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:

Basics WORK[etc] SugarCRM
MINIMUM CONTRACT Monthy Annual Only
PRICE (10 USERS) $599 $600
CONFIGURATION / ONBOARDING Same Week Same Week
TOTAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Yes
PLATFORM – CORE MODULES
CRM & SALES Yes Yes
PROJECT MANAGEMENT Yes Yes
SUPPORT CASES Yes Yes
BILLING Yes
UNIFIED WORKFLOW Yes Yes
COMPANY-WIDE SEARCH Yes Yes
ACTIVITY TIMELINES Yes Yes
CRM & SALES
LEAD MANAGEMENT Yes Yes
CUSTOM SALES PROCESSES Yes Yes
DISCUSS & COLLABORATE Yes Yes
FULL CUSTOMER TIMELINE Yes Yes
EMAIL MARKETING Yes Yes
CUSTOMER SUPPORT TICKETS Yes Yes
SMART LISTS Yes
SALES PIPELINE Yes Yes
PRODUCT CATALOG Yes Yes
CONVERT LEAD TO QUOTE Yes Yes
CUSTOM FIELDS Yes Yes
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
UNLIMITED SUB PROJECTS Yes Yes
GANTT CHART VIEW Yes Yes
TASK DEPENDENCIES Yes Yes
PROJECT TIMELINE Yes Yes
ATTACH ANY ACTIVITY Yes
CUSTOM PROJECT TYPES Yes Yes
CUSTOM PROJECT STAGES Yes Yes
ALERTS & RECURRING EVENTS Yes Yes
BUDGETS AND BILLING Yes
CUSTOM FIELDS Yes Yes
BILLING & EXPENCES
TIME SHEETS Yes
PRODUCT CATALOG Yes Yes
SUBSCRIPTIONS / RETAINERS Yes
MULTIPLE CURRENCIES Yes Yes
INVOICE TRACKING Yes
FUTURE CASH FLOW REPORT Yes Yes
DESKTOP TIMER WIDGET Yes
PAYMENT GATEWAYS Yes
EXPENSE TRACKING Yes
COMMISSIONS Yes
REPORTING
CUSTOM DASHBOARDS Yes Yes
BUILD YOUR OWN REPORTS Yes Yes
DRILLABLE ANALYTICS Yes Yes
EMPLOYEE MANAGEMENT
FOLLOW EMPLOYEE ACTIVITIES Yes Yes
WORKGROUPS & ROLES Yes Yes
PERMISSIONS Yes Yes
COLLABORATION
DISCUSSIONS & CHAT Yes
EMAIL INTEGRATION Yes Yes
CUSTOMER PORTAL Yes
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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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