SuiteCRM and Knowledge Management (KM) Integration

Hi mates

I am Mac. I am currently working for a project to integrate CRM and Knowledge Management System (KM) into a SME marine service provider in Finland, starting with proposing several options of CRM providers.

Via some search, I figure out perhaps SuiteCRM is the most interesting suitable as a cloud service.

Besides, my second biggest concern are the KM integration, and ERP on the bigger frame.

Please could you help me figure out:

  1. the relationship or which part is a minor one belonging to the other?
  2. could we customize and integrate KM into SuiteCRM? If yes, how?
  3. Could SuiteCRM take role as an ERP? I mean, could it completely replace the ERP theoretically?
  4. We are a small enterprise specializing marine service/ devices providers without an IT talent. In this case, what package of SuiteCRM should we use?
  5. Also, please could you help me estimate the cost to use SuiteCRM for ~100 big customers with whom we usually deal with long-term projects?

I have no experience in this field, so I expect your straightforward advice, sharing, and support.

I really appreciate your enlightenment via feedback!

Cheers

Mac

Hi Mac, welcome to the forums.

I’ll try to answer some of your points, maybe other people can then complete the answer…

  • SuiteCRM is utterly customizable, not just because it’s a customizable app, you have menu to change the screen layouts etc, but because it’s PHP and open-source. So essentially you can turn it into whatever you want and integrate it with whatever you want.

This doesn’t mean it’s easy or cheap to do those developments. Except if your requirements are really basic, you’ll probably need professional help which you can get directly from SalesAgility of from onw of the many providers of such services.

There are no special packages of SuiteCRM to worry about, just install the latest version.

I don’t think SuiteCRM will double as a full ERP (it’s not designed to be one) unless you do extensive developments. If you use the ERP intensively you’re probably better off integrating the two softwares.

I don’t know anything about KM, but I guess the same logic applies - each app does it’s work, you integrate.

Where SuiteCRM shines, unsurprisingly, is in helping you manage Customer Relationships. 100 Customers is not a big load for SuiteCRM, even if you have a lot of activity with each (as long as your hardware is up to the task, of course).

I’m not very good to estimate costs, but I would say, zero for SuiteCRM, neglectible/standard costs for hosting, and then a big question mark for Customization. It really depends on your detailed requirements. Don’t forget to consider whether it’s necessary to include some training for the users.

I hope this helps.

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HI Mac,
2- Yes its possible to customize sutiecrm to communicate with third party applications. what you really mean by integrating, you mean communicating to an external KM system or getting KM records into suitecrm?

3- Yes possible , there few things which comes with suitecrm default and if you need additional ERP stuffs to be there on SuiteCRM you can build custom modules.

Hope this would help you to get some ideas…
you can reach me via ndlhassan@gmail.com

Thanks

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Hi PGR

Thank you so much for your prompt reply with valuable information!

I understand it better now.

Look to hear more ideas from other members.

Thanks!

Cheers

PS: 2 days ago, I tried to reply via email but it probably did not reach you! Now I’ve just realized! :frowning:

Hi Nazi

Thank you very much for your guides and kindness for further contact! :smiley:

  1. With KM integration, I have pondered ‘whether KM is a sepatated software/application run parallelly with CRM, or it is possible to customize/ extend SuiteCRM with a new function KM.’
    In a word, I dont know how a KM tool exists in relation to CRM or ERP.

I look to listen to you more. :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot!

Cheers

PS: I tried to reply via email yesterday but it probably did not reach you! Now I’ve just realized! :frowning:

The default KM of suitecrm is a simple module which is included in suitecrm but if you need to extend that with your requirements , it is possible to customize in suite but there might be few limitations (not all the time) based on what you trying to customize. Also each and every module in Suite can be customized .

PS: OH I see…I hope it works fine, just try to drop me a test mail

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Much of what you are trying to do will depend on the complexity of the project, but frankly the resources (both human and software) that you are trying to get by with, give me major cause for concern.

The beauty of open-source software is that, ostensibly, it’s free. There are no license or monthly/per-user fees. However, there is still a cost to install, customize and maintain it.

“Integrating” any two packages is not an easy task, but you are attempting three – a CRM, a KM and an ERP! (By “integrating”, we actually mean inter-communication – i.e. swapping data – between all three). Regardless, you are not going to be able to achieve any of this without some serious IT knowledge.

While applications such as SuiteCRM are individually very customizable without coding skills, you are still eventually going to hit “the wall” - you will need to do something that the software cannot do, out-of-the-box.

Another side issue … all software has glitches/bugs and the more “into” an application you get, the more likely any bugs will surface.

Data volume is probably not an issue. This is partly dependent on hosting, but SuiteCRM does have some extremely large users (i.e. huge data tables), including the UK’s National Health Service. MySQL is quite capable in handling “big data”.

Out of the three pieces of software you are using, the ERP would appear to be the most complex, so that is likely to be the “driver” of your eventual configuration. From the ERP, you would just “push” relevant data into the CRM and KM systems. To achieve this, you will need coding expertise with a good understanding of things like Suite’s custom scripting and “logic hooks” … along with the equivalent in the other two applications.

SuiteCRM does have an inherent “Knowledge Base” module and this may or may not suffice, depending on the complexity of your KM needs. For ERP, SuiteCRM was never intended to be one, so it would unlikely fit your ERP requirements.

Finally, regarding estimating a cost for all the above … that would not be remotely possible without a clear understanding of your needs, the capabilities of the three software applications and the complexity of the overall project.

2 Likes

Hi Nazi

A test mail has been sent to you.

Thanks a lot! :slight_smile:

Cheers

Hi Paul

Thank you for you reply in details!
Your answers and other mates’ ones have basically helped me figure out the general picture of major pieces in questions.

If it is possible, please could I bother you with some more questions related during the progress?
Mine is thanhnhan2201@gmail.com, or thnhng@utu.fi :slight_smile:

Cheers

Mac,

If confidentiality is not an issue, I would like to suggest that you just post your questions here.

The posts and responses on this forum represent a resource for all members and by posting here, you will also gain feedback from others that may have “walked before you” with similar integration projects.

1 Like

Yep! I will do it that way! :smiley:

Thanks, Paul!