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Guardian2003
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Joined: Aug 28, 2003
Posts: 6792
Location: Ha Noi, Viet Nam

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:07 am Reply with quote

Has anyone used or reviewed any PHP customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Specifically I need a stand alone web based GUI PHP script that will allow me to upload client contracts, update them on work progress and of course, clients must be able to log into a 'customer area'.
 
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kguske
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Joined: Jun 04, 2004
Posts: 6383

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:49 pm Reply with quote

I've looked at several (e.g. SugarCRM), but don't remember anything like that - logging into customer area. It's been a while though - maybe there is a portal function now.

I've seen some billing / invoicing scripts that do this, along with accepting payments.

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montego
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Joined: Aug 29, 2004
Posts: 9449
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:34 pm Reply with quote

G, you'll have to let us know what you settled in on and how it goes. Wink

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Guardian2003
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:07 am Reply with quote

I posted here a little late in the day after having already scoured the net once.
There are plenty about for a couple a hundred $ but very few that actually have a client log-in area.
I specifically wanted something where a client can log in and see the (almost) real-time status of their project as well as being able to download or upload documents or files so everything is in one place rather than attached to lots of emails etc.
Also I wanted to be able to easily set up *milestone events* - a timeline if you will of when certain aspects of a project must be completed by.
A secondary consideration was allowing others to use the software for their own projects - that is to say different 'companies', individuals or departments within the same company could use it for completely different project types.

I finally settled on this one; Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login!
It fits with all my primary criteria. It is paid software that is still in active development, it's not encrypted so it should be easy to tweak should the need arise or debug in the event I discover some.
At around $100 including the two 'add-on' modules for it, I think it is excellent value compared to the others I looked at.
 
kguske
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:39 pm Reply with quote

Were there others that came close? Any open source alternatives that offered client log in (e.g. if I remember correctly, Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! did this).
 
Guardian2003
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:09 am Reply with quote

dotPoject and Springx CRM were on my shortlist and although dotProject actually had more functionality, especially in terms of monitoring efficiency of the development of a project I found it a little counter-intuitive to use.
Some 'projects' might be really simple like installing a script or module/plug-in and I really didn't want to spend more time setting up the project and user account than actually doing the work, so for that reason alone, it remained on the shortlist but could never take first place.
For managing a large project which might take several months then dotProject would be the one to go for IMHO but it does seem more focused on 'project management' than 'customer relations'.
For example, when specific milestones within a project is reached, the only way for the client to know is if you contact them directly or the client logs in to check the progress. With Client Axis there seems more automated communications - when I milestone is reached, the client is automatically informed so in that respect, it is more focused on 'client relationship'.
I guess it is just the trade off which seperates software focus. Having something like dotProject which would manage a project extremely well, unless the client is kept informed of 'progress' it defeats the object IMHO.
 
kguske
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:57 am Reply with quote

I stopped using dotProject for the same reasons. It's not only cumbersome for you, but also for the client. I think dotProject tries too hard to be like MS Project, which is also not customer-friendly. It might be great for certified project management professionals - if they have separate strategies and tools for client communications.

Thanks for providing the additional feedback.
 
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