Open Source vs “Free” CRM’s

“Fake news” is a rather unfortunate phrase that’s entered the common lexicon. Fake news is made possible by the unfettered publishing mechanisms afforded by the Internet. Anyone can write and publish anything. As long as it’s not criminal, it’ll get airtime somewhere. The more popular the site it’s published on, the more airtime it gets. Veracity is not an influencer in this model.

If you search for “open source CRM”, many of the results returned are for “free and open source CRM” comparison articles. The authors of the articles rarely take time to explain the difference between open source CRM, which is truly free, and “free” CRM from traditional proprietary vendors, which is anything but free. We’ve coined a phrase for the latter offerings – “Fake free”.

CRM from traditional vendors is expensive. Over a five year period, a ten user mid-range CRM application will cost considerably more than an average executive car. In order to entice the unwary into this alluring world of expensive software, many vendors offer “Fake free” versions of their software.

If car manufacturers started offering free cars like CRM vendors offer free CRM, the small print for the “free” car would be extensive. It might read “This is a special offer : Our free car does not include wheels, seats, seatbelts, windows, air-conditioning, doors, radio, steering wheel, chassis or headlights. These optional, but essential, extras are charged separately.”

Similarly, the small print for CRM vendors “Fake free” CRM would typically read: “This is a functionally useless version of our software. It does not include more than 1000 leads, or modules such as reports, workflows, quotes, cases, email, marketing, activities, documents or calendar. These optional extras are charged separately.

To save you the trouble of working out what’s removed from the “Fake free” CRM offerings, we’ve done it for you. Here’s the small print for “Fake free” CRM:

SuiteCRM versus Hubspot and Insightly

SuiteCRM

$0
per year for unlimited users
  • Free
  • Access to source code: Yes
  • You need to pay for:
    Nothing! SuiteCRM is
    open source and free!

HubSpot CRM

$18,000
per year for ten users (aprox)
  • Fake free
  • Access to source code: No
  • You need to pay for:
    • Reporting
    • Sales automation
    • Products
    • Smart notifications
    • Custom form fields
    • Required fields
    • Email marketing
    • Ticketing
    • Customer feedback
    • Knowledge base
    • Email tracking & notifications
    • Email sequences
    • Meeting scheduling
    • API use increase
    • And more…

Insightly

$11,880
per year for ten users (aprox)
  • Fake free
  • Access to source code: No
  • You need to pay for:
    • Removing 2 users limit
    • Custom Dashboards
    • Custom Reports
    • Card-to-Lead & Card-to-Contact
    • Workflow Automation
    • Lead Assignment Rules
    • Role-Based Permissions
    • Profile-Based Permissions
    • Custom Branding

SuiteCRM versus Bitrix24 and Apptivo

SuiteCRM

$0
per year for unlimited users
  • Free
  • Access to source code: Yes
  • You need to pay for:
    Nothing! SuiteCRM is
    open source and free!

Bitrix24

$2,149
per year for ten users (aprox)
  • Fake free
  • Access to source code: No
  • You need to pay for:
    • More than 12 users
    • Custom fields
    • Meetings
    • Sales targets
    • Recurring invoices
    • Multiple Sales Pipelines
    • Automation rules(workflows)
    • CRM record conversion
    • Duplicate search
    • RestAPI
    • Records management (reports)
    • Own logo

Apptivo

$2,400
per year for ten users (aprox)
  • Fake free
  • Access to source code: No
  • You need to pay for:
    • More than 3 users
    • Custom views
    • Filters
    • Adding and sharing files
    • Custom fields
    • Workflows
    • Multiple sales pipeline
    • Mass emails
    • Campaigns management
    • Marketing automation
    • Email templates
    • API calls
    • Data export
    • Schedule reports
    • Custom reports
    • Standard Dashboards
    • Web to lead capture

SuiteCRM versus CapsuleCRM and AgileCRM

SuiteCRM

$0
per year for unlimited users
  • Free
  • Access to source code: Yes
  • You need to pay for:
    Nothing! SuiteCRM is
    open source and free!

CapsuleCRM

$1,500
per year for ten users (aprox)
  • Fake free
  • Access to source code: No
  • You need to pay for:
    • Removing 2 users limit

AgileCRM

$5,758
per year for ten users (aprox)
  • Fake free
  • Access to source code: No
  • You need to pay for:
    • Removing 10 users limit
    • Removing 50,000 contacts and companies limit
    • Increasing the 500 API calls limit
    • Email Campaigns
    • Form Builder
    • Email Templates Builder
    • Web-to-Lead
    • Service module
    • Helpdesk module
    • Canned Responses
    • Service Reports
    • Basic & Email Reports

In conclusion, free CRM from proprietary vendors does not bear scrutiny. It’s fake. In order to approach the functionality delivered by an open source and truly free CRM application like SuiteCRM, you would need to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. And we didn’t even start about security or vendor lock-in yet…

So, next time you see the phrase “free CRM”, unless it also has “open source” in the product description, move on. It’s fake free and you must not waste your valuable time on it.

Want to see how a real free CRM looks like, and explore all the features? Try a SuiteCRM demo or download it for free (yes, really free).

All trademarks, product names and company names cited in this post are the property of their respective owners.

By | 2018-07-18T12:09:59+00:00 July 18th, 2018|SuiteCRM|0 Comments

Leave A Comment