Customer Relationships Management (CRM) software tools have become a standard item for any organization that relies on the Internet to communicate, market, sell or recruit with external people and other organizations.
Sometimes the CRM database is called a Customer Management System, a Sales Lead Management system or a Membership System. Almost always the CRM database is a relational database with a standard query language (SQL) front end to it. Even 5 years ago an organization would have probably paid a medium size pot of money to purchase, install and customize an off-the-shelf CRM database.
But there has been a revolution in the way leading edge, high performance, software tools are offered free by all 3 of the IT industry giants – Apple, Google and Microsoft.
I have recommended free software tools from Google for most organisations that I have worked with professionally, or on a pro bono basis, in the past 10 years. They are all constantly improving their products and services but Google seems to always stay ahead of Apple and Microsoft.
But the other major consideration is that you can get all the Google tools on all types of hardware – desktops, laptops, smart phones and tablets – which could be running a wide range of operating systems. This is a unique advantage that eliminates Apple and Microsoft from consideration for clients who have no control on what brands of hardware or operating systems that their staff, customers and partners may be using in their private or working life.