, Talent Acquisition Programs

    Thank you for taking time to provide us your feedback. While we continue to be a fast-paced software company, our leadership team has put quite a lot of time and energy into a focused strategic plan... More