CRM Cloud Computing
Open Source, Cloud, Don't Forget the CRM
Sometimes CRM companies have to remind themselves just what business they’re in. They can get so fixated on the delivery method or technical makeup - anybody up for another open source vs. cloud debate? - that they forget they’re in the CRM business.
Industry observer Si Chen wrote recently of his friend, Phil Simon, who is writing a book called “The New Small” about how today, “small businesses are taking advantage of emerging technologies.”
As Chen says, “we started talking about how open source software is affecting small businesses. I realized that open source has made a fundamental shift in the relationship between technology and small businesses.”
Specifically, he explained, “Instead of being a tool of large enterprises, technology is helping today’s small businesses leapfrog past their larger competitors, thanks to open source software.”
Some vendors are clear about the distinction. "If you look at [the competition's] Web sites, it's all about clouds, not about CRM," Larry Augustin, SugarCRM’s (News - Alert) CEO, said, speaking about Salesforce.com (News - Alert).
Chen says open source “has turned the game around for the technology-savvy small business. Open source software has not only leveled the playing field between small and large businesses, in many cases it has helped propel small businesses ahead of their larger counterparts.”
Open source ERP and CRM software, Chen says, such as opentaps, “now give small businesses enterprise-class management software, but with the flexibility to tailor it to their particular market niches,” while larger companies are “mired with expensive but outdated commercial software, and it has slowed their progress in the growing online marketplace.”
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi