I own a franchise for a company in the real estate business and I have been selected by the franchisor to work on a committee helping to define what we need as a company in terms of a CRM solution.
There are a number of large, successful CRM’s that are pre-packaged and semi-customizable, (SugarCRM, Salesforce.com), and a few vendors that work in a vertical market. At this point, it appears that the committee and corporate are leaning toward the vertical solution.
Our business is essentially a call/contact center, even though most wouldn’t think of it that way. So, among all the other things that a good CRM will do, I want to make sure that we can, (eventually at least), tightly integrate a phone system to drive a host of call center type apps, (“record-a-call”, automatically attach in and outbound call records to customer records etc). Our industry is highly regulated and has a great need of CYA.
While I don’t believe that the initial roll out of the application will include CTI, (it’s too big and too different IMHO), I want to do everything I can to ensure that the architecture of the application is set up so there are hooks available for a relatively easy integration with some flavor of Asterisk, (my own franchise uses Trixbox Pro, but that doesn’t mean it’s the one we should adopt), so the corporate offices can engage a vendor at a later date and promote a supported package for those franchises that want to use CTI.
My question to the experts here is if there are any books or documents that can help the vendor adopt the best possible architecture for the CRM app that lays the groundwork for a robust, (and future), CTI integration with Asterisk, (whatever flavor they choose).
Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Take care.