Looking for a great customer management/scheduling solution for a growing IT company
March 8, 2009 8:30 AM   Subscribe

My company is looking for a comprehensive package to manage our IT company, which has grown 1000% over the past 4.5 years. I believe we have outgrown our existing solution. It has to be scalable, user friendly, integrate with Quickbooks, ideally would integrate with Kaseya, and generally be a very full solution. Honestly, Autotask is the best thing we have found, but it is not an option as we cannot host it ourself. Outsourcing all client data to another company means we are beholden to that company for life and that is not an option. We tested Commit but the web interface just wasn't robust. The program itself was very functional, but the interface would lead one to believe that it was intended for smaller shops so we are going to stay away from it. All suggestions and critiques are welcome.
posted by titans13 to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Have you not looked into Microsoft's CRM solution? I like it because the interface is familiar, it integrates with Outlook and it runs on Microsoft SQL, so I know how to scale it and add redundancy if I need to. There are a lot of middleware solutions for SQL/Quickbooks out there.
posted by geoff. at 9:15 AM on March 8, 2009

this question is bigger than the problem you are describing: many companies struggle with new problems their founders aren't equipped to handle once they have outgrown their initial size and structure. know your strength and weaknesses and staff accordingly. accepting that there are people who can help you handle new issues better and being willing to bring them in is what is going to keep your momentum going.

this sounds like a great time to bring in a skilled consultant. is your assumption that you cannot host a solution based on a cost analysis that you made a while back when your situation and the cost of storage was different? (see amazon's S3 storage for current cost structures.) I'd suggest getting someone from the outside takes time to analyze where you are, who questions every perceived given on its own and then recommends a solution that puts you into a good spot for the next 1000%. btw: congrats on that. that's really impressive.
posted by krautland at 9:27 AM on March 8, 2009

Outsourcing all client data to another company means we are beholden to that company for life and that is not an option.

I don't think that's true. Companies outsource client data storage and applications all the time and change vendors all the time. Witness the growth of, say, salesforce.com. It can be really cost effective to do so especially given a lot of the regulations and standards in place or in the works related to care of personal data. If you go with Microsoft or most other vendors, you'll usually pay for ongoing maintenance and support, and it will be just as difficult to switch to another product. And with Microsoft in particular, you'll pay for client access licenses not only for the product but anything that ties into it such as SQL Server, Outlook > Exchange, etc. etc.

As with any vendor, you need to do your homework and make sure they are viable, can provide data extracts in a format you can use, have acceptable termination processes, can provide you with whatever certifications you need for regulatory purposes (PCI, SAS 70, etc), and all the rest. But I wouldn't let the hosting model turn you away from an otherwise good fit.
posted by txvtchick at 11:15 AM on March 8, 2009

What's the current software you use, and how is it not meeting your new requirements? Do like you'd do for any client- map out the workflows and design a solution that works for you.

(I would suggest staying away from Remedy, fyi. I have not seen it work well, ever, in my experience.)

(And determine if hanging onto Quickbooks is an asset or a liability.)
posted by gjc at 4:50 PM on March 8, 2009

« Older Szechuan Buttons in Toronto?   |   Where to get local China news, in China Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.