SuiteCRM is one of the most popular open source CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software available. With its unique-priced managed CRM hosting service, SuiteCRM is aiming to challenge enterprise CRMs like Salesforce.
SuiteCRM: An Open Source CRM Software
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is used by businesses to manage the interaction with customers, keep track of services, supplies and other things that help the business manage their customers.
SuiteCRM came into existence after the hugely popular SugarCRM decided to stop developing its open source version. The open source version of SugarCRM was then forked into SuiteCRM by UK-based SalesAgility team.
In just a couple of years, SuiteCRM became immensely popular and started to be considered the best open source CRM software out there. You can gauge its popularity from the fact that it’s nearing a million download and it has over 100,000 community members. There are around 4 million SuiteCRM users worldwide (a CRM software usually has more than one user) and it is available in several languages. It’s even used by National Health Service (NHS) in UK.
Since SuiteCRM is a free and open source software, you are free to download it and deploy it on your cloud server such as UpCloud (we at It’s FOSS use it), DigitalOcean, AWS or any Linux server of our own.
But configuring the software, deploying it and managing it a tiresome job and requires certain skill level or a the services of a sysadmin. This is why business oriented open source software provide a hosted version of their software.
This enables you to enjoy the open source software without the additional headache and the team behind the software has a way to generate revenue and continue the development of their software.
Suite:OnDemand – Cost effective managed hosting of SuiteCRM
Normally, you will observe pricing plans on the basis of number of users. But, with SuiteCRM’s OnDemand cloud hosting plans, they are trying to give businesses an affordable solution on a “per-server” basis instead of paying for every user you add.
In other words, they want you to pay extra only for advanced features, not for more users.
Here’s what SalesAgility mentioned in their press release:
Unlike Salesforce and other enterprise CRM vendors, the practice of pricing per user has been abandoned in favour of per-server hosting packages all of which will support unlimited users. In addition, there’s no increase in cost for access to advanced features. With Suite:OnDemand every feature and benefit is available with each hosting package.
Of course, unlimited users does not mean that you will have to abuse the term. So, there’s a recommended number of users for every hosting plan you opt for.
The CEO of SalesAgility also had to describe their goals for this step:
“We want SuiteCRM to be available to all businesses and to all users within a business,”said Dale Murray CEO of SalesAgility.
In addition to that, they also mentioned that they want to revolutionize the way enterprise-class CRM is being currently offered in order to make it more accessible to businesses and organizations:
“Many organisations do not have the experience to run and support our product on-premise or it is not part of their technology strategy to do so. With Suite:OnDemand we are providing our customers with a quick and easy solution to access all the features of SuiteCRM without a per user cost. We’re also saying to Salesforce that enterprise-class CRM can be delivered, enhanced, maintained and supported without charging mouth-wateringly expensive monthly fees. Our aim is to transform the CRM market to enable users to make CRM pervasive within their organisations.”Dale Murray, CEO of SalesAgility
Why is this a big deal?
This is a huge relief for small business owners and startups because other CRMs like Saleforce and SugarCRM charge $30-$40 per month per user. If you have 10 members in your team, this will increase the cost to $300-$400 per month.
This is also a good news for the open source community that we will have an affordable alternative to Salesforce.
In addition to this, SuiteCRM is fully open source meaning there are no license fees or vendor lock-in – as they mention. You are always free to use it on your own.
It is interesting to see different strategies and solutions being applied for an open source CRM software to take an aim at Salesforce directly.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
With inputs from Abhishek Prakash.