Open Source CRMs for 2020
Two Open Source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems to consider in 2020
Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with (and customizing) numerous CRM systems for a variety of businesses. Since a client had recently asked me which I would currently recommend, I thought it was high time I checked up on the various pros and cons from two of my favorites and lay them out for my clients and affiliates.
Both packages are ‘Open Source’ meaning the ‘community versions’ of their source code is freely available to use and modify by anyone. However both companies also provide the software as a service (SaaS) that encompasses hosting and support on their own servers for a monthly or yearly subscription. Another revenue generation tool for both systems is via additional paid modules that add functionality to the base systems.
Both packages are therefore running remotely on a server (in the cloud) and your data/files are stored within remote databases and distributed storage clusters. Users access the software via their browser or mobile devices.
Realistically the target audience for both systems is Small to Medium sized Businesses (SME/SMB) with between 5 to 50 users. Although Odoo is especially capable of scaling well.
At it stands, at the end of 2019, Odoo and VTiger are rated somewhat similarly on various rating websites.
Comparing specifications of an iPad 2018 model with its 2019 counterpart is one thing but, in my opinion, comparison websites that attempt to place complex software side by side end up comparing apples with pears and it can often be misleading.
Odoo (8.1 / 10)
VTiger (7.2 / 10)
Odoo (4.23 / 5)
VTiger (4.35 / 5)
Personally I prefer the User Interface of Odoo, it feels more modern and certain aspects like the Kanban Pipeline work really well, blending simplicity with a perfect level of functionality for most users.
extending the system for client needs
As a software developer, I was originally swayed by VTiger due to the programming language (PHP) rather than Odoo (Python). This was a simple business decision based on the availability of PHP developers and based on my own skill sets and additional experience in PHP. Although in recent years I would say that is less of a concern within the market.
The nature of the product being sold will drive how the system is used. Certain clients may have a real interest in the reporting functionality and expect to generate a great deal of management information from sales figures. Both Odoo and VTiger boast excellent reporting tools and allow filters to be applied to the sales data within a large range of dimensions. Other clients are interested in linking their website to the CRM and creating a pipeline of leads from external inbound marketing platforms.
Sharing of data and collaboration with colleagues is important in business that have larger sales teams or more hierarchical internal staffing structures.
The end result will vary for each client. There really is no such thing as a standard CRM system – every company will have a different set of priorities and the final implementation will function very differently.