This is one of those no-brainer statements.

Consider a house refurbishment project. You have a budget of $100,000.

Before you start refurbishing, you have to pay a refurbishment license of $70,000 to the state. It’s a tax.

You now have a budget of $30,000 to complete your refurbishment.

Good luck with that.

Software is little different.

You have a budget of $100,000 to introduce new CRM software into your organisation.

You need consulting, you need software modifications to model your process more closely and you need extensive user training and support.

Before you start, you have to pay $70,000 in license fees for the first 12 months of using the software. It’s a tax on commoditised business logic.

You now have $30,000 to complete your project. Something has to give. Usually it’s the software modifications. So you end up using exactly the same software as your competitor down the road. Your competitive advantage, your processes, the things that make you unique are not modelled in your software.

Good luck with that.


You engage with an open source vendor.

You don’t spend anything on licenses.

The open source software does the same as the proprietary software.

So you have $100,000 left to spend on consulting, on modelling your processes and on delivering high quality training to your users.

You don’t need luck.

You now have software closely aligned to your business processes.

Your competitor down the road doesn’t.

The reason why so many CRM projects fail to deliver is that budgets are consumed by expensive licenses. The value is mostly not in the software. The value is in the services that align the software with your processes and train your people to get the most from it. Most of the major CRM applications, including SuiteCRM, do the same thing. Those expensive licenses are for software that is commoditised. In the world of CRM, the software is available as open source, high quality, robust, enterprise-class, secure and free from license charges.

So, stop paying for software that makes you the same and start investing in the software and services that make you different.