Centric CRM Review

If you are considering an Open Source CRM solution, add "Centric CRM to your short-list. Their clients include many small businesses with less than 25 employees as well as multi-billion dollar companies that are successfully using Centric."

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Product
Centric CRM
Type
CRM Software
Product Author
Centric CRM
Reviewed by

on  June 5, 2014
Rating

**Major upgrade Centric CRM 3.0 launched.

Centric CRM is one of the major players in the CRM Open Source arena. It’s a mature product that is the result of 7 calendar and over 50 man years of careful development. CentricCRM has been architected to be cross platform, at both the operating system and browser level. Every major browser, including historical ones, are fully supported. Important if you have concerns about the currents security risks of the IE browser.

The more complex features can all be turned off by the customer, leaving a lean and mean contact management system with opportunity management and sales forecasting for the small enterprise. You could even use it just as a power Contact Manager.

There is a tremendous amount of customization that can be done from their administrative module.

Their CRM server supports MS Windows, various flavors of Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, and BSD. Centric ships with a full graphical installer, and a high performance SQL database. But you can use MS SQL Server if you already have it installed.

Centric CRM is not based on LAMP. This architecture was abandoned several years ago in favor of Java and a SQL database similar to Postgresql or MS SQL Server. This due to its potential unsuitability for large enterprise customers.

Centric is a fully J2EE compliant Open Source CRM application.

Centric has a free, fully supported five user version that you can simply download and install. When you purchase or download the free version of Centric CRM, there is no requirement for additional software.

More licenses will incur a reasonable charge, but their Maintenance Agreement includes all minor and major upgrades.

All in all, CentricCRM compares very favourably to other open source CRM offerings, like Sugar CRM, as well as other conventional ‘in-house’ CRM solutions like GoldmineMaximizer and SalesLogix.

Open Source based CRM software solutions are cost-effective if you have access to the necessary support. The solution must first and foremost suit your needs, though. But then you don’t need to be told that!

Read about major upgrade to Centric CRM v3.0 just launched.

CentricCRM v3.0

Centric CRM v3.0 has raised the bar once again in Open Source CRMs with more than 75 new features.

Here is a list of some of the new features of CentricCRM 3.0.

General Improvements include:

  • Centric CRM has been updated with a simple look and feel to promote productivity and usability.
  • The global toolbar can now be hidden for systems using a smaller screen resolution or for those users that prefer to use a smaller browser window —  recognizing that some businesses still use 800×600
  • 100% compatibility with Internet Explorer 5.0, 5.5, and 6.0
  • 100% compatibility with Mozilla and MozillaFirefox
  • 100% compatibility with Mac OS Safari

My Home Page

  • Managers can now view action lists for users in their hierarchy
  • Action lists can be reassigned to other users by a manager
  • Additional capability to reassign pending activities and document stores
  • Calendars can be subscribed to via iCalendar applications for offline access to calendar data, such as Apple iCal and Mozilla Sunbird
  • Managers can now subscribe to other users in a hierarchy

Lead Management Module

  • Brand new module for managing leads, from lead transfer, to lead qualification and to lead closure
  • Users can manually add contacts as leads
  • Leads can be imported from .csv files
  • Leads can be inserted from the HTTP-XML API
  • Users can review the latest leads
  • Users can work leads using round-robin lead assignment automation
  • Leads can be assigned, skipped, trashed, or deleted
  • Duplicate leads appear with a duplicate warning
  • Contact links are provided to Google, MSN, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves
  • Lead dashboard shows lead-to-contact conversion rate
  • Leads are worked using all of the tools from the contact module

Pipeline Module

  • Integrated with quote management module providing access to quotes and quote functionality

Contacts Module

  • New fields have been added to indicate primary address, primary telephone number, and primary email address
  • Additional fields include: contact source, contact rating, and text messaging addresses
  • Capability to send contacts an email with directions for updating his or her own contact information

