(Last Updated On: September 5, 2017)

As soon as your business grows beyond a particular point, there is a real need of integrating the CRM system to your sales/marketing/support process. We try to bring together best Free and Open Source CRM solutions that you can integrate immediately with your business workflow.  For Small businesses, it would be really difficult to implement and deploy big CRMs like Salesforce, SAP etc, additionally it might be an overkill too and ROI wont justify the pricing in most of the cases.

Just like most of the webapps, CRMs also come in many variants:

  1. Freemium : CRMs have some features free with the caps on the usage or the features. You can very well test drive the CRM and try to gel them into your existing process to see how it can adopted to your organization. Most of these CRMs work like Saas Tools. Likes of SugarCRM, vTiger are an exception though.
  2. Paid : CRMs which are paid from the start and work like SaaS tools. This post is about open source CRMs so we will probably have a separate post to cover them.
  3. Free and Open Source : These are CRMs that are free and open source. Most of these CRMs are to be installed on premises on some shared/dedicated hosting. Most of them use PHP/mysql as backend and are easy to install on your own server. The purpose of this post is to cover this category of CRM solutions.

Here is the list of the best free and Open Source CRM that we have tested for our readers.

8 Best Free and Open Source CRM :

1. SugarCRM CE

SugarCRM community edition is one of the oldest and feature rich open source CRMs around. The CRM is based on PHP/mysql and the community edition needs to be installed on premise or on your own hosting.

Features: The open source free version provides quite some features including unlimited contacts, trackable campaigns, unlimited opportunities, Leads and much more.

Requirements: PHP/mysql based shared host will work well to get you started on SugarCRM.

Mobile Access: There are quite a few free apps on Google play store and iTunes store to help you access your SugarCRM from your Mobile. A couple of them:

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: SugarCRM provides quite a few options to select a pre-configured Saas option to get started. These options might appear expensive if you are just a small startup. However they would be quicker to get you started than the open source hosted version. Minimum price for Saas based SugarCRM will come out to be 40USD per user per month billed annually.

Support:  The company doesn’t actively support the open source version however the community is quite active with the community edition.

2. vTiger CRM 

vTiger CRM is one of the popular offshoots of SugarCRM. It started from SugarCRM codebase but has evolved quite a bit since then. The functionality available now is much more advanced. The CRM infact has expanded quite a bit into an ERP system as well including quite an ERP functionality like Purchase Order, Sales Order etc

Features: The open source free version provides almost all the features of the professional version including unlimited contacts, trackable campaigns, unlimited opportunities, Leads, Sales Order, Purchase Order and much more.

Requirements: PHP/mysql based shared host will work well to get you started on vTiger.

Mobile Access: There are quite a few free apps on Google play store and iTunes store to help you access your vTiger from your Mobile. Some of them include :

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: vTiger provides quite a few options to select a pre-configured Saas option to get started. Since vTiger is from India, these options are equally competent and can get you started quickly for relatively much lower cost. Base plan Saas based vTiger will come out to be 10USD per user per month billed annually and the fully loaded pricing will come out to be max 30USD per hour.

Support:  The company actively support the open source version unlike the SugarCRM CE and the community is also quite active with the open source edition developing plugins and providing support on the issues you face while working with vTiger Open Source CRM.

3. Suite CRM 

SuiteCRM is another popular offshoot of SugarCRM. It started from SugarCRM CE codebase but has evolved quite a bit since then. The company pitches itself against the likes of SalesForce, Microsoft dynamics and SugarCRM professional. Its the only company which doesn’t have a Saas version and earns completely from the allied services like hosting SuiteCRM, support, implementation amongst other things. Their proposition comes close to the belief that the CRM will remain forever free.

Features: The open source free version provides almost all the features that you will find in the professional CRMs like SugarCRM including unlimited contacts, trackable campaigns, unlimited opportunities, Leads, Accounts, quotes and much more.

Requirements: PHP/mysql based shared host will work well to get you started on SuiteCRM.

Mobile Access: The choice of Mobile apps is quite limited when it comes to suite CRM. Couple of them include :

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: As discussed earlier, company’s stand on pricing is quite clear. The company earns majorly from allied services like setting up hosting for SuiteCRM, Premium Support, Migration and other services. As a result there are no pre-configured instances available and you must setup the SuiteCRM by yourself.

Support:  The company actively support the open source version the community is also quite active with the open source edition developing plugins and providing support on the issues you face while working with the CRM. Company itself also provides paid support depending on the number of hours of support that you require per year.

