CentricCRM to Update Open Source CRM Package

CentricCRM, a developer of open source CRM aimed at larger enterprises, is set to release an update of its flagship product, CentricCRM 5.0, next month, CEO David Richards told CRM Buyer.

“This will be a very significant release for us,” he said, pointing to new platform-level support for third party developers including a plug-in architecture based on JSR 168 Portal/Portlet functionality as a few reasons. “Integration is done at many levels, one of which is through portlet technology.”

Also in 5.0 is integrated Web site support, including e-commerce capabilities. Users will be able to create Web sites, complete with product catalogs and shopping carts, within the CRM application.

CentricCRM has added an offline briefcase to version 5.0. Other enhancements include productivity features, such as “Global” Action Plans that can run across the entire tool and not just within the Accounts and Help Desk modules as with version 4.1.

Integrating LoopFuse

These new features follow CentricCRM’s software integration last month with LoopFuse, an enterprise-grade open source application for demand generation and closed-loop marketing. The integrated functionality provided users with the ability to track customers across digital channels, score sales leads, and measure ROI on corporate marketing initiatives.

The integration of LoopFuse with CentricCRM also allows corporate marketing departments to consolidate customer relationship history with online activity. For instance, a certain type of customer — high net worth — can be linked with certain behaviors such as Web pages accessed or products viewed. The point is to score the marketing and sales activities and then develop a cumulative score that rates the ‘sales potential’ of each contact.

Many Providers

The open source CRM space is highly fragmented, dominated by a few well known providers, suchas SugarCRM. Yet watchers of this space say the vendors are beginning to differentiate themselves in the market and among potential customers.

CentricCRM differentiates itself in a number of ways, starting with its JAVA-based platform. “It is a fundamental distinction from an architectural point of view in what you target and build and how scalable the application is,” Richards said.

CentricCRM, he continued, is targeting a gap in the high end of the market using the platform’s flexibility as its entry point. It runs on most platforms including Linux, Windows and Solaris, Richards pointed out.

“We also run all the open source databases as well as Oracle, DB2, SQL Server. What is nice about that is a CIO can start Centric CRM running on Linux and then decide to shift over to DB2 and will find that the process is literally seamless,” he said.

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