Groupware With CRM and ERP

By: isense

A lot of groupware suppliers exist. The same applies for customer relationship management (CRM) as well as enterprise resource planning (ERP). How to keep track of the best software? This article tries to give a small overview and comparison.

On the market for software there are about two suppliers which offer all of the above mentioned functionality. This is Microsoft Dynamics which is only available as a package with Dynamics CRM, Dynamics, AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV and Dynamics SL. The second supplier is the i-sense software GmbH with its same-named software i-sense which is available in three versions: Community Edition, Start-Up Edition and Enterprise Edition.

Other suppliers who don't offer the full spectrum of functionality would be, for example, SAP and Etelos, whereby SAP is specialized at ERP and Etelos is not even offering it.

This is the reason why I am only looking at MS Dynamics (www.microsoft.de) and i-sense (www.nextgroupware.com). The problem with Dynamics is the unflexible way of handling as well as the pricing modell. The customer has the pay a one-time licence-fee, no matter how long he is using the software. In two years of time over 58,000â‚? can be accrued assuming 50 users. Besides, the offered small business edition is only available for up to 75 users. What happens if a customers wants to upgrade?

i-sense is built on a modular system. This means that it is possible to build the software according to ones wishes from the offered packages (organizer, collaboration, CRM, ERP).

The package organizer contains functions like task-management, calendar, notes, contacts, etc. Collaboration improves the cooperation through functions like e-mail, messages, forums or a file-management-system. Additionally CRM and ERP functions are included. The integrated e-mail-client is accessible via POP3 as well as IMAP. Also an outlook-synchronisation is possible. There is the possibility for non-commercial users to get the Community Edition for 50 users with the packages organizer and collaboration included.
The Start-Up Edition features three full licences for unlimited usage of all packages. The Enterprise Edition is the commercial version. To add or remove users or packages is possible on a flexible monthly basis. i-sense is also available on-demand, thus it is possible to work with your colleagues from anywhere in the world at anytime. It doesn't matter what operating system you use, unless you have a standard webbrowser like Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

Now I hope that this article helps if you are searching for a fitting groupware with a little more functionality!

Enterprise Information Systems
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