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Obsessive-Compulsive (I) Inmate

From: Washington, DC
Insane since: Apr 2008

IP logged posted posted 05-06-2009 22:13 Edit Quote

I'm the lead designer in a web & software team that contracts for a sub-agency of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS). Currently we're looking to buy a CRM solution instead of developing our own, as it's more cost effective and will have a better ROI to get a COTS package. Anyway, I've been looking at all kinds of CRM solutions, from Right Now to SalesForce to UCAP to FreeCRM and just can't decide what would be best for my team.

Basically, what we're looking for is a solution that has a very general, basic workflow built in for our processes. The idea is that this system will replace using e-mail for clients who wish to request updates to their websites, as well as help the developers we have track bugs and requirements for the software we develop. Right Now really offers the best solution for what we need, but it's simply too expensive (and will take too much time to acquire and setup anyway).

What it comes down to is this: I'm looking for recommendations from website designers/developers out there who currently use a CRM or task-tracking solution in their daily tasks. Please help! Thanks!

- Scott

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: 127 Halcyon Road, Marenia, Atlantis
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 05-08-2009 15:49 Edit Quote

I wish I could help you, but I didn't even know what a CRM was. I've looked it up, for the curious:

Customer relationship management (CRM) consists of the processes a company uses to track and organize its contacts with its current and prospective customers. CRM software is used to support these processes; information about customers and customer interactions can be entered, stored and accessed by employees in different company departments. Typical CRM goals are to improve services provided to customers, and to use customer contact information for targeted marketing.

While the term CRM generally refers to a software-based approach to handling customer relationships, most CRM software vendors stress that a successful CRM effort requires a holistic approach. CRM initiatives often fail because implementation was limited to software installation, without providing the context, support and understanding for employees to learn, and take full advantage of the information systems. CRM can be implemented without major investments in software, but software is often necessary to explore the full benefits of a CRM strategy.

Other problems occur when failing to think of sales as the output of a process that itself needs to be studied and taken into account when planning automation.

That wikipedia page mentions several open source CRM solutions, none of which I've ever heard of:

* EBI Neutrino R1 CRM java
* OpenERP - python
* Compiere - java
* Adempiere - java
* Openbravo - java
* Ofbiz - java
* xTuple - integrated ERP, C++
* Vtiger_CRM - php
* SugarCRM - php
* CiviCRM - php
* Opentaps - java
* XLsuite - ruby (RubyOnRails) - full stack CRM and ERP system
* ZohoCRM
* Info@Hand CRM - IT php

It's funny how I read that and still have no idea what it means. Has anyone ever worked with this before?

P.S. The wikipedia page also mentions that the most popular CRM software (41%) is made by Siebel Systems, so maybe you can start your search there?

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: cell 3736
Insane since: Jul 2003

IP logged posted posted 05-08-2009 17:09 Edit Quote

Some questions come to mind:
How many employees are going to be using it?
Do you need it mainly for CRM or for organizing your work?

Lots of companies use Jira for what you're describing. Small, big, open source and other organizations alike. But big companies never use it for CRM.
I'm not saying that this is definitely the best tool for you. Because I don't know your requirements. It's manly a tool for developers and for any other employees you may have if you learn how to configure it correctly. It may also serve as a very good CRM for a company that has say up to a hundred (or more, depends) of somewhat technically fluent customers. Can provide good transparency to customers if needed without compromising security.
edit: also very configurable, easy to extend (with java plugins and/or SOAP api), lots of free plugins, large community etc.

There's also a really good, sophisticated and customer-orienter product called HP Service Manager but it's really expensive afaik. Works very well for medium-sized to big companies.

(Edited by Arthurio on 05-08-2009 17:13)

Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted

Insane since: Sep 2011

IP logged posted posted 09-04-2011 16:32 Edit Quote

Another +1 for zoho here. It's actually a tool that combines CRM and project management functionality so that means it has more features. You can check more lists of tools here:

It has a list of the various tools with its features listed in a comparison table so you can compare its features with each other and initially evaluate them if it fits the tool you are looking for.

Another good CRM solution which is not in the list that is worth trying for is SugarCRM and Act!

Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted

Insane since: Apr 2012

IP logged posted posted 04-21-2012 13:50 Edit Quote

I have heard some good reviews about SugarCRM, it provides a central hub to manage and share all customer service issues to ensure that customer cases are handled efficiently and effectively. It has open source CRM platform which allows users to quickly and easily customize the system to streamline business processes to match specific requirements.

open source crm

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