I have been using CRM systems over the last 15 years. Some of them more popular then others. Most sales people will recognize Salesforce.com, Act!, Goldmine and Maximizer. I have used them all over the years and some of them side to side when needed. Recently I have been looking to replace our Maximizer Enterprise license with an opensource alternative.
My experience with openCRX is that it looks on the website with the best of breed solution. Good standards, well balanced architecture and stable as it can be. I have run some test over a one year period.
But the user side of this CRM tool is not so bright. With all my experience I have a hell of a time using the interface because it is totally prorietary compared to the others. It feels like the linux/DOS command line GUI compared to Apple. Probably great for some programmers who love to dig through piles of information to learn it. But really, for people who are suppose to use it, it is not close to what you need and intuitive use. Try a new user to learn how to add a company, their contact info and a contact person with also a home address. Ten to one that a new person will not succeed and likely to give up after trying too long.
To test my experience I have given the latest distribution to my MIS director who said to me: "Looks great on the specification sheets, it eats server resources but we can overlook that. However, I cannot figure out how to use it and will need substantial time to figure it out, and no way I am going to support other people and train them." And in all fairness, I don't want my sales people, customer service people and technical support people to constantly struggle with a tool that is not intiuitive enough. And also my key resellers will never get access through a web interface because they too will not know and remember how to use it.
In our last stage review we put it side to side with SugarCRM which is close to Salesforce.com. I don't know where to start but that interface is what you must slap on to openCRX to make it adoptable. I searched the tracker for GUI and interface and found none. But I cannot imagine that others have not felt the same way as I did. In fact those who I showed it told me right away that the interface totally turned them off. For sake of argument, why not let the users decide and have two interfaces to select from. One is similar to Salesforce.com and SugarCRM, and the other the current GUI today.
I already know that once you flip the interface to SugarCRM style you will never turn it back to the openCRX style. It is like the autofocus and light feature on the Sony digital cameras. They document it as well that one you flip that switch you are very unlikely to switch it back.
I hope somebody is willing to pick this up because it surely is very pittifull that such a promising CRM system has such a weak front-end. Do I really have to settle for SugarCRM as the next best because openCRX is not usabable for the users?
Kind Regards, GZ