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Transitioning old file/server CRM solution to new Web-based Application

Hi. We have an old CRM system that is currently local to only a single location and we are looking to transition it to a more modern, web-based system with network capability and would appreciate any advice about the best way to go about it.

Basically, we currently have a fairly simple Microsoft Access (2007) database system, into which customer information and updates are added and from which regular reports are generated based on that data.

It is a fairly simple database with only two main tables: a customer info table and a transaction table with a one-to-many relationship between the two. There are other tables but they are mostly lookup tables used by the input forms in order to standardize input values.

The problem is that currently this database is only accessible from one main office location. We have four other branch offices in different locations across the state, and the process in the past has been for those branch offices to fax daily customer updates to the main office where the data is collected and then added to the database.

However, we want to decentralize and modernize this process by moving the data entry and reporting out of the central office and into the individual branch offices instead, allowing each branch to track and manage their own customer data, but we want those offices to share a central database repository between them.

What I'm trying to figure out is how to migrate the currently out-dated system -- which is limited to a single physical location -- to a new, web-based system that can be shared and accessed from these geographically separated offices. I have looked at certain Full-stack CMS solutions like Joomla or Drupal to create this system, but I'm beginning to think going that way might be overkill for what I'm trying to do.

Basically, I need a browser front-end that can be used for data entry from the branch locations, a central data repository (I'm thinking MySQL) where all data is stored, network code to communicate between the two across the internet (probably PHP?), and a reporting functionality that would allow us to run aggregate reports on the data inputted.

We are a fairly small company, and I am the only tech-resource, so I am trying to scope out this project and decide what technologies would be best to use to accomplish it.

Any advice, links I can look at or comments on things I should keep in mind would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance --eric

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Are you going to build one or use a flexible CRM?

by surajee In reply to Transitioning old file/se ...

Hi Eric,

I guess you are coming from a very strong IT background hence wanting to build a good CRM for your company. But as you rightly figured out, it could be an overkill.

However, if you want,
* a hosted solution which is truly web based
* a subscription based service which can be paid monthly and discontinue if dissatisfied
* a solution which is intuitive and affordable
* a system which is embedded into your Gmail (personal or corporate)
you should continue reading.

BuzzFlow (http://www.buzzflow.io) is a truly web based Small business CRM that is directly baked into your Gmail inbox.
The Good thing with BuzzFlow is it's more than just a CRM. Multiple Apps of BuzzFlow allows businesses to create CRM, Asset tracking, Help Desk, Project Management, Order Tracking, Debt Collection, Hiring automation and many more, all in one one.

Since it's inside Gmail inbox, Gmail tagging to your work is just a click away. Therefore, tracking emails in sales, projects or any other activity is very easy. It's highly collaborative and keeps every one updated about the progress. Allows you to store all your information regarding an opportunity/project in one place (ex. File sharing).

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