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Apprenticeship at SalesAgility

 

This week is the Scottish Apprenticeship Week, and SalesAgility, the driving force behind SuiteCRM, is one of the businesses that is committed to support apprenticeships. Last year, hundreds of businesses took part in Scottish Apprenticeship Week, and the involvement of apprentices, training providers, colleges, councils, schools and others made it a big success. To make 2018 even bigger, we’ve created a case study containing the experiences from one of our apprentices and his mentor at SalesAgility.

“Scottish Apprenticeship Week highlights the commitment of businesses who have decided to invest in the skills of their workforce” said SDS Chief Executive Damien Yeates. “It also shows the success of individuals who have chosen work-based learning through an apprenticeship to get a qualification and develop their careers. From Shetland to the Borders, employers across Scotland are seeing the business benefits of taking on apprentices. With support from Skills Development Scotland and new types of apprenticeships available this year, there’s never been a better time to get involved in work-based learning.

Continue to read our case study below, and get insights about how it is to have an apprenticeship at the company that makes open source software used my millions all over the globe! Alternatively, you can also download and print the case study in PDF format.

Are you interested in an apprenticeship opportunities at SalesAgility, please contact Jenni McDonald on +44 01786 585499 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Apprenticeship week case study SalesAgility

SalesAgility is a well established open source CRM Consultancy with our HQ in Stirling, and offices in London and Zaragosa Spain. We are the driving force behind SuiteCRM, now generally acknowledged to be the world’s leading open source CRM solution.

As a company we are actively engaging with schools and colleges to inspire and get to know students who may be interested in a career in Software Development. With over a decade of experience in delivering bespoke open source CRM consulting, continuous company expansion enables us to increase our skilled team on an ongoing basis, and we enjoy growing our own talent!

Greg Soper is the Chairman and Founder of SalesAgility, and this is his inspiring view about hiring young people:

I left school at 16 and went straight into IT as a career. I’m now Chairman and Founder of a successful software company that employs more than 40 people, is approaching £2m in turnover and is growing at 40% year on year.

If anyone should know that the primary qualifications for a successful career in IT are aptitude and attitude, it’s me.

That’s why we take youngsters straight from school into apprenticeships. If you’ve got a passion for IT and a talent for IT, we can give you a career. We can give you the knowledge, discipline, insights, methods, understanding and experience to make IT a career for life.If you want to do it and can do it then come and talk to us. We take great pleasure from the progress of our youngsters into mature and confident IT professionals.

Cameron joined SalesAgility as an IT Support Apprentice in August 2016, aged 16. He has successfully progressed through the first year of his apprenticeship programme, gaining a qualification in IT & Telecommunications SCQF 6. Now he’s working as System Administrator, and continues his learning with the Linux System Administrator qualification.

Read how Cameron has enjoyed his time so far as IT apprentice:

This first few weeks were really great! I came into a really welcoming environment and was given small tasks where myself and Will (my mentor) worked through them together to help build my knowledge and confidence. This allowed me to learn in a way that was best suited to me, through visual and trial/error, rather than just reading information. I learn better in a hand’s on environment. Uni or college did not seem the sensible choice to help me learn and advance to the best of my abilities. The apprenticeship allowed me to thrive in my learning whilst getting my foot in the door with job experience for my future working life.

I’ve learned how to evaluate and progress IT support cases, working to complete them within the defined SLA (service level agreements) while learning about the SuiteCRM product through the community forums, documentation and playing around with the CRM.

Working and gaining a qualification was all about managing my time and I had lots of support from my mentor and the rest of the team.

Now I am going into the second year, my role has totally changed. When I started off working in support I dealt with the low priority cases, now I am a System Administrator and working independently of the Support Department. I am working with senior team leads to set up all the photon servers, building docker and our new infrastructure, including all our migrations. This is more challenging and allows me to learn a wide range of new topics and skills.

SalesAgility is a great place to learn! The team offer plenty of support and guidance to help achieve tasks and goals. As an apprentice I am treated no differently to any other staff member and have been welcomed into the company team. The work environment is very inclusive and fun.

I think apprenticeships are a great alternative to college/uni. There seemed to be a stigma that apprenticeships were only for low achievers or manual labour, luckily the view seems to be changing! Many different industries can now embrace apprenticeships, as they benefit the company and the youngster involved. It allows the apprentice to earn money while learning and gaining work experience, which I personally see as a huge advantage, especially as many graduates are struggling to get jobs within their industry.

Taking on the mentor role can be a challenge and Will, SalesAgility’s Support Team Lead, tells us about his positive experience:

Cameron was the first apprentice in a support role so I wanted to ensure I provided him with the tools and knowledge to learn. I thought there would be a lot of groundwork involved in getting Cameron up to speed, being able to provide support to our clients, but Cameron picked things up very quickly and showed that he was a very mature and intelligent 16 year old with a great attitude.

