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MOATGroup
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Hi Arthur,

Good to see here that so many people have recommended hosted solutions, which I would also suggest, however, you asked about a desktop client.

To be honest, anything that is free in terms of CRM, I would assume lacks some functionality. Having used the majority of CRM solutions in the market at one time or another (no IT company seems to have the same systems), one that I keep coming back to for simplicity and ease of use is Act! by Sage. I first used this as Version 3 back in 1995/96 and to be honest it has got a lot better since then.

Sage also own Saleslogix and have their own CRM, both good products and depends on the functionality you require. If you reviewied Maximiser, I’d try and push you away from it, based on historical support and also it wasn’t very easy to use in the old days.

Act has great integration to outlook nowadays as well.

Another is MS Dynamics CRM – not a bad solution, but being MS has its usual issues sometimes.

Goldmine is an old and tested product, but haven’t used this for years.

Have a look at this site for a bit more information:
http://www.comparecrm.com/

One key aspect that’s really being missed is working out what you need from the CRM – is it just a contacts DB (if so use Outlook), if it’s more then you need to define what that More is..

I wouldn’t skimp and save on a solution that controls my customer data, too business critical.

I would also suggest to have a look at online solutions – provides access anywhere etc, this further expands your horizons to include:
SugarCRM
Netsuite
Siebel / Oracle on Demand
Sage CRM
Telstra TSuite – MS Dymanics CRM

Feel free to email me if you’d like more advice or to pick my brain, I enjoy discussing Business Systems with people, but do believe you need to pay for it. All up, I’d trial ACT! – new version 2010 seems really good.

Many thanks

Marcus
ITS Group
MOAT Group
Bugbat.com.au