Accounts Module

  • Custom fields and folders have been upgraded for quickly modifying and viewing custom fields
  • Integrated with quote management module providing access to quotes and quote functionality
  • Bi-directional account relationships have been added
  • Integrated with project management module to allow viewing of associated projects
  • Using the “move contact” wizard, contacts and contact data can be moved to other accounts
  • New fields have been added to indicate primary address, primary telephone number, and primary email address
  • Account documents can be accessed by a WebDAV client

Product Catalog Module

  • New capability for accessing company product and services information
  • Products and services can be categorized
  • Products and services have pricing information
  • Each product can be further customized with various options and option pricing

Quote Management Module

  • Brand new module for creating and managing quotes
  • Create quotes for contacts and accounts
  • Track the life of a quote by adding notes, adjusting the status and versioning
  • Email a well-formed PDF quote to the customer
  • Print quotes for faxing or review
  • Clone an existing quote to be used for the same account or for another account
  • Add products and services to the quote directly from the product catalog
  • Create products during the quote process for organizations that require ad-hoc products and services
  • Add terms and conditions from a reusable library
  • Add remarks from a reusable library
  • Personalize each quote with a company logo or brand logo
  • Link quotes to opportunities

Project Management Module

  • Dashboard quickly shows the latest project data from the last 24 or 48 hours, the last 2 weeks, or even the last 30 days
  • Project progress indicator shows status of a project at a glance
  • Team members can now include account contacts
  • Users receive an email when invited to a project
  • News articles can be assigned a category
  • News articles can be emailed to team members or to yourself
  • Projects can now be linked to organizations in the Accounts module
  • Users can record notes on project activities, which are indexed and searchable
  • Project plan indicator shows status of the plan, overdue activities appear in red, other activities appear in green
  • Project plans can be imported from Excel documents and OmniOutliner XML documents
  • Additional filters have been added to the project plan for incomplete/complete and priority
  • All project data is indexed and searchable including uploaded document content
  • Project documents can now be accessed by a WebDAV client

Communications Module

  • Capability to send campaign recipients an email with directions for updating his or her own contact information
  • Broadcast capability to send a communication to a campaign recipient’s email and text messaging address

Help Desk Module

  • Custom fields and folders have been upgraded for quickly modifying and viewing custom fields

Documents Module

  • Brand new module for sharing documents
  • Users can create multiple document stores, each with a specific purpose
  • Access to each document store can be provided to specific employees, account contacts, departments or roles
  • Permissions can be assigned for guests, contributors, and managers
  • Documents and versions can be uploaded to the store
  • Documents are immediately indexed with content indexers for Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, PDF, Open Office and HTML documents
  • Documents can be quickly searched for based on document content
  • Documents can be accessed by a WebDAV client

Employees Module

  • Custom fields and folders have been upgraded for quickly modifying and viewing custom fields
  • Managers can review projects associated with each employee

Administrative Module

  • Administrator can modify the industry lookup list
  • Multiple logos can be uploaded for use in the quotes module
  • Company information can be modified, which appears on quotes

Internationalization Support

  • Application accepts UTF-8 data for required languages
  • Added a dictionary for translating terms, phrases, lookup lists, and reports
  • Calendar holidays for Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, and United States
  • German language translation provided

Report Module

  • All reports upgraded to new version of JasperReports for added features and to support more reporting tools
  • Custom reports can include images using the “path_report_images” which looks in the fileLibrary “report_images” path

Developer Improvements

  • Compiles and executes with Java 1.5 and Tomcat 5.5
  • Added CRMConnection Class allows Java applications to easily exchange data with CentricCRM, including all CRM data
  • Object validation is now centralized for making changes and extending Centric CRM
  • All graphs now use new version of jFreechart for easy, professional graphing
  • All HTML “containers” are now drawn programatically

Enhancements

  • Exporting data now only has a single header row with the column names, which provides for easier importing

Fixes

  • CPU intensive documents no longer timeout during indexing
  • Project issues and issue replies are now properly indexed
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