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.