Last week I downloaded SugarCRM Community Edition and am taking it for a test spin on my local network. As an independent consultant I don’t need a lot of the bells and whistles of an online CRM product – I just need to manage document projects as they come in, keep track of sales opportunities and essentially just have a place for notes and updates – it’s hard enough to keep track of who you’re speaking with day to day and what your last conversation was.

I give full credit to the Sugar folk too – it’s a great application, easy enough to use, easy enough to customize. I’m only scratching the surface of what it can do, but I have to say that the install and configuration was dead easy, and even when I’ve had to customize fields or data entry options, I’ve been able to figure it out without any support. I’ve got a lot more work to do on it and will update as time goes on, but a positive first experience with the product and I see us using it more as the company grows.

On the document management front we’ve been working on some new partnerships with technology providers in the area which should prove lucrative in years to come. I have opportunities in some property firms and a lot more scanning work coming along these days than I would have expected. I have a great set of partners, even being the odd man out in this country I’ve been able to build up a reliable network of guys who do scanning or software integration and are always on the lookout for additional knowledge to help them grow their business, which is great.

Next post I’ll be writing up some PDF extraction tools I’ve been using on one or two projects, they really change the landscape for companies looking to do data extraction or hosting of electronic files online with a solution like ImageSilo or similar. Companies are using document hosting in a variety of ways, some unexpected, some obvious, but the industry continues to change and the technology continues to adapt. More to come, have a great rest of your week.

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