Archive for the ‘CRM’ Category

7 Best Open Source CRM Software For Your Small Business

CRM software has become quite popular in last few years. Most of the companies get their own CRM solutions. For small businesses, Open Source CRM software solutions are available widely, though they are not yet taken into consideration a lot. They are bit unknown and unrecognized, but they are reliable and capable alternatives. CRM-systems Open Source products are slowly becoming popular because of its attractive price depending on how the Open Source Foundation (OSF) price models are applied. Though they are said to be free, there is a hidden price tag for the support. If you are in need of an Open Source customized CRM, you should check out the following options-

1. Sugar CRM

SugarCRM is one of the three largest global CRM providers. It is a complete CRM solution without an extra license fee for additional modules. It is available with a 7-day free trial which will be billed annually with $35 to $150/user per month according to the requirements and version.

2. ConcourseSuite

Founded in 2000 and previously known as CentricCRM, it is a J2EE compliant. It is equally beneficial for small and large businesses, especially those with complex sales processes. They charge a one-time fee of $750 for 25 users. The pricing increases as the number of users increases.

3. vTiger

It was founded in 2004. It has rich features, yet is a cost-effective CRM for small and medium enterprises. The basic features cost $12/month per user. Additional features are chargeable. The best part is that they give a 30-day free trial. The features include Sales, Marketing, Customer Support, and Calendar.

4. Odoo

It is formerly known as OpenERP. They have a unique and open ecosystem developed by combining the resources of its open source community, partners’ network and resellers. They provide software that is not complex but is full-featured, tightly integrated, runs smoothly, and upgrades seamlessly.

5. OroCRM

OroCRM is an open source CRM which is available for download on GitHub. They provide easy-to-use CRM solutions for sales and marketing for small and medium business. Its marketing tool includes multi-channel marketing, custom reporting, and customer segmentation, whereas sales management, customer service productivity and multi-channel organization management are some of the tools for sales management.

6. Daffodil CRM

This one is majorly dedicated to manufacturing, IT, customer service, financial and insurance industry. It supports both B2B and B2C business models. Based on on-Premise/client-server model, it enables unified coordination between sales, marketing, customer service, field support and other departments which interact with customers.

7. Junari CRM

It is based on an open ERP platform intended for small business, but can grow as per the customer’s business needs. It costs £49 plus £10 /user/month (excluding VAT). Add-ons such as document version control, HR etc. costs between £2 and £5. Standard features include Activities and Communications.

Conclusion

Every company is different, so every company has different needs from their CRM solution. If you are going to need to customize your CRM software, however, as is often the case, there is strong justification for choosing the Open Source route.

Major Modules of vTiger CRM and its uses

vTiger CRM is a big name in open source CRMs. It is a full-featured CRM which was divided from SugarCRM. Generally, it is used by small-medium business with comparable functionality like SugarCRM and Salesforce.com. The reason it is better than other CRMs is that it provides features like customer portal, Outlook plug-in, and reporting, which are under paid version in other CRM applications. Another good part of vTiger is that it has an active community of users worldwide. It has different modules which make it an efficient CRM. Let us check out the key modules of vTiger CRM-

Lead Management:

This module manages the leads from creating to converting them into opportunities. It import leads from external sources like trade shows, seminars, web downloads, and direct mail. It also changes lead status according to the sales process. Users can convert their leads into sales opportunities, accounts, and contacts with just one-click.

Account Management:

It keeps a track on all the activities related to accounts and things related to it. It can easily track the parent-child relation between different account and their divisions. The best thing is it takes accounts from external sources, like GoldMine, ACT, and other applications. For future reference, it attaches customer-specific documents to accounts.

Product Customization:

You can consider it as inventory management. It makes custom fields/ pick lists according to business requirements. You can also personalize tabs by using drag & drop functionality to veil the modules irrelevant to sales process. Image result for vtiger crm features list

Activity Management:

This module basically makes your work faster. It adds vital information of clients or customers in vTiger CRM. It also stores all the details of customer’s call and meeting and manages daily tasks.

Contact Management:

As mentioned above, it tracks down all contact and related opportunities, activities, and other details from a common place. It creates contact hierarchy within a company for coordinating while dealing with customers. It also imports and exports contacts from external sources and to spreadsheet software respectively for further analysis.

Security Management:

For better security management, it defines team roles according to organization structure and controls the access to modules as per employee’s role and saves the login history of each user.

Microsoft Outlook Plug-in:

You can also add outbound and forward inbound Outlook e-mails to vTiger CRM. One can also synchronize contacts, tasks, and calendar between Microsoft and Outlook and vTiger CRM. It also helps to filter e-mails in Microsoft Outlook and adds emails, which are necessary.

