Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Learn about X2Engine 4.0 at April 9 meetup

by Sara Isenberg
Publisher, Santa Cruz Tech Beat

X2Engine announces latest release

SugarCRM co-founder brings expertise to X2Engine

John Roberts came to Santa Cruz to start a CRM company. The 20+ year veteran of the customer relationship X2Engine_SCwavemanagement industry left the successful SugarCRM in 2009, a company which he named and co-founded in 2004. SugarCRM began the radical open source revolution in an industry which had previously been chained to the “lock-in” business model. The CRM scene has changed since the introduction of Sugar. A company with a sharp focus and new philosophy founded on visibility and usability was able to shake up the market. In 2011, John started X2Engine in the budding Santa Cruz tech environment to do it again.

X2Engine got its start in the (then) newly established Cruzio building downtown. The Cruzio office space made a good match for the “new start” mentality of Roberts following the relocation to Santa Cruz and his trademark rebellious approach to CRM. Roberts and his small team operated in “stealth mode” for months, just writing code and developing the software. The group produced X2Contacts beta in September of 2011, which, while featuring only a fraction of the functionality of its modern counterpart, still embodied the principles that are still at the heart of X2Engine today: an open source foundation and powerful user-side customization. Roberts touted the early project as a “leaner offering” that “focused on simplicity and adaptability.” His years of experience in the industry had taught him that many CRM applications had become “fat and bloated” with merely “noisy” functionality. X2Engine was designed to be different.

First commercial edition in October 2012

The early days of X2Engine saw the brand continue to grow simply by word of mouth. X2Engine CRM steadily rose through the download ranks on Sourceforce and Bitnami, and the open source version code is still regularly updated on GitHub today. The team focused on development, without doing any marketing or pursuing any sales avenues. Roberts had felt that too many software start ups put the cart before the horse on that front, and stayed on the course of open source CRM development. After 18 months and installations in 115 countries, X2Engine introduced its first commercial edition, in October 2012.

Proud to be locally born and represent Santa Cruz

The design philosophy of being adaptable to any business model has rung true in the variety seen in X2Engine’s customers. The company’s clients come from a wide range of fields – call centers, vehicle sales, manufacturing companies, real estate and property management, business networking forums, IT support, health care providers – and they come from all over the world. X2Engine says they are proud to be locally born and raised, representing Santa Cruz as a bastion of the technology industry.

Release of 4.0 is a watershed moment

The release of version 4.0 is something of a watershed moment for the company. This release contains some of the advanced, in-house developed application features that the company hopes will set it apart in a crowded industry: X2Targeted Content – custom tailored web content, pushed to specific individual visitors; X2Identity – a non-cookie based “browser fingerprint” integrated web tracker; and X2Flow – a powerful, full-business automation system. However, the foundation of the application remains its quick and simple customer relationship management system, giving users at-a-glance information and (hopefully) increasing efficiency and effectiveness as a result.

4.0 Launch Meetup is on April 9, 2014

X2Engine is holding a free event to inform customers about the available functionality in its latest version. The company invites seasoned CRM users and newbies alike to join them for an interactive demonstration and Q&A session, including a user case-study by Comcourse, a client and everyday user of X2Engine. The event will be held at Cruzio on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 6:30pm.


Sara Isenberg publishes Santa Cruz Tech Beat for the benefit of the extended business and technology community. When she is not volunteering her time for the tech scene, Sara makes her living by managing software projects, web strategy planning, and providing development team services (including account management, vendor management, strategic partner management, beta project management, referrals to qualified technical team members, and more). Please visit her website: Sara Isenberg Web Consulting & Project Management, or contact Sara by email if you have any project management, account management, or Development Team leadership or service needs.


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