Want to start using SuiteCRM but need to send over data from ERP


I’m Mihai Munteanu and I work in marketing at ATC. We are an international trading company and we deal mainly in high-tech consumer electronics. Over the years we have built a significant contact database that is supplmented with contact status (normal, customer or supplier), order history and preferred product groups.

For us to be able to use a CRM system effectively we would need these integrations. We can export ODBC (csv) files from our ERP system which could presumably by loaden into SuiteCRM. However I think we would need to adapt SuiteCRM for this data? Does anyone have an idea about how this would work?

In the second phase we would like to integrate the data from our mailing system (not mailchimp) by means of its API.

Are we looking at a long and complicated process? What would be the estimated cost?

Any awnsers or advice are really appreciated.

With Friendly Greetings,

Mihai Munteanu


this is a typical corporate project for SuiteCRM, you basically need to consider whether you want to try and do it just with developers from your company, or have another company helping you. Generally speaking you will be safer if you hire somebody, at least for consultancy and guidance.

You can contact SalesAgility themselves for this project, or look for other personal talent on sites like Upwork. There is also a person here on the forums from a company called Urdhva Tech. These are just a few mentions/recommendations, I am not affiliated with them. :slight_smile:

If you want to try and do it yourselves you can get Jim Mackin’s eBook “SuiteCRM for Developers”, that will give you a sense of how yo can extend SuiteCRM.

My Blog (link below) includes a few articles on “Concepts” which I hope are useful for your Database design.

1 Like

Hi Pgr,

Thank you for your advice.

There are indeed different options as to who we could hire to complete this project for us.

I’m trying to form an option about the cost and the effort necessary to complete this project.

Do you have an estimate of the effort involved?
Is this a 10 hour or 100 hour or more project?
Do we need to find someone with expert skills or will someone with average skills be sufficient?

I would really appreciate it if you could help me with these questions.

Many greetings,

I’m not really an adequate person to help you with effort estimates, I don’t have that kind of experience, and anyway, i would need to understand your requirements in much greater depth.

A few things I can tell you:

  • you should look for help from people familiar with SugarCRM or, better, with SuiteCRM directly. There is a learning curve to work with these technologies, so you start saving time by simply approaching people who are already past that learning curve.

  • you should consider how you are going to develop that knowledge in-house. If you have developers, and you are going to be using SuiteCRM, it’s very productive to have people in-house that can solve your problems, provide small improvements, etc. So, even if you start the project with outside help, get your people involved early.

  • don’t start your project on terms such as these “please import my CSV”, “please connect to the ERP API”. Instead, start with “what business functions am I trying to achieve”, “which SuiteCRM concepts are useful to me, and how will I be using them”?. So your first consultancy would be for this sort of process and data design.

  • check out these generic tips: https://suitecrm.com/suitecrm/blog/entry/12-simple-rules-of-crm-implementation

Hi Gpr,

Thank you for your advice. I can move on from here.



Further to @pgr’s recommendations, I have a few suggestions …

Before you even start, take a look at WHY you feel there is a need to move from your existing ERP software and WHY to a CRM? They are really two different animals and ANY kind of software migration should not be taken lightly.

What problems and limitations are you currently experiencing that you expect SuiteCRM to overcome? Lay it all out and get feedback from your people.

Has anyone in your organization taken an in-depth look at SuiteCRM, to get a good grasp of its functionality and potential shortcomings? (I’m talking both business and IT).

When looking at any piece of software such as a CRM, understand that you will achieve the best results by integration with other software … i.e. just because a CRM can do something, does not make it the best place to do it…

As just one example, I see numerous posts on this forum from users having problems with PDF documents in SuiteCRM, when they would actually be further ahead by simply creating an export file and producing their documents in MS Word. Not only would you gain the rich functionality of Word, but you can then delegate a lot of your document generation down to others (e.g. admin assistants), to remove yourself from that loop.

Regarding costing such a project … before any type of costings can be formulated, it will require an in-depth look at the complexity of your existing setup, any new functionality requirements and the volume of data involved.

Finally, look at a software migration as an opportunity to clean/sanitize your data, so that you are not migrating garbage!

P.S. Don’t forget hosting!