Opportunity Management:

It tracks all sales opportunities and other associated opportunities with accounts, contacts, activities, and other modules to enhance better visibility. It also exports opportunities to spreadsheet software like Open Office, Microsoft Excel, and others in order to examine the sales pipeline and quickly recognize the restricted access. vtiger-for-implementation-26-638

Conclusion:

In conclusion, vTiger CRM is among the best and easy to use CRMs. It efficiently manage your data at a cost-effective way. So, the choice is yours which one is best for you.

SugarCRM vs vTiger- Which on Would You Choose?

There are numerous open source CRM available in the market. It is up to you which one suits you the best. In this article, we will be looking into the features, pros, and cons of different open source CRM. SugarCRM and vTiger are the most popular CRMs. crm sugar vtuger Generally, people confuse the word open source with free. Open source means the code is openly available for users to modify and adapt while you have to buy a premium version to avail further services. Open doesn’t necessarily mean free.

Let’s first take a look at SugarCRM

SugarCRM is being used from a long time by a community of talented developers all over the world. It has an enterprise edition available which is hosted by Sugar with additional functionality. One can download and install it on their own server. The process is not too difficult, a person with decent technical knowledge could do it within 30 minutes. Related image

Pros:

There are several reasons why it is being used abundantly-
  • It is flexible as compared to other open source CRMs. There are some CRMs that are built with some main use-cases in mind but doesn’t necessarily adapt for organizations that need a good amount of flexibility.
  • Its studio builder is very smooth. It has a drag and drop interface to easily customize different screens. It also has amazing access control to provide access to some user and constricting other users to a tailored view.
  • The best part is reporting dashboard as every user can have different view according to their specific needs.

Cons:

  • Well, there are no cons as such, the only thing which bothers people now is its enterprise version. There is no community support which means there is no community edition. An enterprise has to buy a premium edition after completing its trial period.

Let’s take a look at vTiger.

Another hugely used open source CRM is vTiger, though it is built with the code used in SugarCRM. It has many tools that make it easy for users to opt-in for certain marketing offers and information becomes populated in the CRM. Related image

Pros:

  • Better marketing tools for populating the information in CRM. It is easy for users to opt-in.
  • Well-developed and easy-to-use management features as compared to other CRMs.
  • A good forefront which makes it easy for the users to work on it. In many systems, the CRM project management feature tends to be a bit overlooked.

Cons:

  • UI needs improvements as it has a flat design which doesn’t look so great.
  • vTiger’s development community is not as active as Sugar’s community.

Summing up

Let us sum things up to make it easy for you to decide which one is better for you-
  • vTiger is entirely free and depends on volunteer work while SugarCRM has a paid version.
  • SugarCRM has more advanced functionalities that can be altered according to organization’s size.
  • vTiger loads faster may due to less complicated functionality, but it really saves time.
  • Though vTiger is easy to use, SugarCRM compensates it with customizable user interface.
  • Though both applications are considered to have tricky upgrade process, vTiger is still considered easier one.
So, these two CRMs are most widely used. We also work on these two. Our consulting services help clients achieve high performance by efficiently anticipating, meeting and exceeding their customers’ expectations.

Rapportive Alternatives

As LinkedIn pulls the plug on the features that once made Rapportive such a popular extension, we analyzed the various similar extensions in the chrome store and how closely they fulfill the void that Rapportive has left :

Rapporto: One of the fastest dropins for Rapportive, the plugin almost emulates the original Rapportive functionality and matches the UI as well seamlessly.  The chrome extension might not be exactly same as rapportive but it gets sufficiently close to fill the void. However, if you would to see some trusted names behind the product, then Rapporto might not be the way for you. Moreover, the future of Rapporto is not yet certain as its founders are yet to comment on the roadmap for the extension.

Vibe: We have been using Vibe before Rapportive as well but the current changes in Rapportive make it much more viable. Vibe is just not a gmail extension as it is available on a plenty of platforms including Mobile platforms(Android, iPhone etc). You can just hover over any email on any website and Vibe will bring up a nice looking widget presenting the information about the user. The UI is eye candy though it might not be as sleek as Rapportive’s. The application is free for personal use and you will need to contact their sales team if you wish to use the application for business purposes.

Ark Browser Plugin : Ark is a browser plugin which enables you to see contact information from not only gmail but yahoo, hotmail and AOL as well. The plugin goes quite close to the Rapportive in terms of UI and seems to have quite a lot of contacts indexed. The plugin is available on firefox as well if you are not a Chrome Junkie.

360social.me : 360social.me is an extremely robust browser plugin which presents the information quite similar to Rapportive did in its original role, the UI however is not as sleek as Rapportive. The extension is free to use but it comes with a professional plan as well for which they charge nominal subscription fees.

