Sunday, 19 July 2009

Getting Organised – A CRM Solution

We’ve dipped our toe in various CRM packages over the last couple of years here at Sirona, but we never quite realised how important it was until we finally had one place for everything.

We started our CRM journey using vTiger CRM, a free branch of the open source program SugarCRM.  Our primary requirement was a ticketing solution, but we also populated it with customer data and played around with it’s invoicing capability.  We used vTiger for a good twelve months until we decided to switch to using the ticketing system built in to Kaseya.  The main reason for the switch was all our customer’s PCs and servers were listed in Kaseya and tickets could be logged against them.  This meant we could run reports against individual machines to spot any issues.

We used Kaseya for probably six months until I started to want something more. My main aim was for customers to be able to email our support email address and have a ticket automatically logged. Having previously looked at both Connectwise and Autotask, I knew these products could do this.  We’ve had demos of both and they are fantastic looking products; I’m personally sold on Connectwise.  However, the cost of both is just prohibitive for us at the moment.  I think in a couple of years when we’ve grown some more we will head down the Connectwise route, but until then I needed something else.

What initially got me thinking about moving away from Kaseya was stumbling across Cerberus HelpdeskCerberus is an email based helpdesk with decent pricing and was a definite contender.  Seeing as we were thinking of a move, I decided I needed to look at more than just one option.  Searching brought up a couple of other options, Blue Folder and Zoho CRM being the two other likely candidates.  I spent a fair amount of time looking at these three and had finally decided that Blue Folder was the option when a friend suggested CommitCRM.

Now CommitCRM offered a lot more than any of the others we’d either used or trialled, in fact it bills itself as a PSA tool for IT service companies.  Like any good service it offered a free trial so I downloaded it and started using it in earnest.  That was about two months ago, we’ve now paid for it and use it on a daily basis. 

Commit allows tickets to be logged by email and will continue to track email conversations regarding tickets.  It’s not the slickest of tracking, but it works and the Commit team are actively working on improving it (we’re on the new beta and it’s already improved).  We have all our customer’s assets in there so tickets are tracked against the right asset.  We’re able to expand assets from just hardware to anything, so we track all software purchases and licenses.  We can also track contracts as to what they cover and how much they cost.  Commit will link to Quickbooks, so we’re working on getting that working to simplify the monthly invoicing tasks.  We track every piece of work we do against the relevant contract, so we can see how much time we spend on a contract in a month.  This will help us both to see whether a contract is profitable and also demonstrate to customers the value of their contract.

It’s still early days, but it’s already making a great difference in the way our business runs.  It’s great having one place for everything, but it’s also vital that we use it for everything.  Sometimes it’s easy to do it the old way, but we have to change our ways and ensure that if it happens, it happens in Commit.  Going forward it’s great to know we’ll have one place for all the history for all our customers.

3 comments:

Charlotte said...

Great article! I like it definitely!! Let me add another CRM software to that helps start a business. It`s called WorkforceTrack.com

It has several tools including CRM, PM, Accounting & Finance, etc.

Visit:
www.workforcetrack.com

Best wishes,

Charlotte

IT Support said...

yeap , Nice !

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Fawad Tariq said...

The Zoho office suite (Writer, Sheet and Show) provides some of the most advanced online productivity tools available today. The majority of our partner API implementations are of this type primarily because the office suite is so popular; everyone deals with documents in one format or another.
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