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Windows Small Business basic CRM system

Discussion in 'Software' started by David, 20 Apr 2016.

  1. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    My firm is part of a joint venture between two competing companies, each of which is responsible for supporting various functions - i.e. one is entirely responsible for out IT/HR backoffice functions.

    Now, the CRM system they employ would be perfect, but due to our JV status, they cannot give us access because it doesn't allow them to ring fence certain parts of the business. Basically, some higher up IT bod is sh!tting it in case we inadvertently grant their partner access to their whole CRM database. IT have neatly added that CRM falls outside of the contractual support they are required to provide to the JV. i.e. they've washed their hands of the matter.

    Now, we can have our own system, integrated with our sales/dispatch system, but it costs a fooking bomb. Therefore, our only option is a standalone system that will require an element of double-entry - not ideal, but there you go.

    My first thought was some cloud-based subscription system or perhaps MS Access with a CRM template. I'm not thrilled with these generic cloud based CRM subscriptions, but the more tailored options get very expensive very quickly.

    We're looking at 6-10 users, so my first question is:

    Can MS Access handle multiple user access to a single database, stored on a local server?

    We don't strictly need a full singing and dancing CRM system, just a customer database with won/lost/project lead tracking. i.e. a database that, once up and running, we can query by customer and immediately see what projects they are linked to, or a project and see which customers are linked to it.

    If anyone has managed to wade though my ramblings, and has any suggestions or product recommendations, I'd love to hear from you.
     
    jinq-sea likes this.
  2. MadGinga

    MadGinga oooh whats this do?

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    MS Access can and will handle multiple user access to a database stored on a server; I once created and maintained/supported one (for my sins) that had a total user-base ~100, but concurrent users at ~10-20.

    Whether it is the correct/best solution is another matter. I created mine because there was an urgent business need and no-one was doing anything about it other than arguing about who's fault it was...
     
  3. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    That sounds incredibly familiar.
     
  4. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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  5. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    Thanks - I already looked at SugarCRM - However, the £3.5k per annum licence is exactly what I want to avoid.
     
  6. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    https://www.vtiger.com/pricing/ according to the page above it was earlier a fork of SugarCRM.

    At $10 per user per month if you pay annually or $12 pupm if you do rolling 30 days it's going to run around £750 a year for 10 users.

    Any more palatable?

    If not,

    CiviCRM is free if you run it on your own server https://civicrm.org/

    So is Fat Free CRM http://www.fatfreecrm.com/ on the same basis

    Setting up a little linux virtual which can run either should be simple.
     
  7. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    If you are looking for ready system, then some of those open source would be best to pick up for small amount. Things like MS Dynamics are cool but expensive.

    If you have a chance to build your own, then I would say for 10 users MS Access is perfect.
    I built and maintained one for 15 users ages ago and it was working fine, simple multi user db, MS Access is very simple to use and is easy to create something like that. Plus if you have full MS Office installed in your network, then its free:)

    Only thing is you would need to create it, so it takes some time to do it, depends on a complexity.
     
  8. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    Thanks guys - it will probably be worthwhile coughing up a few hundred quid and run CiviCRM or an Access based CRM template on it's own server/microserver.
     
  9. Rhydian

    Rhydian What's a Dremel?

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    CRM's can be clumbsy and confusing and an access database is good at storing data. However it also requires a lot of data input.

    https://capsulecrm.com has a lot fo integration and great reviews.
    https://suitecrm.com is based off of sugar i believe and a good alternative.
    https://www.insightly.com might be your best alternative being a gmail integrated crm it's small, lightweight and is perfectly suited to your needs In my opinion.

    You could also have a look at slack https://slack.com and the apps and integrations. This would be excellent for a small team to track and manage projects on the fly in and out of work. It's also free for small teams and has excellent search and built in options.
     
  10. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    Fnar Fnar!

    [​IMG]

    (I'm in the hospital and this medicine makes that very funny)
     
  11. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    SugarCRM Community Edition is free.... which it why I suggested it. :thumb:

    https://www.sugarcrm.com/download

    I'm being picky, but Access is shocking at storing data. The 'advantage' is that there is that it easy to knock up an 'application' of sorts... which is why it pollutes so many business environments.

    If the OP needs any real CRM features, it doesn't make sense not to opt for one of the many free, ready-built offerings. Why re-invent the wheel?
     
  12. Rhydian

    Rhydian What's a Dremel?

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    Your not wrong, corruption is standard with access. But it's simple and alot of business users have it on their computers. Backups are easy enough even the office "I dont do computers" could save the file multiple times.
     

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