Magazine article CRM Magazine

Open-Source CRM

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Open-Source CRM

Article excerpt

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The Market

Open-source CRM solutions haven't exactly hit the mainstream just yet, but they have a lot going for them. They're often far less expensive and easier to modify than their proprietary counterparts, and if modifications are needed after deployment, programmers are usually easy to find. And while the past year has seen a continuation of the shift to a "freemium" model, the real momentum shift has centered around the hosted model. "The way vendors have packaged their solutions on a premium and pay-as-you-go basis has been a model for success," says Jeff Kaplan, founder and managing director of ThinkStrategies.

The Leaders

A Dempiere, a spin-off of Compiere, draws its strength from its developer and user community. It had been absent from our rankings since 2008, when it appeared as a One to Watch. This year, it climbs onto the leaderboard, mostly on the strength of its offering in terms of cost. The company scored an industry-leading 4.1 in that criteria, but the fact that it is mostly known for its ERP products kept it from rising higher in the other judging criterion.

Concursive, a staple on the leaderboard, led the industry this year with a score of 4.0 in customer satisfaction, but analysts also favored the company's very strong presence and robust set of offerings in the social CRM space, and the fact that its products are deployable individually or as a full suite in either software-as-a-service or on-premises versions. Also true to the opensource creed, Concursive boasts a developer and user community of more than 17,000 registered members, most of them operating in the Java/J2EE environment. Still, the company struggles with direction; like so many others in this category, it is trying to expand its reach beyond CRM to other business applications.

Consona again takes a place among the industry elite, bolstered by its 2010 acquisition of Compiere, a staple on CRMs leaderboard before the acquisition. The company, which has a strong presence in the cloud-based ERP space, was helped along by the second-highest score (4.2) in depth of functionality; in fact, analysts have warned that in some cases, much of the enterprise-class application's power is likely to go unused. The company also pulled in a better-than-average score (4. …

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