We are sure that one of the above apps will replace your rapportive workflow. If you are already using some other plugin, we look forward to your comments.

Problem displaying picklist values in vTiger

A lot of people opt for vTiger as their CRM only because it is Free and Open Source but they just discontinue using vTiger because of its minuscule support and even if they Google their problem then there are number of other developers having the same problem unresolved. For the past few days i was facing a similar problem which i think was merely unattended on vTiger forums or on any other CRM blogs. Problem was that “When we created a module (both back-end & front-end) then after selecting it in menu assigned we found that the assigned values of the Picklist were not being revealed by the Picklist Editor”. I will try to explain the solution to this problem step by step so that it saves someone else’s time. The problem is mainly due to the configuration while creating the module(The Module creation file). In the meantime do checkout an extensive post on Open Source CRM You may need to delete the module in case you have created a custom module. It can be done with the help of following code:

<?php

$Vtiger_Utils_Log = true;

include_once('vtlib/Vtiger/Module.php');

$module = Vtiger_Module::getInstance('ModuleName');

if ($module)

{

$module->delete();

}

?>

Here ‘ModuleName’ depicts the name of your module. Copy this code to any text editor and then save file with name ‘Delete_ModuleName.php’. Once created run this file on your webserver. Once done with this go to your module creation file where we’ll resemble the following format:

<?php

$Vtiger_Utils_Log = true;

include_once('vtlib/Vtiger/Menu.php');

include_once('vtlib/Vtiger/Module.php');

$module = new Vtiger_Module();

$module->name = 'ModuleName';

$module->save();

$module->initTables();                                     // Initialize all the tables required

$module->initWebservice();                    // Creates a entry in vtiger_ws_entity

$menu = Vtiger_Menu::getInstance('Tools');        // Add the module to the Menu       $menu->addModule($module);

$block1 = new Vtiger_Block();                                    // Add the basic module block

$block1->label = 'LBL_MODULENAME_INFORMATION';

$module->addBlock($block1);

$field1 = new Vtiger_Field();                             //Create fields and add to the module

$field1->name = 'name';

$field1->label = 'Name';

$field1->table = $module->basetable;

$field1->column = 'name';

$field1->columntype = 'VARCHAR(255)';

$field1->uitype = 2;

$field1->typeofdata = 'V~M';                                     // Varchar~Mandatory

$block1->addField($field1);                     // Creates the field and adds to block

$module->setEntityIdentifier($field1);       // Set at-least one field to identifier of module

$field2 = new Vtiger_Field();

$field2->name = 'type';

$field2->label = 'Type';

$field2->table = $module->basetable;

$field2->column = 'type';

$field2->columntype = 'VARCHAR(100)';

$field2->uitype = 15;

$field2->typeofdata = 'V~O';                                     // Varchar~Optional

$block1->addField($field2);

$field2->setPicklistValues( Array ('Employee', 'Trainee') );         // Picklist values are set

// Common fields that should be in every module, linked to vtiger CRM core table

/**Common fileds that have to be incorporated are:

* assigned_user_id

* createdtime

* modifiedtime

*/

$filter1 = new Vtiger_Filter();                                     // Create default custom filter

$filter1->name = 'All';

$filter1->isdefault = true;

$module->addFilter($filter1);

$filter1->addField($field1);                                         // Add fields to the filter created

$filter1->addField($field2, 1);

$filter1->addField($field3, 2);

$module->setDefaultSharing('Public_ReadWrite'); / Set sharing access of this module

$module->enableTools(Array('Import', 'Export'));           //Enable and Disable available tools

$module->disableTools('Merge');

?>

Points to be taken care of while creating the ‘vtlib module creation file’: 1)       Check your vtlib script for the line “$module->initWebservice()”  as it creates entry in vtiger_ws_entity. 2)       “$module->setEntityIdentifier”    must be set at least once for the mandatory field of the module. 3)       While creating field for picklist do ensure that it refers to “$module->basetable” as without it the picklist values will enter the database but won’t be called in UI. This problem was rampant in the default ‘Payslip’ module creation file as its picklist field expunged this table declaration. After formulating this backend and executing we are left with frontend of our module (modules/ModuleName) and all the files of frontend following it. Now in the file naming ‘ModuleName.php’ we have:

var $list_fields = Array ();

var $list_fields_name = Array();

Here we have to add each and every field (in the format assigned) we have declared in ‘vtlib creation file’ to be listed in UI. Following the above steps can help you eradicated deadly errors with picklist values. Please comment in the blog post if you still face issues and we would be happy to help.

