Editor's note: This Learning Guide has moved. View the new tutorial to open source CRM
Welcome to SearchCRM.com's learning guide on open source CRM. Here you'll find articles, white papers, advice and resources to help you better understand and leverage open source as it applies to your own CRM strategy. From an introduction to open source-related terms to understanding the innovations in tools and technology, this is your best resource for getting up to speed quickly on this new technology trend. Drop us an e-mail to let us know what other learning guides you'd like to see on SearchCRM.com.
|TABLE OF CONTENTS
What is open source CRM?
Using open source CRM
Learn about the technology
Who are the open source CRM vendors?
Books and advice on open source CRM
Visit our other Learning Guides
One thing is certain: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is always evolving and improving. From its humble beginnings as stand-alone contact management software like ACT! and GoldMine, through enterprise packages like Siebel, up to today's latest wrinkle of hosted software from providers like SalesForce and NetSuite, CRM software has been in a constant state of flux.
Today a new breed of CRM software has come into view: open source. Offering the promise of lower costs, increased control, and user-oriented licensing terms, open source is becoming a mainstay of company IT infrastructures. Open source shifts the locus of control from vendor to user, enables users to modify products to their own liking, and allows flexibility of use. With open source, companies never hear the oft-feared statement: "Glad your rollout has been such a success. If your user population grows, we will of course require additional licensing fees."
On the other hand, questions remain about open source CRM. Open source has traditionally taken its place as part of the infrastructure; can it deliver business-oriented apps likc CRM? Many times CRM is purchased and run by marketing or sales organizations rather than IT; is open source CRM software capable of being successfully implemented by line-of-business groups? And, of course, a company's relationship with its customers is critical and private; can such a secretive relationship operate with software that is open for inspection by anyone?
My own opinion about the foregoing questions is an unequivocal yes. Open source is marching up the software stack and will impact every part of a company's IT infrastructure, whether low or high. Open source CRM offers tremendous potential and you owe it to yourself to understand its potential and trajectory.
Bernard Golden is Chief Executive Officer of Navica, a consulting firm offering open source strategy, implementation, and training services. He is the author of "Succeeding with Open Source" (Addison-Wesley, 2005), as well as the forthcoming "Open Source Best Practices." Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Definition: Open source (Source: SearchEnterpiseLinux.com, powered by Whatis.com)
- Definition: Linux (Source: SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, powered by Whatis.com)
- Definition: source code (Source: SearchWebServices.com, powered by Whatis.com)
- Definition: Mozilla (Source: SearchWebServices.com, powered by Whatis.com)
- Resource: The Open Source Initiative (OSI) Web site
- Resource: SourceForge.net
- Article: Getting your hands dirty with open source ROI, TCO calculations (Source: SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, 08/18/05)
- Article: John Roberts: Web services and CRM, a marriage made by spin, part 2 (Source: SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, 06/22/05)
- Article: SugarCEO John Roberts: Why CRM fails, part 1 (Source: SearchCRM.com, 06/17/05)
- Article: Canadian firm scores with open source call center (Source: SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, 06/01/05)
- Article: Is open source CRM right for you? (Source: SearchCRM.com, 05/27/05)
- Article: Open source bridges customer info gap (Source: SearchCRM.com, 05/23/05)
- Article: Can open source CRM deliver on its promise? (Source: SearchCRM.com, 05/11/05)
- Article: SMBs open to open source CRM (Source: SearchCRM.com, 11/10/04)
- Article: Open source makes BI move (Source: SearchCRM.com, 06/15/05)
- News: Start up takes aim at open source BI (Source: IT Business Edge, 05/31/05)
- News: SugarCRM releases 3.0 (Source: destinationCRM, 04/16/05)
- Article: Open source takes on business apps giants (Source: SearchEnterpriseLinux, 04/06/05)
- News: SugarCRM Opens Doors to Developer Community (Source: CRMDaily, 03/15/05)
- News: CRM among open source building blocks (Source: eWEEK, 02/14/05)
- News: Open source start-up unveils .NET-based CRM (Source: OETrends.com, 01/07/05)
- News: vTiger launches open source CRM (Source: ZDNet UK, 12/31/04)
- Article: CRM vendors begin testing the Linux waters (Source: SearchCRM.com, 08/02/04)
Editors' note: This section is not meant to provide a comprehensive list of all the vendors in this space. We've provided these vendors to give you a starting point from which to begin your research.
- Book: Open Source Enterprise Solutions: Developing an E-Business Strategy (Written by Gunnison Carbone, Alex Lesniak and Duane Stoddard ; published by John Wiley & Sons)
- Book: Open Source Software: Implementation and Management (Written by Paul Kavanaugh; published by Digital Press)
- Book: Succeeding with Open Source (Written by Bernard Golden; published by Addison-Wesley)
- Book: The Cathedral & the Bazaar (Written by Eric S. Raymond; published by O'Reilly)
- Advice: Thoughts on open source CRM(By Paul Sweeney, SearchCRM.com expert)