Help me find a great solution for CRM and Project Management together
July 2, 2007 9:10 AM   Subscribe

CRM / Project Management question: Help me find a solution for handling both CRM and Project Management in a seamless fashion (either via OpenAir / SalesForce, or a totally new solution)

I've just started at a new company. We do web development / consulting for clients, and usually once a project is closed out, we have continued maintenance/updates afterward. We're currently using SalesForce for the sales and CRM process, and OpenAir for project management. The problem is they don't really integrate as well as they could.

I've been tasked with looking at two main possibilities:

1) As above, we currently use SalesForce and OpenAir for CRM and Project Management respectively. They work great, but there are some serious pain points. Most notably, when a client requests more work from us in the form of a SalesForce "case", we have to manually create a task in OpenAir and update everything manually to keep them synchronized through the life of that task, closing each of them separately, etc. Is there a reasonably-priced package that could solve this, or is it possible to code something ourselves? I understand both packages are supposed to be pretty open, but I'm just learning about the software and I'm not too familiar with what is and is not possible yet.

2) Alternatively, while it would have to be a really compelling option, the company is willing to entertain the idea of a new solution altogether. Is there a really great, reasonably priced CRM/Project Management combo package that integrates the two processes seamlessly? It would need to be useful for the sales process, the project process, the maintenance process, and the billing/invoicing process.

I know I can google for CRM and Project Management, and I've done so. There's just a billion tools out there and I'm looking for some feedback from people who've actually used them, especially at companies that may operate similarly to the web consulting firm I'm at.
posted by twiggy to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Highrise and Basecamp?
posted by SpecialK at 9:41 AM on July 2, 2007

If you're happy with Salesforce and want to try different Project Management apps that integrate directly with it you can check the Salesforce AppExchange; depending on your Project Mangement needs there are some that are "feature lite" but free and others that are better but cost money in the typical Salesforce monthy per-user fee model. I've generally had good results with the other AppExchange programs I've tried.
posted by Challahtronix at 10:31 AM on July 2, 2007

Have you talked to anyone at OpenAir or Salesforce about this? I just looked on the AppExchange - and OpenAir has created apps so that all their functionality can be integrated directly in Salesforce. If that solution doesn't work - OpenAir is certified Salesforce partner and I'm sure would have a ton of advice for you on how to best integrate the two.
posted by Wolfie at 10:37 AM on July 2, 2007

Response by poster: Regarding AppExchange: I'm aware of its existence, but integration between the programs seems weak at best. My understanding is that my company has talked to them before about this, but it hasn't gone anywhere. I suppose it wouldn't hurt for me to try.

To SpecialK: We do use Basecamp for certain things, but it's a bit simplistic for some of our more in-depth project / resource management needs hence the use of OpenAir.

Thanks for the suggestions so far, I'll keep chuggin'!
posted by twiggy at 10:57 AM on July 2, 2007

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