Concursive Open Source CRM System Review
Concursive ConcourseSuite Open Source Customer Relationship Management
Formerly known as CentricCRM, Concursive has become one of the top commercial open source CRM software solutions in the industry. The December 2007 corporate name change was timed to coincide with the company's ConcourseSuite version 5 market launch as well as to reinforce the company's expanded brand from only CRM to also include complimentary front office business applications.
The newly acquired name Concursive comes from "concursion," signaling a running together of people, things and ideas, and Concourse, the new name for its software suite since it's a place for people to meet and come together.
The expanded corporate identity, Concursive Corp., is designed to highlight the CRM software company's shift from a single line of business application to broader applications that move beyond traditional CRM functionality, says Michael Harvey, executive vice president of the company. "Thinking of CRM as three silos of sales, marketing, and customer service won't work anymore," Harvey says. "That's not how customers interact with companies or how companies interact with customers. We wanted to give ourselves a more expansive name that allows for the inclusion of CRM in what we're offering, but also allows our customers to focus on the fact we're delivering a much broader footprint than what's traditionally thought of as CRM," he says.
Organized in January 2000 and headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, USA the company employs about 50 staff and like most CRM open source software companies is not yet profitable. In May of 2007, the company received a Series A venture funding round from an investment group which included Intel Capital, a venture group with a clear preference for open source software applications. Concursive's biggest customer is US Foodservice which has up to 4,000 users accessing the business software system which runs on a single Intel quad processor server. Despite this one large customer, the majority of Concursive's customers are small business entities. The most common business management system being left behind by new Concursive customers is the ACT! contact management system.
Concursive has clearly recognized the market demand for software as a service (SaaS) and on-demand CRM applications. The company promotes its flagship solution as either an on-premise or on-demand CRM solution. Concursive also provides its ConcourseSuite at no charge for a maximum of five users.
ConcourseSuite version 6 was released in 2008. The ConcourseSuite (formerly Centric CRM) is broken down by software module and includes software modules for Concourse CRM, Concourse Web, Concourse Content and Concourse Team. Customers may implement the software modules separately or as a full suite. Version 6 also includes the integration of Concursive's CRM and Team Elements solutions. This open source CRM solution includes a complete front-office suite, with the hallmarks of its original customer relationship management system as well as customer service, team collaboration, social media tools such as tags, blogs and wikis, WCM and some e-commerce storefront processing. The web site integration offers pre-built shopping carts and inventory product catalogues, however does not include online payment processing. The solution's portlet technology permits custom dashboards and mash-ups by aggregating existing J2EE / Java Portlets or tapping readily available web content such as Google maps.
The former Centric product operated under the proprietary Centric Public License. However, with the new company identity and product advancements, Concursive uses both its earlier proprietary license and has adopted some licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) consortium.
Concursive's user and partner community has seen a growth revitalization. The number of registered users has grown from about 4,000 in August 2006 to over 12,500 in January 2008.
The company's primary open source CRM competitor is SugarCRM. Concursive shows strengths against SugarCRM in the areas of simplicity, ease of use, content management, array of front office utilities, social media tools, code quality, code documentation, software scalability and its multi-tenant architecture. Concursive's primary weaknesses include poor brand recognition and a relatively weak (but improving) partner program.
223 East City Hall Avenue
Norfolk, Virginia 23510
David Richards, CEO
Mr. Richards has a long history of executive leadership. In 1989, Richards started AutoNetas as one of the first electronic marketplaces of used-vehicles in the US. Richards later joined Landmark Communications as VP and Corporate Development. In 1995 Richards became CEO of InfiNet, a three-way joint venture of Landmark, Gannett and Knight Ridder. In April 1998, he was named Chairman & CEO of Physicians Online, a VC-backed company with funding from AT&T Ventures, Invesco, and Advent International. Richards is credited with a turn-around business success at one the largest online global physician communities. The company was later sold for $180 million prior to his departure. Richards received his BA from Williams College and his MBA from the Colgate Darden Graduate School at the University of Virginia.
Concursive Open Source Competitors