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CRM ERP Technology

ERP and CRM Technology

The focus is what we do is your business process and strategy needs. We do not focus on technology for technology sake. However, technology can be an important enabler adapting low-cost enterprise level solutions. This section briefly describes some of these enabling technologies that we leverage in our work.

Open Source and CRM and ERP Software

Customer Resource Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software are important enterprise applications critical for the success of every business including SMBs. Up until recently, these software packages were mostly unaffordable by the SMBs and were the exclusive privilege of the large corporations. In recent years, however, the advancement of open source technologies help in making these important tools fit the SMBs' limited budgets. Now SMBs are not limited to using Quickbooks, and can leverage the same business tools that are leveraged by the largest multi-national corporations.

CRM Software

The purpose of CRM software is to support enterprise sales and marketing activities. Typical CRM software supports the following processes:

  • Customer acquisition
  • Various new customer pursuit activities including tracking new potential customers, tracking contacts and actions, customer quotation, marketing initiatives, etc.
  • Drive sales performance by tracking leads, tracking potential and actual sales orders, organizing customer master data, and tracking overall customer needs.
  • Managing customer service calls
  • Managing quotations and sales orders

CRM software can help SMB organize sales and marketing throughout effectively companywide leveraging best-practices.

ERP Software

ERP software does much more than help your enterprise plan resources (including sales, production, procurement, inventory, labor, and other resources). Modern ERP software helps manage all of your enterprise key processes starting from sales order through delivery to customer, as well as post delivery activities such as customer returns, warranty, and service. ERP software integrates all business activities into related financial transactions reflected in its General Ledger and other financial areas. ERP provides one integrated view to enterprise workers and managers, while enforcing consistent processes, best-practices, security, and policies. ERP has extensive operational and management reporting and some business intelligent capabilities.

Some functions, such as quotation and order entry, may overlap between CRM and ERP components. CRM and ERP must be tightly integrated to avoid duplication of information and effort. They share some important master data such as customer and product information.

Open Source

Open source refers to practices and organization of developing software by promoting access to source code and sharing the development of source code by a developing community. Early open source technologies included the Linux operating system, and then came other open source tools such as databases (such as MySQL and PostgreSQL). Open source CRM and ERP systems existed for many years, but in few recent years they started to achieve decent functionality that can rival close source options.

The most important practical impact of Open Source technology is its cost. In its most basic form it is free by definition. Most Open Source publishers (ISVs) offer a commercial closed source component to their open source software, or charge for certain maintenance and support services. Therefore, Open Source CRM and ERP software is not completely free, but it is much cheaper than its close source competition.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing refers to a method of providing computing infrastructure through the Internet much like an energy utility provides electricity. Instead of buying, installing and maintaining physical computing hardware, you can rent computing resources from service providers. This includes computing CPUs, memory, storage, network, and backup and recovery services. You can connect to these resources through your network providers.

The availability of this technology primarily reduces the initial investment that required supporting the CRM and ERP software implementation. This technology also has a good potential reducing the long term cost of ownership as well.

Many of the tasks supporting IT infrastructure are moved to the Cloud Computing vendor. The role of our services is to help our customer select the appropriate Cloud computing options, finalize the setup with the Cloud vendor, install your enterprise software, and integrate with your in-house and mobile systems.

Microsoft Based Technology

The Farber Consulting Group has extensive experience developing software leveraging Microsoft technologies including Visual Studio, Visual FoxPro, and SQL server. These technologies are widely used by many of our SMB clients and support many critical business functions. Although our EAS practice leverages Open Source and Cloud technologies discussed on this page, FCG can effectively integrate and develop add on custom solutions based on your existing Microsoft environment enabling you to leverage the benefits of both legacy Microsoft technology and new low-cost Open Source CRM and ERP software in a seamless manner.