7 CRM Options Compatible with Drupal

Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/7-crm-options-compatible-drupal/

I love Drupal and end up undertaking most of my programming projects with it. I have been using it for so long that I find it far easier to push out projects with Drupal than with anything else, despite it’s infamous learning curve.

Whether you want to call Drupal a CMS (Content Management System), a CMF (Content Management Framework) or a CMSomething, the ‘C’ always stands for Content. Content is where Drupal shines and is what it’s designed for.

When an organisation is at a stage and mindset that they also want to manage their contacts and interactions effectively they will often need tools designed specifically for that function. These are generally referred to as a CRM, which stands for Client Relationship Manager or Constituent Relationship Manager, depending on the sector (For-Profit or Not-for-Profit respectively). CRMs are big business, with many free and paid options available, all with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Often these interactions that people have with your organisation will include things such as registering for an event, making a donation, becoming a member, expressing interest in a product or receiving a newsletter. This all sounds quite simple, but often representing a business rule in the digital realm is very difficult as everyone thinks ‘their way’ is ‘the only way’ and that surely every off-the-shelf system should represent them out of the box.

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A great option is OpenCRM which is CRM Drupal-style! I’m just migrating a client from a Drupal<->SugarCRM to OpenCRM and using their ‘kickstart’ bundle which provides a good starting point based on Panopoly:

Another CRM option is ERPAL at https://www.drupal.org/project/erpal
It includes CRM, ERP and more

Erpal is on my list but haven’t tried it fully yet, I have a test installation to play with and will attempt to migrate myself to it…

Open CRM I am not familiar with, I should prefix this article with the fact that there are SOOOOO many CRMs! Every time I do this topic I hear of some I forgot :confused:

Thanks @Francewoha to mention ERPAL here and thanks to ChrisChinchilla for this great overview. This blogpost describes perfectly how the “Drupal way” should be used to build an integrated CRM solution with Drupal: Use entities to model your data and integrate it with views, rules and other contrib modules to change the behaviour of your CRM entities. This is the way RedHen goes and it is related to the way Drupal Commerce is build. There is also the Drupal module CRM Core as an entity based CRM framework that is very similar to RedHen from its architecture. There is another ERPAL distribution called ERPAL Platform. It is based on Drupal commerce and integrates Drupal Commerce with CRM Core and some other useful modules to have a framework distribution for flexible business applications. As it is not targeted to non profits, it provides you with features for the complete sales life cycle from CRM contacts and activities through to quotes, orders and invoices, all based on native Drupal Commerce entities. So ERPAL Platform targets Drupal developers and site builders to help them to build their own business applications with the most common Drupal modules.
The ERPAL for Service Provider distribution is an end user distribution for service providers that includes CRM, project management, timetracking, invoicing, reporting and many other features to manage a service providers business. It has lots of features for this use case but it is not as flexible as ERPAL Platform.
I hope this description gives the overview some addintional helpful information for people that want to start on top of a distribution instead of starting from scratch with plain entities.

Thanks for that… I am undertaking an ERPAL test over the Holidays, so will add to this post when I do :slight_smile:

I just wanted to chime in as the authors of RedHen and the most recent version of the Salesforce Suite. First, thanks for covering the topic, accurately and fairly, Chris. We think there’s going to be continue to be a growing buzz about nonprofit engagement and the open source tools that power it. The days of having separate silos for your content/features and contacts, that can’t talk to each other, are hopefully numbered and CMS integrations are the most obvious place to begin integrating these systems since most every organization already has a CMS in place and systems like Drupal and Wordpress are maturing enough to be completely digital hubs for an organization.

We just published an article about some of the trends that we’re looking out for in 2015. We also just released a major new version of RedHen (yes, it coincided with a team sprint!) as part of a new peer-2-peer fundraising platform built on top of it, RedHen Raiser.

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