Review of VTiger Open Source CRM

Review of VTiger Open Source CRM

I've recently had the opportunity to install and work in Vtiger, an open source source CRM system. VTiger is a split of the more well-known SugarCRM. SugarCRM has a community version of its software that is open source, but it doesn't include all the feature that you find in the commercial version. This seems to be a major sticking point for those seeking a full featured open source CRM.

Out of the box, vtiger provides much of what you would get in a "out of the box" salesforce.com installation. Some features include:

  • Contact management. The system does contact management pretty well. The GUI and customizable fields are on par with most CRMs.
  • Sales order and invoicing system. The system allows you to track sales activity through a typical sales process and invoice customers directly.

There are a number of places where the solution falls down:

  • Mailing list integration. While you can create a targeted campaign, there is no mailing list integration. This is problematic for most nonprofit organizations. Salesforce.com has both the ability to email and to add emailing services as plugins.
  • Fundraising lingo. The program is set up for corporate sales so you need to do some customizing to interpretate to the nonprofit market. Staff would have to know that a sales order is a donation for example. In fairness, salesforce.com did very little in terms of changing language or functionality for nonprofit groups as well.

All in all, its a good tool if you are in the private sector or you have a social enterprise that requires selling to corporate accounts. If you are typical NGO/nonprofit and want to go open source though, I would stick with CiviCRM, as it is completely addresses the needs of the NGO/nonprofit sector.

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