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Sep. 25th, 2008 @ 12:50 am CRM?
Current Music: Downoad (the band) - The Eyes of Sanley Pain
ok... so I have a possible gig writing a CRM (Custome Relationship Management) application for a company.

However I've never even heard of a CRM until I was talking to this company. The basic requirements (access/permission levels and maintenance, content management, and such) wouldn't be a problem.

So my question is : Has anyone ever dealt with a CRM before?
Are there any CRMs with online demos so I can see one in action?
I've been hitting google for the past 30 minutes but wanted to ask here also.

So any experience in this realm? This is going to be custom for this company (yes, reinventing the wheel to make it custom more or less but ohwell) but want to see some working examples and hear more from others

And this may be off topic, but since I'm going to be developing it (php 5/mysql/apache) I'm hoping this is ok for here and everywhere it's x-posted.
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Date:September 25th, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC)
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Why not simply type in google "CRM PHP"?

In my quick search I found: vtigercrm, sugarcrm, opencrm, opencrx, and countless others written in PHP.

A CRM enables a company to track leads, and when they become sales, to customers and customer problem tracking and many other aspects besides. Its a program to link everything together in a business.

It may also be of interest to look at ERP such as OpenERP which is related to CRM
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Date:January 27th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
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You might want to consider Drupal, or possibly Joomla. These are CMS, or Content Management Systems. You use them to build websites with a lot of functionality already built in, so you can build complex websites quickly. Aside from the benefits that come with a CMS (built in user and role management, built in RSS feeds handling, comments, blogs, forums, etc) you would then have straightforward access to what my own research suggested was the best open source CRM, namely CiviCRM. Yes, it's out there already and maintained by a community of volunteer coders, as with most open source software. Both Drupal and Joomla can be used to drive CiviCRM. All three of them are written in PHP and use MySQL.

I'm not saying it will be easy. CRMs are complex and even using an out-of-the-box solution will have challenges for you, but far fewer than one you code yourself. CMSs also take some ramp-up time. Both Drupal and CiviCRM are open source, i.e. free for you to download and use. The same for Joomla and also good is Plone if you are a Python guy (though here you would have to use Salesforce as a CRM, and this is only free to qualifying nonprofits).

NTEN's recent survey of CMS systems ranked Drupal highest in overall satisfaction, out of open source and expensive closed source CMSs. And guess what was ranked lowest? Well, lowest was custom solutions! Why? Because small teams just can't compete with a global network of hundreds of community members volunteering their time. the shared knowledge and effort has resulted in a ton more functionality and an exceptional amout of testing through live use. However, all CMSs have their challenges. As a general rule they are a penknife (can do many things), but sometimes you need a potato peeler. But if you need a CRM then a CMS is a good idea.

If I was asked to give a client a CRM today I would not hesitate and would go the Drupal+CiviCRM route in a heartbeat.

Some useful links:

Edited at 2009-01-27 04:05 am (UTC)