The Pros And Cons Of Open Source CRM

Customer Relationship Management or CRM is a software for managing the company’s relationships and interactions with the base of existing customers and potential customers. But CRM is more than just an organized list of contacts. It contains the details about each customer, their orders and transactions history, the status of the sales process. It also helps the company to improve profitability, to manage sales, to organize the work of customer support team, workflow processes, to set up a marketing strategy. It has some helpful tools and different bonuses to improve your company’s efficiency and productivity.

At IDAP, we can build a custom CRM that will meet all your business needs. One major advantage of a custom CRM over an open-source one is the fact that it’s built especially for your business.

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Over the past decade, the attitude towards open source software changed greatly. Today one can choose between a commercial CRM and an open source CRM software according to their business requirements without quality loss. More and more businesses discover advantages of open source solutions over their commercial equivalents. Here are some of the open source CRMs you must have heard about:

  • SugarCRM
  • OpenCRX
  • VtigerCRM
  • SplendidCRM
  • ConcourseSuite
  • OpenTaps
  • CiviCRM

Open source software is any software which you can get free of charge and modify it yourself in accordance with your business needs. The value of open source CRM comes from the fact that it can easily be customized because of the source code in free access. Using the open source code of the existing CRM any developer can make specific changes and as a result, you can a get a relatively cheaper solution for your work compared to other variants. But is it the only one advantage of using open source CRM? We decided to analyze the pros and cons of open source CRM. Read the article below to clarify all the nuances.

Pros

Cost-effectiveness

Usually, open source software is free of charge while enterprise variants include a license payment. To be fair, the cost for support of open source software can be more expensive, because skills required to maintain it are more unique. For an enterprise company, the adoption open source CRM may come with significant training cost as the users lack the knowledge and experience. However, the fact that open source CRMs require no licensing fee remains a decisive advantaged compared to the commercial software. Besides, open source CRM is easier to manage, you don’t have to keep an eye on how many locations it is installed due to the absence of license issues.

Customization

Whatever the market offers, it is still quite difficult to build the CRM that would fit all companies’ needs, unless you overwhelm it with all possible features, some of which will still be unused and some will be absent. So, in this case, anything customizable is a good thing. One can alter the source code according to their requirements, which is one of the most considerable advantages of open source CRM software.

Community & Support

Open source solutions often have thriving communities around them. United by the same idea, these people, who are professional programmers, are eager to support and improve a software that brings benefits to both enterprises as well as the community. Thus, the global community is enthusiastic about polishing the product, so you can rely on them in receiving the help and support you need.

Four eyes see more than two. So the collective power of talented enthusiasts working for the public weal not only delivers more ideas but also provides quicker solutions for troubleshooting whenever new issues arise.

Transparency & Security

Open source code means you receive full access to the code base including all discussions by the community members about functionality development and bug-fixing. Contrary to enterprise CRMs with the closed code base, the risk to face unexpected limitations or other unwelcome issues is almost eliminated. Open source software’s code is usually more secure as it gets a more thorough review by the community members. Another argument for open source code CRM refers to the fact that it has a relatively smaller user base and thus it is of less attractiveness for virus and hack attacks.

Cons

Restricted Functionality

Usually, the functionality of open source CRM is limited to the number of core features, and if you are looking for a more sophisticated solution, open source CRM may not be a perfect choice for you. The same thing about smooth GUI and other external attraction. However, with an additional investment, you can extend the basic functionality and UI of an open source CRM according to your requirements.

Limited Support System

There is no service center where you can come with your claims and get timely qualified help. The support of open source CRMs usually comes from vendors on different forums and communities. As they do it free of charge and in their free time, you cannot always rely on their response as it may come with the delay or contain not accurate information. Anyway, you have a choice to be patient or add more funding for expert support.

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Hidden Costs

Even though there is no initial payment for installing an open source CRM, it does not mean additional costs would not follow. To change the source code according to your needs requires hiring a professional developer which means extra expenses unless you have your own IT staff. Apart from that costs, you might need to set up a server and firewall infrastructure for accurate operation of your CRM.

Compatibility

As there is no aim to hit the mark when developing an open source software, you may face the fact that some files are not operating correctly on your operating system. Many open source software vendors create drivers for the most commonly used operating systems like Windows. You get the relevant software you need again to rely on third-party specialists and to wait for an update or attract paid programmers.

Conclusion

Open source software such as CRM can be an excellent solution for your business. However, its adoption by your company may take a long time and hidden expenses. To minimize all possible risks a thorough analysis and comparison of costs and time required in case of open source CRM and its commercial analog should be made before taking a decision. Thus, using open source CRM for all business scenarios cannot be recommended.

About Author
Osho is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on TecheHow.

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