Open-source software has been steadily expanding across a wide range of applications. Many of us use open source solutions without even realizing it. Anyone may see and alter its code, as well as share it with others. In this article, we’ll define open source CRM and analyze its benefits and drawbacks.
What exactly is Open Source CRM?
When a firm or group exposes code to the public domain, the condition is that anybody who uses the code and improves it must also submit it to the public domain. As a result, development is carried out by a community of developers rather than by a single firm.
“Why would any corporation want to put code out there for anyone to alter?” you may be wondering.
It’s a perfect situation from the standpoint of the software provider. They provide clients with the fundamentals of the source code, and the customers customize and simplify the CRM to their needs. Customers are pleased because the CRM is personalized to their company practices, and the supplier is pleased because, if a fantastic new feature emerges from development, it can be implemented for additional customers.
The advantages of open source CRM software
You may be able to profit from open-source CRM in a variety of ways. Of course, they are only advantages if you have the means to use them effectively.
- Customizable: Open-source code is designed to be disassembled, tinkered with, and rebuilt. Your team may take the source code and transform it into anything you require. If you know exactly what you want and don’t want a lot of superfluous components, open-source CRM may be for you.
- Affordable or completely free: The majority of open-source programs are free to use. Some developers charge a fee for greater levels of assistance, although the base code is free. You may save a lot of money on license costs if you have the time and expertise to alter the code to your specifications.
- No commitment needed: Commercial CRM suppliers often need at least a few months of licensing commitment. This may result in you paying for a system that you dislike or do not utilize. There are no time commitments with open-source CRM. You may use it for as long as you want and stop using it whenever you want without fear of repercussions.
The disadvantages of open source CRM software
Every CRM system has its own set of constraints. The limits of open-source CRM are due to the underlying design philosophy.
- Limited functionality: If you want all the bells and whistles, open-source CRM might not be your best choice. Because much of the programming is done in people’s spare time, the emphasis is on important functionality rather than sleek GUIs and extensive integrations.
- Restricted support: Open-source CRM providers provide little support for their free versions. While there are some choices for premium assistance, if you’re going to go that path, you might as well buy the CRM. The majority of your help will come from developer forums, which may not answer fast or appropriately.
- Development issues: If you have onsite developers who can adjust your open-source CRM, there’s a good chance they’ll always be tweaking it. At some point, you’ll require a system that works and meets the bulk of your requirements. If your development staff is always “fixing” problems, the system will never be finished, and your employees may have to constantly adjust to the latest “fixes.” Worse, your staff may begin pestering the development team for new functions and features that were not on your list, thus delaying completion.
Open source CRM software to consider in 2022
In this section, we’ll take you through some of the best open source CRM platforms right now:
- Odoo: Odoo’s biggest benefit is its ‘extensible architecture,’ with a modular design that allows you to combine various functions. Odoo CRM’s open-source Community Edition integrates with the vendor’s 10,000+ applications, which are all designed to work together effortlessly. However, the open-source version of Odoo CRM has a steep learning curve, and you’ll need to take extra care while setting it up and executing it to avoid issues later. The invoicing mechanism is very cumbersome and reporting possibilities are restricted. Customer service is provided by app community members.
- SuiteCRM: SuiteCRM manages sales, support, and marketing, with a custom module, layout, and relationship development options that your IT staff will appreciate. This CRM has a dashboard that functions in real-time, which means that the arrival of new data reflects fresh statistics, which provide insights into things such as open project statuses, cash flow and pipeline indicators. Because it is community-based, helpdesk support might be sluggish. There is also a modest learning curve, and the integrations and functionality in the free open source version aren’t as developed as in premium ones. SuiteCRM does not link with ERP software, thus it may not be the best option if you need comprehensive business process integration.
- X2CRM: X2CRM provides an open-source edition that liberally shares code via GitHub, SourceForge, and Bitnami, inviting anybody to adapt it for their own needs. The program may be downloaded directly into a web server, but it is available with assistance when downloaded as part of a complete stack version as well. Many of the fundamental components from the regular (non-open source) X2CRM platform are used in this open-source edition, which is oriented toward larger companies rather than lean startups. Because X2CRM is a very new platform with a tiny user base, you may have difficulty obtaining the assistance you require.
- OroCRM: OroCRM is an open-source CRM that’s known for its adaptability. It is developed on the Symfony2 PHP framework – one of the most extensively used web development frameworks. That implies that for numerous developers, it’s easy to comprehend the code of Oro and generate new changes, making it reasonably cost-effective to tailor the platform to varying requirements. If you manage eCommerce, a developer may be required to adapt the app in order to fulfil helpdesk/customer support duties. There is no localization either.
As development teams keep on fine-tuning their open source updates, the CRM’s utility grows and the product itself improves. Indeed, numerous open source solutions include a list of requested features, allowing developers to construct these highly sought features and include them in their products – which in turn making the CRM software the best fit for your business.