The home of the SuiteCRM project has been kept very busy over the last year doing Salesforce to SuiteCRM migrations for a number of mid-range enterprises.
The primary reason for Salesforce to SuiteCRM migrations is a value one. The clients we have migrated recognised Salesforce for what it is – commoditised and overpriced business logic. Their common concerns included lack-lustre support, regular requests to add users and the resulting impact on spiralling license costs, and constant up-selling pressure from Salesforce.
The attractions of SuiteCRM were obvious. A mature and enterprise-class open source CRM application supported by a mature and enterprise-class vendor. They had all done the sums. ROI for a migration could be measured in months and the ongoing TCO reduction is 80-90%. The impact on both Capex and Opex delights Chief Financial Officers.
The ability to scale users with no license cost implications means that CRM can be extended into any area of business that has a customer touchpoint. Support for SuiteCRM is world-class and there are no more high-pressure, commission driven sales calls.
The free and open source SuiteCRM does what Salesforce does. It does it just as well. As with all large, mature and fully featured software applications, it does it slightly differently, but the core processes and core functionality are broadly the same. However, application migrations are complex projects that require careful analysis, planning and execution. A typical migration will involve a team of three of four Senior Engineers, Business Analysts, Project Managers and Test Engineers over several months.
As Salesforce constantly and correctly reminds clients considering open source, there are additional costs to consider. Open source is free as in “freedom”, not as in “free lunch”. The additional costs are usually described, somewhat insidiously, as “hidden costs”. We've been looking for the “hidden costs” for more than a decade and neither we nor our clients can seem to find them.
Additional SuiteCRM costs can be openly defined as Support, Hosting and Change Requests.
The last of these (Change Requests), are constants with any software application that must respond to shifting business demands. It doesn't matter if it's Salesforce or SuiteCRM, there will always be a need to innovate to meet new challenges. The primary distinctions between a Salesforce Change Request and a SuiteCRM one are in cost to deliver and speed of delivery. In both, it's faster and at less cost in open source land.
When considering hosting, the SuiteCRM project views the Salesforce “No Software” message as one of “No Choice”. You have no options. It's hosted with Salesforce. Full stop. You might not know how, you probably don't know where and you certainly don't know what. Take it or leave it. With SuiteCRM you have choices. You can host on-premise, in your private cloud, in a public cloud, on Amazon, Azure, Oracle or your other trusted hosting partner. Or the project can host and support it in their bespoke cloud. There's nothing “hidden”. Amazon's prices are transparent and simple to calculate. It's also highly scalable, secure and robust (also key selling points for Salesforce). Azure is a similarly attractive, secure and competitive option.
Support is an area where the SuiteCRM project really hits the Salesforce ball out of the park. Again, you have choice. You can source your support from an implementation partner, from your local source of expertise, you can develop expertise internally and self-support (you can see all the code so you can see where problems might exist), or you can have your support delivered directly by the project.
The SuiteCRM project offers support contracts based on the number of hours of support delivered, not on the number of users. You pay for what you consume. Transparent, fair and easy to understand. Nothing hidden.
Our Support team delivers support according to tightly defined SLAs. For the last quarter (April-June 2017), they have 100% SLA compliance. For the previous quarter it was 99.9%. If there is one area of the project that gets more unsolicited emails praising performance, attitude and knowledge, it's Support.
This should not be surprising. In open source, there's only one way to get close to vendor lock-in. That's quality of service. The challenge is to maintain service levels so high, that clients don't ever wish to look elsewhere. I'm happy to state that we meet that challenge.
So, if you're running Salesforce, are frustrated by ever increasing costs and complex license matrices, there is an option. It's built on quality, simplicity, transparency, choice and openness.