Within the last year, my former organization, MCS had eliminated all of its technology infrastructure by moving our applications to “the cloud”. For those of you not familiar with cloud computing, its essentially hosted software applications and associated data on the Internet in a models.
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:
In nonprofit technology circles there are only a handful of of options for keeping in contact with constituents. Those options include a spreadsheet in its most simple form to a much more sophisticated database and communications system from a private vendor. Amongst the private vendors there has been considerable consolidation with the Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) marketplace. The options usually discussed revolve around the following solutions:
This paper was released in May 2007, but its still very relevant.
The attached paper seeks to determine the critical factors that influence the adoption and effective use of technologies within the nonprofit sector. The analysis places a particular emphasis on the role of funders who finance technology adoption and intermediaries who play the role of catalysts, enablers, and educators in the implementation of and subsequent innovation with technology.
As we head for a changing of the guard in Washington DC, the Obama government will take over a country facing its toughest economic challenge since the Great Depression. Nonprofit staff and boards are worried as an impending financing challenge awaits the nonprofit sector in the coming year as donations, foundation grants and state funding are cut. Despite this perilous situation and despite having a huge role in the economy, the nonprofit sector is largely missing from the public discourse on the economic crisis.
Moving to the cloud can significantly reduce IT expenses. Below we approximate the savings between the typical IT infrastructure and a cloud model based on 8 person organization.
"Most prefer the security of known misery to the misery of unfamiliar security." Sheldon Kopp
Change is in the Air: The Economic Crisis Affects Everything
Tagging and social bookmarking are topics that are frankly fairly new to me. I have heard a lot about this new phenomenon, but admittedly have spent relatively little time engaged in developing and executing strategies around these Web 2.0 technologies. Given my lack of knowledge I started experimenting. Here’s what I have found out so far.