Concursive Open Source CRM Software Review
Concursive ConcourseSuite and Team Elements
Formerly known as CentricCRM, Concursive is one of the top commercial open source CRM software solutions. The December 2007 name change was timed to coincide with the company's ConcourseSuite version 5 market launch as well as to project the company's expanded brand which in additional to CRM also includes complimentary front office applications.
The newly coined name Concursive comes from "concursion," meaning a running together of people, things and ideas, and Concourse, the new name for its suite since it's a place for people to meet and come together.
The new corporate identity, Concursive Corp., is intended to demonstrate the CRM software maker's shift to broader applications that move beyond traditional CRM functionality, says Michael Harvey, executive vice president of the company. "Thinking of CRM as three silos of sales, marketing, and customer service won't work anymore," Harvey says. "That's not how customers interact with companies or how companies interact with customers. We wanted to give ourselves a more expansive name that allows for the inclusion of CRM in what we're offering, but also allows our customers to focus on the fact we're delivering a much broader footprint than what's traditionally thought of as CRM," he says.
Founded in January 2000 in Norfolk, Virginia, the company retains about 50 employees and is not yet profitable. In May of 2007, the company received a Series A round of venture funding from an investment group which included Intel Capital, a venture source with an appetite for open source software solutions. The company's largest customer is US Foodservice which has up to 4,000 users accessing the application which runs on a single Intel quad processor server. Despite this large customer, the majority of Concursive's customers are small business operations. The most common customer management system being left behind by new Concursive customers is ACT!.
The company has clearly recognized the market demand for software as a service (SaaS) CRM systems. Concursive offers its flagship product as either an on-premise or on-demand CRM system. The company also offers its ConcourseSuite at no charge for a maximum of five users.
ConcourseSuite version 6 was released in 2008. The ConcourseSuite (formerly Centric CRM) is module based and includes software modules for Concourse CRM, Concourse Web, Concourse Content and Concourse Team. Companies may deploy the modules separately or as a full suite. Version 6 includes the integration of Concursive's CRM and Team Elements software. This open source CRM software solution includes a complete front-office suite, with the hallmarks of its original customer relationship management system as well as customer service, team collaboration, social media tools such as blogs, wikis and tagging, WCM and some e-commerce processing. The website integration offers built-in shopping carts and product catalogues, although does not include payment processing. The product's portlet technology facilitates custom dashboards and mash-ups by aggregating existing Java Portlets or tapping readily available web content such as Google maps.
The earlier named Centric product operated under the proprietary Centric Public License. However, with its new identity, Concursive uses both its earlier proprietary license and has adopted some licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) consortium.
The company's user community has seen a growth revitalization. The number of registered users has grown from about 4,000 in August 2006 to over 12,500 in January 2008.
Concursive's primary competitor is SugarCRM. Concursive shows strengths against SugarCRM in the areas of ease of use, content management, array of front office utilities, web 2.0 and social media tools, code documentation, software scalability and its multi-tenant architecture. Concursive's primary weaknesses include poor brand recognition and a relatively weak (but improving) partner program.
223 East City Hall Avenue
Norfolk, Virginia 23510
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David Richards, CEO
David Richards has a history of corporate leadership. In 1989, Richards founded AutoNetas as one of the first electronic marketplaces of used-vehicles in the US. Richards then joined Landmark Communications as VP and Corporate Development. In 1995 Richards became CEO of InfiNet, a three-way joint venture of Landmark, Gannett and Knight Ridder. In April 1998, he became Chairman & CEO of Physicians’ Online, a company backed by VCs including AT&T Ventures, Invesco, and Advent International. Richards is credited with turning around POL, the largest online community of physicians in the world, and successfully sold the company for $180 million prior to his departure. Richards received his BA from Williams College and his MBA from the Colgate Darden Graduate School at the University of Virginia.