Best Open Source CRM Software For Your Small Business
The rather noble philosophy behind Open Source CRM software deserves recognition. For small businesses, Open Source CRM software solutions will merit serious consideration in the near future.
Right now, however, Open Source is a bit of an unknown quantity from a CRM context, and especially from a small business perspective.
But this grassroots movement has already assumed cult-like status with major backers from IBM to astro-entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. Sun has also made Java fully open source. With this groundswell of support, CRM Open Source solutions will find themselves in the mainstream sooner rather than later.
The open source contender to Microsoft Office – Star Office/Open Office, is steadily eroding Microsoft’s market share as it proves itself a reliable, capable alternative.
What makes OpenSource products attractive are their price, depending on how the Open Source Foundation (OSF) price models are applied. Open Source products are ostensibly free. But there is a hidden price tag. Support is not that readily available, and comes at a cost. Your choice of software is still rather limited and a proficient IT person/team is necessary if you are to fully benefit from open source software.
So, approach with caution. Our ‘small business’ instincts are probably more tuned to the word ‘FREE’ than others, and Open Source CRM solutions could end up being a case of ‘false economy’.
If you are going to need to customize your CRM software, however, as is often the case, there is strong justification for going the Open Source route. Proprietory CRM software can be difficult and expensive to customize as the source code is not readily available, if at all. And using their in-house development services could end being extremely costly if you are not careful.
If you do opt to have a proprietory CRM vendor or one of their VAR’s (Value Added Resellers) do your customization, ensure your CRM specification is thoroughly thought through, right to the last full-stop!
Best Open Source CRM Software Solutions.
Highly Recommended. Founded in 2004, SugarCRM is one of the three largest global CRM providers. It’s a complete all-in-one CRM solution without any extra license fee for additional modules. Ideal for midsize companies and large enterprises, different versions cost $35 to $150/user per month – billed annually. A 7-day free trial is available.
Recommended SuiteCRM is an open source CRM platform that serves the needs of small to large enterprise businesses. The application offers you the ability to run the application locally or for it to be cloud-based. It is fully customisable and designed to suit the needs of all businesses across all industries. It has no user fees or any restrictions placed on number of users who can use the application. An extensive range of modules have been added onto the original version of the software over the years. Each module has been specifically tailored to assist with the various disciplines across your business such as finance, marketing, sales, issue management and administration all with the sole purpose of helping your business run more effectively.
ConcourseSuite (Concursive CRM). Previously called CentricCRM, it’s a J2EE compliant, open source CRM founded in 2000 by Concursive Corporation – a private media and open source software development company. Equally beneficial for small and large businesses, especially those with complex sales processes. Pricing for ConcourseSuite is a onetime fee of $750 (25 users). Pricing increases as the number of users increase.
Founded in 2004, it’s a feature-rich, yet cost effective CRM for small and medium businesses. The basic features of vTiger CRM cost $12/user/month, but extras such as additional emails or additional storage space can stack up the cost. A 30-day free trial is available. The features include Sales, Marketing, Customer Support and Calendar.
Odoo, formerly OpenERP, was started in 2005 and thrives in a unique and open ecosystem by combining the resources of its open source community, partners’ network and resellers. Odoo provides software that is not complex but is still full featured, tightly integrated, runs smoothly, and upgrades seamlessly. Their mission is to provide a range of easy to use business applications.
- Read How Small Businesses Can Leverage Open Source CRM Technology.
- For information about Open Source generally, go to : OpenSource.org
- For the largest download repository of Open Source products, visit: SourceForge
Do you have an experience with a Small Business CRM Software or CRM company others can learn from? Why not share it!
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September 8th, 2014