If a director is blindly heading off in the direction of the salesforce website ( http://www.salesforece.com
) with little to no knowledge of I.T. best practice or our internal I.T. policies or strategy and we would rather they didn't then what other CRM's are available. What alternatives can we offer to the business.
The problem with Salesforce is that they run it themselves on their own servers. This is a problem for the following reasons.
1. Subscription. You must pay per month per user. (annual option available) This will be expensive compared with something that utilises our existing infrastructure (i.e. it would be free~ish to run something internally)
2. Your data is not secure. It is being hosted by someone else.
3. There is no guarantee it will be properly backed up
4. If you use Salesforce for a year and decide you don't like it then you will have to export all of your data (assuming this is possible) and you will need their cooperation to do so. This might not be available if you aren't paying your bill so you could lose all of your data as they may hold you to ransom and refuse to hand it over.
5. You aren't in control of your updates and you cannot manipulate the code to suite your own requirements.
6. Reliability is not guaranteed to be as reliable as your own internal systems.
So I have lots of reasons for not implementing Salesforce but I recognise that the company would like use of a CRM so what else is out there? I am particularly interested in anythign that runs using an SQL backend and a HTML front end.