Using wMaps in SugarCRM

Here it is, the one you’ve all been waiting for… using Maps in SugarCRM!

I often get asked this by existing customers and potential customers looking at CRM’s if there’s a way to use Maps with the CRM data.

I thought I’d write a detailed article about how this can be done in SugarCRM. You may have seen that late last year, SugarCRM acquired W-Systems; I was delighted with this news, I’ve always been an advocate of the cool plugins that these guys built for SugarCRM, and one of them is the maps functionality.

So the plugin is called wMaps; it’s an installable module that you can plugin in minutes via the Module Loader in Sugar. It integrates with Microsoft Bing Maps. You can view any list of Sugar accounts, contacts, leads, targets, opportunities or any other Sugar module plotted on a map. You can also see quickly what accounts or leads are in closest proximity to each other and plot the results on a map or generate directions for a visit.

I’ve listed some of the functionality along with some supporting screenshots that I’m doing right now using the wMaps plugin in a demo version of SugarCRM.

Search Sugar Records by Distance from Post Code

You are holding an event and would like to invite all customers within 50 miles from the event location, or you are visiting a customer, and you have some time on either side of the meeting. You would like to quickly see what other customers or prospects you have within a certain radius of that postcode.

Using wMaps, you can filter on the accounts list view using a new Distance search option and specify a postcode distance.

You can save the result set to a Sugar target list for marketing purposes.

The below screenshot shows the results from the filter I created; the results that are generated also shows the distance that the company is from the postcode you used:

Map Sugar Filtered Records

You would like to see the distribution of customers or prospects in a specific territory.

With Sugar, you can draw a territory on a map, and any customers you have in that area will appear; the first screen is showing you the filter, once clicked show map, you’ll then be able to draw on it, it reminds me of Rightmove actually, when searching for a house, you can draw a specific area to see the results.

On the next screen, once you’ve clicked ‘show map’ as you can see some drawing tools to be utilised, you can also choose how you want the map displayed; road, aerial, streetside etc.

So I’m going to draw around London see what results I get…

As you can see, any Accounts I have in the drawn area are then displayed in the list view below.

Map Current Records

You have a new prospective account and would like to get some geographic context and take a look at their office building. wMaps can produce a map that can be zoomed in all the way to the aerial photo detail of the building or location in question.

For this particular one, I like to see then when I’m actually viewing the Account record, so I just added the wMaps dashlet on the intelligence pane on the Account record, like below:

As a user, I can amend the settings in the dashlet to either show me streetside view or other views, like below:

Generate Optimum Driving Directions

You are planning to travel to visit a group of customers or prospects and would like to generate the best driving route. I know this particular function is not being used a lot now as we’re not going anywhere!

From a filtered list in Sugar, select the specific accounts you would like to visit. wMaps can generate optimal directions and display the directions on a map.

The directions can be emailed to your phone to integrate with maps on the phone.

So I’ve selected below several Birmingham Accounts; I’m now going to generate the route options:

On the Filter options, there is one for ‘Map Directions from Users Address’ that’s the one I selected which generated the below:

As you can see, I’m Jim, and I live in London; all of the Birmingham customers are close together, so if I zoom in to the map, we will see them:

Show Closest Records

You are visiting a customer and would like to see a list of the closest prospective customers or other customers so you can plan some additional stops.

wMaps will calculate the relative distance between the current record and all other records and then show you the closest ones.

From the list of closest records, you can place them on a map or generate optimum driving directions.

You can see all of this just by looking at the Account. As you can see from the below, there is a subpanel with this information:

You can toggle each of those filters there, so you can generate directions, either from the record you’re viewing or from your address, view them all on a map. You can change the radius of the results and choose whether you’d also like to include any other module data in here, such as Opportunities or Leads within the set radius of this Account and a few more settings.

 Send to Mobile Device

You have generated a map or directions and want to send them to your own phone or a colleagues phone.

Any wMap can be sent to your phone via email.

wMaps, of course, relies on the records in Sugar having a correct address. Here at Provident CRM, we've helped customers integrate their SugarCRM application with postcode finders and auto address software, removing the need for any user to complete any address details manually.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you'd like to know more or want to see this in action on a live demonstration, send me a message. Grinning

I'll be writing more articles soon about the other excellent plugins that W-Systems created, which are now part of the Sugar portfolio!

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