When a new member of staff starts you always go back to what you first did when you join as a junior. Going through the whole process and getting someone to a level of autonomy in providing support gets you involved in the day to day tasks more, as in the Leadership position you are involved less in the details but in ensuring your team perform at their best. Teaching Cameron made me a better Team Leader and he re-motivated me with his enthusiasm.
Cameron fitted into the team well (only 3 at the time, now a team of 5). Cameron has proved his willingness to learn and his ability to work independently by forming his new role as System Administrator and taking ownership of this, pushing forward the most innovative infrastructure we have had in my time at SalesAgility.

I am always happy to spend time with new members of staff and apprentices to impart the knowledge as this is what I received from my Team Leader. To be successful, an apprentice has to have the right attitude, drive and commitment to not just achieve goals and tasks but to exceed them as Cameron has done.

As a company SalesAgility is actively engaging with high schools and colleges across Central Scotland to provide career insights to students who may be interested in a software development career. Our involvement with the Developing Young Workforce Forth Valley group has helped greatly in building relationships with the local schools and further reinforces our commitment to youth employment across the region.

We are providing work experience to students who show the right skills and aptitude for software development. Our aim is to have a talent pipeline of motivated young developers who will hopefully become future employees as we continue to grow. Young employees bring a fresh enthusiasm to learn “hand’s on” and improve their own skills and working practices. Developing quality skilled employees helps us better meet our customer needs and we believe that people who feel supported, empowered and proud to work for us do their best.

At present we have 4 apprentices, working in different areas of the business, talented young individuals adding value to the team. Our apprentices all work towards a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in IT & Telecommunications over the first year, followed by a second year tailored to the individual job role. All new team members are mentored by our experienced team leaders and have access to further training/certification to suit specific job roles as an integral part of the process. Not only is this beneficial to the young apprentices but also to our existing team members, as it makes them look with fresh eyes at the tasks in hand.

Future business growth demands additional talented team members and we believe that apprentices/junior developers have a definite role to play in our company expansion.

For any further information on apprenticeship/junior developer opportunities within SalesAgility, or to organise a career insights session for a group of students, please contact Jenni McDonald on +44 01786 585499 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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SalesAgility names new CEO

 

SalesAgility has announced that, after eight consecutive years of growth and successes, Greg Soper will step aside from the CEO role. At the same time, SalesAgility also announced the appointment of Dale Murray as the new CEO. Dale was one of SalesAgility’s the first employees. Starting as a Software Engineer, Dale moved into Business Analysis and set the templates and standards for the Consulting division. For the last three years he has been Head of Consulting and has been closely involved in developing and executing the company’s strategy. His industry experience and personal skills make him the perfect CEO to continue to grow SalesAgility.

Greg Soper will remain active in the business taking on a new title of Chairman and Founder. Greg’s primary role going forward will be the internationalisation of the SalesAgility brand.

A recognized legacy

Greg Soper founded SalesAgility, the company behind SuiteCRM in 2009. Under his leadership SuiteCRM grew to be world’s most popular open source CRM. With a community over 86,000 people, a download count of over 800,000 and an estimated user count of over 4 million users, SuiteCRM has made a massive impact in the CRM industry.

My job as CEO is donesaid Greg Soper.It was to bootstrap an open source company, build the product and build the team. If we’re going to meet our objective of being the world’s most used CRM application in the next 10 years, SalesAgility needs a different skills set. I’m delighted that the next CEO comes from our team. Dale has been responsible for delivering CRM success for some of the world’s largest companies. He knows CRM inside out, he understands open source, he is deeply immersed in SalesAgility’s values. He’s an excellent manager, a great people person, well respected by customers and colleagues and I’m confident he’ll lead the team to even greater success in the future.

Many will be surprised to see Greg Soper stepping down, because his enthusiasm and drive to create a better world with true open source is renowned and inspiring. But although Greg steps down as a CEO, he will continue to spread the word and promote the company and SuiteCRM at events around the globe. He will also lead the drive to create SalesAgility subsidiaries and form joint ventures globally to further ensure successful standards-based implementations of SuiteCRM internationally.

Continuing with the vision

Greg’s leadership and passion has created a strong foundation which provides us a platform from which we can growsaid Dale Murray, CEO of SalesAgility.We are at an exciting time for open source CRM” added Dale. “Many large organisations recognise that the current landscape of proprietary solutions is a barrier to innovation and deployment. Open source overcomes the obstacles that proprietary software creates. Done properly, CRM is pervasive, agile, cost-effective, and is tightly bound to organisational processes. SuiteCRM ticks all those boxes. The SalesAgility team and I are looking forward to the future with great confidence.

Competing head-on

A key element in growing the company is the new SuiteASSURED – a fully supported, discrete build of SuiteCRM, created to provide total care for enterprise-class customers and other large organisations. With SuiteASSURED compliance-driven companies get the freedoms, quality and innovation of open source, and the security, warranties, and indemnities of proprietary software, together with extensive support. Under Dale Murray’s leadership this new product is expected to become a game changer in the CRM market.

About SalesAgility

SalesAgility is the driving force behind SuiteCRM, world’s most popular open source CRM. SuiteCRM is a fully featured CRM, that can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud, allowing organisations and enterprises to be in full control over their own customer data. Powered by a highly skilled team, SalesAgility provides SuiteCRM services that include support, consultancy, custom development, migrations, and training, as well as SuiteASSURED: a fully supported, discrete build of SuiteCRM, created to provide total care for enterprise-class customers and other large organisations. For more information, visit https://suitecrm.com or follow @SuiteCRM on Twitter.