4. CiviCRM

CivCRM is another PHP/mysql based(typically called LAMP stack) CRM. The CRM is a special purpose CRM created specially for NGOs, non-profits and advocacy organisations. The CRM integrates extremely well with known CMS like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.

Features: The CRM focuses specifically on the structure of public organisations and hence supports features as per their workflow. The CRM has strong Case Management, Accounting Integration, Household, Activities and many more general purpose modules.

Requirements: PHP/mysql based shared host will work well to get you started on CiviCRM.

Mobile Access: The choice of Mobile apps is quite limited when it comes to CiviCRM. As of writing this blog, we could find and test only one CiviCRM app on Google Play store :

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: There are no pre-configured instances available and you must setup the CiviCRM by yourself. However, there is a choice of finding an expert on CiviCRM site to get the install done without hassles.

Support:  The company actively support the open source version the community is also quite active with the open source edition developing plugins and providing support on the issues you face while working with the CRM.

5. FatFreeCRM

Not all the CRMs are PHP based. FatFreeCRM is a CMS based on RubyonRails. As the name suggest, the CRM is very lightweight and is built for infinitely extensible.

Features: The CRM focuses specifically on the simplicity and is very simple in its original form. The only modules it contains in the fresh install are leads, campaigns and comparing leads. The CRM however has got huge community support because of its highly extensible nature and there are many open source modules that can help extend the CRM.

Requirements: You will need a host that supports RoR. Its easy to find a low cost RoR Hosting service these days though.

Mobile Access: As of writing this blog, we could not find any mobile apps for FatFreeCRM, however with its growing popularity, we are sure that there will apps on Play Store and iTunes store soon.

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: There are no pre-configured instances available and you must setup the FatFreeCRM by yourself.

Support:  The community is actively building and supporting the CRM, the community is also quite active with developing plugins and providing support on the issues you face while working with the CRM.

6. OpenCRX

OpenCRX is java based CRM solution. The CRM has been around for quite sometime now and it positions itself to be built with the features for an enterprise class CRM.

Features: The CRM features a host of functionality including Production Classification, Pricing, Salesforce integration, bug tracking, groupwares integration like Microsoft outlook, calendars and host of security features, all in its free version.

Requirements: You will need a host that supports java and tomcat. This might cost more than a typical PHP based hosting service.

Mobile Access: As of writing this blog, we could not find any mobile apps for OpenCRX,so you will have difficulties accessing your data on Mobile.

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: There are no pre-configured instances available and you must setup the OpenCRx by yourself.

Support:  The company is actively building and supporting the CRM, the community is also quite active with developing plugins and providing support on the issues you face while working with the CRM. The documentation is quite exhaustive.

7. Hubspot CRM

Hubspot is the latest entrant into the CRM market. The CRM is not open source but the CRM is free forever as Hubspot doesn’t intend to make money from this product, rather this product is placed as an entry point to their marketing suite.

Features: The CRM is focused and aligned on helping you convert more deals. The CRM has been built grounds up by marketing automation team and some features like prompting users at the right time on the site, integration with the main site are quite notable as compared to the other CRMs

Requirements: Nothing, put in your email address and get started.

Mobile Access: None yet.

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: None yet. The CRM is completely free.

Support:  Hubspot’s support team is world class amongst other things Hubspot. If you are looking for optimizing conversion rates but not typical CRM for data storage, this is the way for you to go.

8. Zoho CRM

Zoho offers a host of Business applications. CRM is one of them. The CRM is not open source but the CRM offers a free version or folks to try on.

Features: The CRM offers a host of features which may vary with your choice of the plan you chose. There are quite advanced features available for Sales and Marketing teams which may not be available in the open source CRM. The CRM takes a more practical and modern approach to sales and marketing.

Requirements: Nothing, put in your email address and get started.

Mobile Access: There are official apps that give access to your data on the go.

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: You can chose a plan from $12/user/month to $100/user/month depending upon your requirements.

Support:  Zoho’s support team is world class. The CRM has good developer API integrations and supports quite a few extra modules for you to integrate in your workflow.

Final Conclusion:

There are a host of open source CRM solutions available in the market. You should chose a CRM that best matches your organization sales and customer management flow. You can chose between hosted and Saas based CRM depending upon your budget availability, please keep in mind that a free open source CRM will also cost you something in terms of setting up, hosting and these CRMs can cost quite a bit because of their transactional nature.

We hope that the list of open source CRMs was useful to you…

In case you are using some other CRM or have experience with any of these CRMs, feel free to drop in the comments and we will be more than happy to discuss this further .. 🙂