Subscribe to CIO Magazine »

5 open source CRM systems to watch

There are a number open source CRM systemsthat give IT departments greater choice for customer engagement -- without siphoning your funds.

CRM has long been considered among the most complex software projects around. An entire Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry has emerged to provide an alternative to on-premise CRM deployments to specifically to help reduce this complexity.

In addition to traditional on-premise and SaaS sourcing options, however, CIOs have another choice with open source CRM.

SugarCRM is one of the better-known open source CRM systems, but there are a number of applications that give IT departments greater choice for customer engagement – without siphoning your funds first.

1. Tine 2.0

Tine 2.0 is an open source project that combines groupware, CRM and ERP into one system. The project was originally inspired by eGroupware, but was later redeveloped. Tine 2.0 is Web-based and focuses on “usability and correctness” and its developers perform unit tests and usability work on most of the code base.

Features include support for contacts, tasks, CRM and VoIP integration. The VoIP module allows the administration of Asterisk phone servers and CTI features like click-to-call. A time tracker, ActiveSync integration and a rights management system are also included.

Licence: AGPL

2. phpBMS

PhpBMS is a CRM and billing system released under a generic “business management software” (BMS) label. The application is developed on the popular LAMP stack and is designed to be an integrated business management system for SMEs.

Among its feature set, PhpBMS can do order management, client and prospect tracking, and fulfil accounts receivable needs. Sales order processing, recurring invoices, PDF billing documents, and e-mail list management is also catered for.

Licence: BSD

3. vTiger

Vtiger CRM is another CRM package developed with PHP and MySQL. It evolved from SugarCRM with the addition of sales force automation (SFA) features.

The standard account and contact management features are there and vTiger can also be used as a groupware package to track daily tasks, meetings, and e-mail messages.

Version 5.1 was released in July last year and claims some 700 bug fixes and more than 150 feature enhancements (and performance improvements) over the previous release.

Plug-ins are available for integration with popular business software tools like Outlook, Office, Firefox and Thunderbird. vTiger CRM is available for Linux and Windows.

Licence: vtiger Public License

4. openCRX

OpenCRX is a CRM suite developed in Java. In addition to the standard sales and marketing automation features, openCRX adds a number of messaging and business management applications.

OpenCRX is Web-based, but integration with groupware clients allows message and contact management to be done with a desktop app like Outlook or Thunderbird. An issue tracking application allows bugs to be managed, and a Java API and a REST-service API makes OpenCRX available to third-party applications.

OpenCRX is platform-independent and supports a range of enterprise databases including Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL. For security, access controls allow restricted access based on user profile, role or team.

Licence: BSD

5. Hipergate

Hipergate is another open source CRM system developed in Java and, like many others, aims to provide CRM and groupware functionality in one system.

Modules provide Hipergate with specific functionality, including contacts management, project management (including support for a ticket tracker), e-commerce, content management, e-mail lists and a corporate library.

Common features to all modules include role-based security, hierarchic data management, queries and reports and a job scheduler.

Commercial support is available through Hipergate services.

Licence: AGPL

For more articles in this series, be sure to check out:
5 open source security projects to watch
5 open source network management projects to watch
5 open source virtualisation technologies to watch
5 open source VoIP softphones to watch
5 open source billing systems to watch
5 open source office suites to watch
5 open source IP telephony projects to watch
5 open source help desk apps to watch
5 enterprise open source wiki apps to watch
5 open source project management apps to watch
5 free project management applications you must try

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

More about: AMP, Asterisk, CTI, etwork, Hewlett-Packard, HP, Linux, MySQL, Oracle
References show all


CRM Expert


This is a wonderful article and the shortlist has been extremely good and avoids the usual suspects.
At <a href="">Open Source CRM</a> there are shortlist of 10 CRM applications with detailed review. Four of the above discussed in this article has been reviewed over there.
My personal vote is for Tine2.0, it shows tremendous promise



Another company worth adding to the watch list is Intelestream. Founded in 1996, originally as an Open Source CRM Consulting and Implementation firm. Over the years our team had made so many customizations to open source platforms that we decided to create our own application, intelecrm. Check it out at



One of the bigger open source CRM systems is CiviCRM which is not mentioned above. It is used by Amnesty International and many other not-for-profit and commercial organisations . Check it out here

Comments are now closed.
Related Coverage
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Tags: open source, crm
Latest Blog Posts
  • Information Management
    Valuable data can be a needle in a haystack, but by leveraging the value in existing information assets, organisations can generate real and achievable gains in revenue generation, IT investments and productivity gains. This whitepaper discusses how Information Management (IM) is a multi-faceted discipline that can be employed to meet or exceed your business objectives.
    Learn more »
  • CISO 2013 Security Insights: A new standard for security leaders
    Insights from the 2013 IBM Chief Information Security Officer Assessment which uncovered a set of leading business, technology and measurement practices that help to address the questions CISO's and security leaders have in managing diverse business concerns, creating mobile security policies and in fully integrating business, risk and security metrics.
    Learn more »
  • IDC MarketScape Excerpt: Worldwide Client Virtualization Software Assessment
    The rise of BYOD is creating governance and regulatory nightmares while providing end users with unprecedented flexibility and agility. While IT is still intrigued by the possibility of a better desktop management model and the operational savings client virtualization software could deliver, it is the increased governance and the ability to deliver desktops, applications, and data to any device that are driving today's purchases.
    Learn more »
All whitepapers
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to Invitation only events CIO, reports & analysis.
Latest Jobs
Salary Calculator

Supplied by

View the full Peoplebank ICT Salary & Employment Index

Recent comments