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SalesAgility launches SuiteASSURED, the world's first warrantied open source CRM

SalesAgility, a global leader in open source Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) and the maintainers of the SuiteCRM project, today announced the release of SuiteASSURED. SuiteASSURED is a separately maintained, tested and product-managed build of SuiteCRM, the award-winning open source CRM used by some of the largest companies around the globe. SuiteASSURED is designed for organisations who operate compliance driven environments or who require additional software assurances or intellectual property warranties that are not provided with SuiteCRM.

SuiteASSURED is the world's first assured and warrantied open source CRM. It offers protections and guarantees more usually associated with proprietary software while maintaining the quality, freedoms and innovations of open source software. SuiteASSURED provides assurances that include indemnifications in case of IP issues, and warranties for the performance, security and reliability of the software.

For compliance driven organisations such as financial services and healthcare, open source can be a challenge to adopt because of the explicit lack of warranties and indemnities in most open source licences. SuiteASSURED is a game changer for such organisations. It enables faster innovation at greatly reduced costs as well as contractual guarantees more usually associated with proprietary vendors.

You can enjoy all the advantages of a mature open source product, such as stability, rapid development, high levels of security, peer audited code, open standards, and affordability; but with SuiteASSURED you also get the assurances, warranties, indemnities and long term support your organisation needs.

"With SuiteASSURED, we are clearing the way for all companies, regardless of their requirements, to deploy the world's leading open source CRM", says Greg Soper, CEO of SalesAgility Ltd, "We are granting them more freedom, more rights over the code, while affording them a much better total cost of ownership and total warrantied confidence."

Pricing for the SuiteASSURED CRM application is on a per site basis and is determined by the banded number of users. For more information, visit the SuiteASSURED website at www.suiteassured.com.

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SugarCRM End Of Life doesn't mean the end of your CRM

The EOL spells the demise of this once inspirational application, however, don't worry, you won't need to rush out and upgrade to SugarCRM Professional quite yet.

Here are facts you need to know:

SugarCRM CE – SugarCRM Community Edition is one of the longest standing Open Source CRM applications. In 2013/2014 it was announced that SugarCRM would no longer be releasing Open Source versions of the community edition, it would be a bug fix only. So, for the last 3 years there have been no new features, innovations or version releases, just security and bug fixes.

What does EOL mean? End-Of-life means that the specific version of the software will no longer be supported or maintained by its authors. Once the EOL date has passed (15th of July 2107) Sugar will no longer provide any updates or support for the product.

As of July this year, if you find a bug you have three options: live with the bug, hire a programmer to fix it for you or migrate to a supported CRM application.

EOL is not to be compared to the “Y2K“ or “millennium bug” situation where the fear was that after this date your program/application would suddenly shut off and not work. EOL means that you will not receive any maintenance patches, bug fixes, updates, support or security fixes. The application will still work.

Looking more closely at vulnerabilities, the application will not suddenly become a major security risk, however, it is never recommended you continue with a system after End-Of-Life. From a security point of view, the application will be more vulnerable to hackers etc. There have been a number of security issues flagged up about SugarCRM CE over the last year.

A recent blog post by Egidio Romano who has a real passion for computer security has identified and highlighted a vast array of vulnerabilities with the SugarCRM platform especially the CE Edition. Most of these issues have been addressed but there are a number which remain outstanding and now will never will be fixed. As time passes these vulnerabilities will increase as Sugar CE will become the target of choice for malicious hackers and script kiddies. There is little in the way of high quality support from third-parties, community support and now no support from the vendor come the 15th of July 2017.

All is not lost. SuiteCRM, like Sugar, can be deployed on premise or SAAS. SuiteCRM is a fork of SugarCRM and it too is an Open Source application and available to use free from charge. Unlike the community edition, SuiteCRM has innovated and expanded on the SugarCRM code for the last 3 years. Nothing on SuiteCRM is hidden behind a proprietary backdrop. Everything is made available from the enterprise ready CRM from the onset.

With SuiteCRM sharing the core code with SugarCRM it means that the transfer between both applications is less troublesome than moving to a completely different CRM. SuiteCRM have also resolved more of the security bugs which were identified by Egidio and will continue to provide updates and patches. The great news is that last month SuiteCRM published its LongTerm Support strategy for the product. We are guaranteeing our support of our Open Source CRM product beyond the next 5 years,  giving you peace of mind and assurance that SuiteCRM is hear to stay.

If you require any advice on what to do with your SugarCRM Community Edition or you would like more information on SuiteCRM solution then please get in touch with me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01786 585 499

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SalesAgility and Apperta release SuiteCRM NHS Edition

This week SalesAgility and the Apperta Foundation announced their partnership to deliver SuiteCRM NHS Edition. Based upon the award winning open source SuiteCRM application the enterprise ready CRM application is now available on the Apperta Github for general use across the NHS, Local Authorities , health and care related sectors.Led by clinicians...
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