Cloud software for [growing] businesses

WORK[etc] vs SugarCRM

SugarCRM has progressively been building on its original model of “open sourced” software to become a fully-paid software and services company.  Chances are if a company chooses to go with SugarCRM for their customer relationship management, it is because they are a cost-conscious company. They choose to go with SugarCRM because SugarCRM offers a free and open source community edition of their CRM software.

This at face value seems amazing; a completely free CRM tool that does nearly everything the paid versions do. After a short time however, many users of this software soon come full circle to realize something they’ve been taught all their lives: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  The chart below uncovers the real costs, showing WORK[etc] as true SugarCRM alternative:

BasicsWORK[etc]SugarCRM
MINIMUM CONTRACTMonthyAnnual Only
PRICE (10 USERS)$599$600
CONFIGURATION / ONBOARDINGSame WeekSame Week
TOTAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENTYes
PLATFORM – CORE MODULES
CRM & SALESYesYes
PROJECT MANAGEMENTYesYes
SUPPORT CASESYesYes
BILLINGYes
UNIFIED WORKFLOWYesYes
COMPANY-WIDE SEARCHYesYes
ACTIVITY TIMELINESYesYes
CRM & SALES
LEAD MANAGEMENTYesYes
CUSTOM SALES PROCESSESYesYes
DISCUSS & COLLABORATEYesYes
FULL CUSTOMER TIMELINEYesYes
EMAIL MARKETINGYesYes
CUSTOMER SUPPORT TICKETSYesYes
SMART LISTSYes
SALES PIPELINEYesYes
PRODUCT CATALOGYesYes
CONVERT LEAD TO QUOTEYesYes
CUSTOM FIELDSYesYes
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
UNLIMITED SUB PROJECTSYesYes
GANTT CHART VIEWYesYes
TASK DEPENDENCIESYesYes
PROJECT TIMELINEYesYes
ATTACH ANY ACTIVITYYes
CUSTOM PROJECT TYPESYesYes
CUSTOM PROJECT STAGESYesYes
ALERTS & RECURRING EVENTSYesYes
BUDGETS AND BILLINGYes
CUSTOM FIELDSYesYes
BILLING & EXPENCES
TIME SHEETSYes
PRODUCT CATALOGYesYes
SUBSCRIPTIONS / RETAINERSYes
MULTIPLE CURRENCIESYesYes
INVOICE TRACKINGYes
FUTURE CASH FLOW REPORTYesYes
DESKTOP TIMER WIDGETYes
PAYMENT GATEWAYSYes
EXPENSE TRACKINGYes
COMMISSIONSYes
REPORTING
CUSTOM DASHBOARDSYesYes
BUILD YOUR OWN REPORTSYesYes
DRILLABLE ANALYTICSYesYes
EMPLOYEE MANAGEMENT
FOLLOW EMPLOYEE ACTIVITIESYesYes
WORKGROUPS & ROLESYesYes
PERMISSIONSYesYes
COLLABORATION
DISCUSSIONS & CHATYes
EMAIL INTEGRATIONYesYes
CUSTOMER PORTALYes
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Still not convinced?  Consider the scenario below.

Neil owns a small company in Dallas, Texas that sells paper and paper related products. He and his executives decide that their customer relationship management systems are out of date and want to get something new. The company makes a decent amount of money, but has to be smart about its spending choices. After looking into multiple different paid and free CRM solutions, Neil decides to go with SugarCRM because it is free and he has servers to host it on.

Neil realizes shortly after he downloads his source code that he has to hire someone to code the CRM better to fit his company properly. This was an unexpected cost, but the CRM system being free and all, Neil only sees it as a good investment. He then tries to install his package, but experiences some difficulty. Some hours later, Neil and his team don’t understand what’s going wrong and decide to go look for support. After sending off emails and posting on forums, they wait.  Suddenly they are spending time on supporting their software, rather than time spent on getting more sales and actually building their business.

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