Creating new fields in a vtiger module

Recently, I got stuck with the help on how to create new fields in vtiger since vtiger has only a small community and its very difficult to find help online, I decided write a post so that someone else’s time can be saved. To add a field to an existing module, Follow the following steps:
  • Go to Settings>custom Fields>
  • Select the Module for which you want to create new fields
  • Click on Add New field option
  • Add Label name for the field
  • Select the Field Type
And you are done !!! In case your field is of the type picklist, then you would need to add the picklist values as well. Note that the above procedure will add the field to the current vtiger installation only. In case you want that the field to be budled with a vtiger installation, then you would need to do a bit of php. Fields in modules are controlled by the vtiger_field table – the field must exist in the appropriate database table, and there must be a record in vtiger_field that describes the field.
<pre>$this->db->query("insert into vtiger_field values ( <tabid>,
                                               $this->db->getUniqueID("vtiger_field"),
                                               <columnname>,
                                               <tablename>,
                                               <generatedtype>,
                                               <uitype>,
                                               <fieldname>,
                                               <fieldlabel>,
                                               <readonly>,
                                               <presence>,
                                               <selected>,
                                               <maximumlength>,
                                               <sequence>,
                                               <block>,
                                               <displaytype>,
                                               <typeofdata>,
                                               <quickcreate>,
                                               <quickcreatesequence>,
                                               <info_type>,
                                               <masseditable>,
                                               <helpinfo>
                                              )");
</pre>
Here is an overview of what each of the columns mean:
Field Description Allowed Values
tabid ID number of the module (from vtiger_tab) INT, tabid types
fieldid ID of field; generated by getUniqueID(“vtiger_field”). Normally obtained at installation. INT
columnname Name of the column in its table any
tablename Name of the table that stores field any table
generatedtype Specifies type of field in module whether 1=’Exisiting’ or 2=’User Defined’ 1,2
uitype Handles what widget displays field Ui types
fieldname The vTiger name of the field ??
fieldlabel The label name of the field vTiger will look for fieldlabel as a key in the the $mod_strings array stored at modules/ModuleName/language/<language prefix>.lang.php
readonly 0=true(ro) 1=false(rw) BOOLEAN
presence represent the field existence 1 to reprsent existence and 0 to represent non-existence
selected ?? ??
maximumlength ?? ??
sequence The display order of your field in your block. Number (1,2,3…)
block Block id (from Vtiger blocks) where the field will appear INT
displaytype Indicates if field will be displayed on Create/Edit & Detail View. 1=displayed on all views, 2=displayed only in detail view (but not in edit), 3=field will not come separately, it will come along with other field, 4= only in the createview. it will not come other views(detailview & editview) 1,2,3,4
typeofdata X~Y, where X is the type of data V for varchar, N for numbers etc and Y stands for (O)ptional or (M)andatory INV…~OM
quickcreate if field appears or not on quickcreate field 0/1
quickcreatesequence sequence of field in quick create screen number
info_type ‘BAS’ field is displayed in Basic Information, ‘ADV’ field is displayed in More information BAS or ADV
masseditable and helpinfo are the two new fields introduced in the latest version of vtiger(5.1.0 as i write the post). masseditable tells whether the field is masseditable or not. helpinfo lets you specify the helper text for the field(tooltip in this case). Right now(as of version 5.1.0), there is a problem with helpinfo field that it supports only one value and its not possible to localize the string. The following is an example query to add a new field called as website to a new module called as Vendors:

$this->db->query("insert into vtiger_field values (18,".$this->db->getUniqueID("vtiger_field").",'website','vtiger_vendor',1,'17',

'website','Website',1,2,0,100,6,45,'V~O',1,null,'BAS',1)");

You will need to add this query to modules/Users/DefaultDataPopulator.php to bundle the above field with a fresh vtiger installation. And thats all that you need to do to add a new field to a vtiger instance. Please let me know if any queries and we would be happy to answer.

Changing the date format in vTiger

Since 4.0.1, vTiger has added the capability to support the multiple date formats. However, the date format should be set on per user basis. To Change the data format in vTiger CRM, follow the following steps: 1. Login to vtiger CRM 2. Click the My Account link 3. In User account page click the Edit button. 4. In User account page select the required date format from Date Format drop down list. [Edit for vTiger v5.1.0] The above technique no longer applies to the vTiger 5.1.0. To change the Date format in vTiger 5.1.0, please follow the following steps(Assuming a raw vTiger install without any customizations, Please note that the date formatting is still on per user basis):
  • Goto Settings -> Settings
  • Click on the Users
  • Click on the edit icon for User that you want to change the date format for.
  • In the More information, there will be a drop down listing various formats for the date.
  • Chose the date format that you want for this user and you are all done !!!
Hope this helps some one !!