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Open Source CRM Learning Guide

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 technology trend.

Editor's note: This Learning Guide has moved. To access all the latest news and information on open source CRM,...

please click here. 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
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 Introduction from open source expert Bernard Golden  Return to Table of Contents
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.

About Bernard
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 bgolden@navicasoft.com.

 

 

What is open source CRM?  Return to Table of Contents
This was last published in August 2005

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