This is a common question, but a much better question is what should an open source CRM suite be? After all, there are quite a few choices out there on the market – including old stuff that pretends to be new and new stuff just not doing enough to be considered modern in any meaningful way.
Firstly, an open source CRM is a customer relationship management system where all of the software code is published in the public domain. In the case of Corteza, it’s all here: https://github.com/cortezaproject. If all the software is published, the idea is that it can never be taken away from you – whether you pay or not. A CRM suite is, after all, software upon which your business will rely for many years. Another advantage of this approach is that the software can easily be customized and there is usually a pool of providers with the required skills from which to choose.
The best free CRM is based on a Low Code platform
Nowadays, the best free CRM should be based on a Low Code Platform. Open source CRM can be complex and many of the business models underpinning them are based on the premise that you won’t be able to do more complex customization yourself i.e. they’re lulling you into a false sense of security. Corteza is an open source Salesforce alternative and firmly follows the “Lightning” Low Code model, even delivering some nice improvements along the way. The Low Code approach allows you to deliver a rich, company CRM which can evolve as your organisation changes with time – without the need for expensive external consulting at each step. Such a rapid application development model is essential for organisations trading in the modern economy.
Freely available CRM Documentation
Documentation is key too. A proper open source CRM should publish all its documentation and make it freely available – including back versions – with zero catches. There is risk in deploying a solution where the documentation may disappear from view at any given moment (e.g. if the vendor of your CRM suite is sold, merges with another company or goes out of business). Corteza documentation will always be available on our website.
Intellectual property must be managed by an independent software foundation
A core strength of Corteza is that all intellectual property is governed by the independent software foundation “The Commons Conservancy“. There can be no games played with the software code, no dual licensing and all back-versions will always be available. There are lessons to be learned from the SugarCRM disaster a number of years back where the SugarCRM Community Edition was abandoned and SugarCRM began closing off the source code to their CRM suite. Some “forking” happened of the older code base, but none even as remotely well-funded as the original SugarCRM effort. No such games can ever happen with Corteza.
Innovation drives Corteza forward
Being a true open source provider, living according to both the spirit and the letter of the law, keeps a software project on its toes. Corteza is looking forward to delivering smart apps for manufacturing, smart schooling, even more depth to its bpms tool, human resource management, ecological tools, making GDPR simplified and much more in 2020. Innovation drives Corteza forward and our research never stops. From applications of IoT to MDD models and on to AI in all its forms, we’re constantly seeking to understand where your organisation needs to go next. Being the very best of all free crms is a tough goal, but Corteza is uniquely structured and feature rich to deliver on that objective.