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Choosing Web Based CRM

December 4th, 2016 4 comments

Recently my management tasks started getting out of control. Need arises for using a CRM platform in my day to day business tasks as they started becoming unmanageable. Organizing management tasks and following up with organizations and contacts became unpleasant using just simple MS Office products.

I will shortly overview the products I’ve chosen.

I need something more business oriented. That has been made for this purpose.

Here are some major requirements for the software:

  • Web based
  • LAMP stack technology

CRM functional requirements:

  • Tasks
  • Campaigns/Projects
  • Accounts
  • Contacts
  • Opportunities
  • Leads
  • Marketing
  • Products
  • Reports
  • Email/Inbox

After searching the web for any PHP based open source CRM platform, I narrowed down the list to the following products:

  • Zurmo
  • vTiger
  • EspoCRM
  • Fat Free CRM
  • suiteCRM

In the table below is a visual comparison of the functional requirements for the chosen products.
The product versions are as of today 2016-12-04. I don’t have the time to go and make a screenshot of each one of them.
crm-dec-04-2016-21-23-16

 

 

 

 

The color shading in the table displays my CRM preference based on the product testing I performed and the way I felt about each product. The darker the highlight the better I liked it.

suiteCRM

Initially I liked the features listed on their website, but once I stated testing suiteCRM I realized that the functionality isn’t quite there. What really was a no-go for me is the big fat interface, why would I need so big fields and confusing menu organization? Theme color contrast between the objects also were not chosen wisely.

Fat Free CRM

This CRM can cover pretty basic needs of your day to day tasks. Not what I really need. The interface is clean, but not on par with today’s website modern look and feel.

EspoCRM

This one was a tough one. I loved the rich functionality list and settings you get with Espo, but that interface tough, it’s just pushing me away!
Some of the “Create” options of the functionality menu list is sooo confusing. No explanation, just some option that you need to guess what it does.
That ugly search box on each page really bothers me.

vTiger

Feature rich interface, well organized menu and full set of options. The interface is clean and well organized.
Still I felt a bit confused by the functionalities. Also the search box at the top of each page was a no go for me.

Zurmo

Zurmo looks like it does have everything I need and the interface is lovely. Feature rich, well thought CRM with lots of geeky set of tools. The interface is not intrusive, clean and does have well organized menu.

It just wins in all features I need. The “Web Forms” is just a bonus.

 

Conclusion

It is up to you to decide what you need and like for your needs and day to day tasks.
In the table above I have created at the end short rating from 1 to 10 and the total rating of each product. Hope it helps.

 

UPDATE [2016-12-09]

Unfortunately, Zurmo is returning a bunch of errors. I tried troubleshooting the problem, but I couldn’t get it running. I spent 3-4 days reading in their support articles about this problem.

Warning: include(SecurableModule.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/user/yii/framework/YiiBase.php on line 432
Warning
: include(): Failed opening ‘SecurableModule.php’ for inclusion (include_path=’.:/home/user/app/protected/extensions/phaActiveColumn:/home/user/app/protected/modules/api/tests/unit/forms:/home/user/app/protected/modules/api/tests/unit/models:/opt/lampp/lib/php’) in /home/user/yii/framework/YiiBase.php on line 432
Fatal error: Class ‘SecurableModule’ not found in /home/user/app/protected/modules/zurmo/ZurmoModule.php on line 38

I disabled the Memcache as per their advice, but it didn’t work. I tried tracking this myself in the code, but I get a bunch of ther errors. So I fix one problem and another occurs.

No product should be this complicated to install and run. I believe that if you have clean and simple, well thought code the web app should be pretty fast even without caching.
Goodbye Zurmo!

vTiger is next!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5)
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Debian – “SIOCSIFFLAGS: Operation not possible due to RF-kill”

January 24th, 2014 1 comment

Okay,

Here’s how I fixed this::twisted:

After trying all the options (which didn’t work) I decided to put back the original HDD that I have for the laptop with Win7. After booting the Win7 I did:

Code: Select all
1. Open the device manager
2. Found my wireless adapter, then right click disable and again right click uninstall and checked the checkbox "Remove drivers"
3. Uninstall all drivers, Reboot, Install Drivers, Reboot
4. After the boot the system recognized my Wifi
5. Click the windows balloon at the bottom right corner and choose "Install Automatically" - this way Windows finds the driver online and it downloads the correct one by itself.
6. My ASUS have Live Update software - looks like this http://www.notebookcheck.net/fileadmin/_migrated/pics/Asus_live_update_01.gif (not mine on the screenshot!). After opening the Asus Live Update it automatically recognized that there's an update, checked the required update and clicked "Install"
7. Reboot
8. Wireless is back ON!!!

:lol:

Next… Switching hard drives, removed the original and installed the new SSD with the Debian. I made an update over the LAN, then upgrade, removed some junky drivers which I tested with before and couldn’t get working and left only the Atheros Firmware. Works Perfectly! :mrgreen:
I spent may be 2 weeks and reinstalled Debian and Ubuntu over 20 times, including compiling my own Kernels, trying to figure out what was wrong… I even torn apart the whole laptop to check what’s the exact model of the Wi-Fi and check if everything was installed correctly. I was about to buy a new mini PCI Wi-Fi adapter…
Under Linux is a no go. I found may be over 100 people having the same issue and different geeks and experts were suggesting 1000 different approaches which didn’t work for me, neither for them. Few people said that they fixed it under Windows. Worked for me as well. If you have such problem just switch back to Windows and let it do it’s work! Finally something useful from Windows :lol:

I thought that there was something wrong with me and I was about to grab the hammer, but it seems that the keyboard shortcuts in combination with the firmware and the power switch (which I assume I was playing with) broke the Wi-Fi capability. I guess there’s a Kernel problem, which needs some SERIOUS fix!
But hey, it’s up and running now. :mrgreen:
Finally I can install my web development work environment and have fun! YAY!!! :mrgreen:

Oh Forgot! After all the crap, my laptop didn’t connect to the router (D-Link DIR-655), sooo I decided to upgrade the firmware :lol: aaand my router was a brick after the upgrade :lol: Another 2-3 hours… research, firmware upgrades… hard resets… :shock: But this is the tutorial http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,14090809 that helped me! Now I’m running the latest firmware and that fixed my laptop Wi-Fi connectivity issue. :mrgreen:

Here’s my full post on the Debian website: http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=110718

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Bug Genie – the bug tracker

December 20th, 2011 4 comments

Currently we’re using TBG for tracking bugs for our projects. But the Bug Genie itself is full with bugs. The administration permissions are way too complicated and require high attention, else they mess up badly.
We’re currently looking forward to the new version of  The Bug Genie. So we’re willing to migrate as soon as TBG team release the new version in 2012.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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