At some point in the history of your company, and we hope that is rather early than later, you will be looking for a customer relationship management system (CRM). A CRM, as the name suggest helps companies to manage their relationship with their customers, in other words a CRM is a central place to store all customer and also all prospect data.

The market for CRMs is large and companies might feel an immense paradox of choice when they are first beginning to tap into the market and look for a solution. An easy way to start is by looking at which type of business the CRMs are best for. Many CRMs cater to the needs of small to medium size businesses. Other CRMs are players in the enterprise market. And yet other CRMs have made the way they build their technology their niche.

There are CRM providers out there who have made their technology open source. Open source means that the source code powering the system is shared online and can be modified by customers to adapt to specific needs.Open source by itself is a topic with the potential to stir a lot of discussion.

Banner - Custom Application versus Open Source alternative

Some technology companies feel releasing their source code makes them vulnerable to competition while others embrace the idea of basically leveraging the power of the crowd to build a great system. One such system is SuiteCRM. And by fully diving into the open source market they have created, as they state themselves, a 9 bn dollar niche in the CRM market. Let’s take a moment and look how the year 2016 has been at SuiteCRM.

 

Open source for reach out

 

Revamped User Interface

When SuiteCRM was launched about three years ago, their main goal was to build a powerful and flexible CRM system. The product development was largely driven by IT. How do we know if a product is driven by IT? Simple: The product has heaps of features and bends to your every wishes but it looks, how should we put it, somewhat different.

In 2016 the guys at SuiteCRM invested heavily in brushing up their user interface. In order to do this, the company actually employed a design company, if you ever worked with engineers you know how they typically feel about working with designers and took this proverbial leap of faith and now SuiteCRMs UI is brimming with sleek fonts and colors while remaining the high functionality their customers came to like and expect. The first version of this new UI is called Suite P and has been released in 2016 to customers.

NHS powering healthcare with SuiteCRM

But just having a shiny new look isn’t all that happened to SuiteCRM in 2016. They entered also one of their potentially biggest partnerships by joining forces with the NHS. The NHS is the National Health Service in the UK. So what happened here? Basically the maintainers behind SuiteCRM, SalesAgility, teamed up with Apperta Foundation and Code4Health to find out how a typical business oriented system such as a CRM can improve a public domain such as health care. The result of this is the SuiteCRM NHS edition, which is free to use and modify throughout the whole health industry. The potential implications of this are huge.

Think of it, the health care system no matter how it is organized is largely characterized by outdated technology and inefficiencies. SuiteCRM basically set out to change this by teaming up with one of the world’s largest health care providers.

What is to come in 2017?

2016 has sure been a year full of highlights for SuiteCRM, in addition to the two major news we mentioned above, a third party software consultancy added a feature called SweeterSync which allows for seamless syncing between SuiteCRM and Microsoft Exchange Server. This shows the power of the niche that SuiteCRM has really build.

They alone released 8 versions in 2016 but in addition to their coding power they are fully leveraging the power of the cloud by keeping their code open and available to build upon. It is exciting to see where the company is going in 2017.

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