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Thread: Full Small Business Portal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Default Full Small Business Portal

    I am currently looking for a database backend solution for my small (environmental) consulting firm.

    I am thinking:

    1. Zimbra for e-mail and calendaring;
    2. Alfresco for document management; and
    3. MySQL for the database.

    However, I need to store project data, client data, and some billing data in the database and have the ability to add, edit, etc. information in the database from my employees desktops (with controls on who can do what).

    I need to be able to search globally (e-mail, files on the file server, calendar, etc.) and have e-mails stored by project and/or client regardless of who sent or received the e-mail.

    Besides Ty.fresco (in beta), is there any unified approach to providing me what I need?

    People have suggested Joomla, SugarCRM, etc. I am not real familiar with any of the CRM or CMS solutions, so I am asking for help/suggestions.

    Yes, I have a budget and am willing to spend (within reason) to get what I want and to help the projects that participate in my solution.

    Thanks for comments/suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Counsel
    I am currently looking for a database backend solution for my small (environmental) consulting firm.

    I am thinking:

    1. Zimbra for e-mail and calendaring;
    2. Alfresco for document management; and
    3. MySQL for the database.

    However, I need to store project data, client data, and some billing data in the database and have the ability to add, edit, etc. information in the database from my employees desktops (with controls on who can do what).

    I need to be able to search globally (e-mail, files on the file server, calendar, etc.) and have e-mails stored by project and/or client regardless of who sent or received the e-mail.

    Besides Ty.fresco (in beta), is there any unified approach to providing me what I need?

    People have suggested Joomla, SugarCRM, etc. I am not real familiar with any of the CRM or CMS solutions, so I am asking for help/suggestions.

    Yes, I have a budget and am willing to spend (within reason) to get what I want and to help the projects that participate in my solution.

    Thanks for comments/suggestions.
    Hi Counsel,
    The environmental consultancy I look after are looking to use sugarCRM opensource for all their work. They have been using MoreGroupware untill recently when sugar went to version 4 to include the email client.

    There is too much choice really, and you won't find anything that reall/truly does everything. Sugar does seem to be the most comprehensive and is written entirely in PHP so is easy to modify - the open source version won't cost you anything so why not install and try?

    Keep me updated of how you get on, and I'll look out for more apps.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2005
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    Default Sugar isn't the best

    Hi:

    I talked with a Sugar representative since the original post, and he stated he didn't think I was looking for a Sugar implementation and that what I wanted would take some reworking of the Sugar product (expensive).

    I want a database that has several tables (project, client, firm, individual, etc.) and a (insert tech here) such as php to allow for display and editing/entry/removal of data from the database from a browser (this I think is basic/easy to implement--I just don't have the time).

    I would like to have a calendar (schedule, todo, etc.) associated with each employee that is editable by other employees. I would love to handle e-mail in the database but have each employee move the e-mail over to the database rather than have to host our own e-mail server in-house.

    I would love to have a tab (or something) that allowed me to pull up documents associated with a project/client sorted as I wished (by date, author, etc.) and with a plug-in or somehting that allowed me to view or open those documents (we do use open office and adobe acrobat).

    I would be happy to discuss incorporating Zimbra into this (but the price I get for my 9-person firm is $1,000 USD per year).

    Suggestions?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default suggestion for smb portal

    have you looked at http://www.open-xchange.com

    this is a great product and does pretty much what you want.

    they have a web demo as well so you can see what it really looks/works like.

    good luck,

    Oskar

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