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Need to transition an old local CRM system to a more modern Web-based app

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#1 eonxl


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Posted 08 August 2015 - 03:02 PM

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 and reporting 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 location 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What I'm trying to figure out is how to migrate the currently outdated system -- which is limited to a single physical location -- to a new, web-based system that can be shared and accessed from these geographically separated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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#2 CallThatGirl


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Posted 10 August 2015 - 01:44 PM

Since no one has replied, all I can recommend is checking into Microsoft Dynamics. I think they are ending life of BCM and not even sure that can be cloud based. I found this...I hope it's helpful! If not, disregard.



#3 YeahBleeping


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Posted 13 August 2015 - 11:39 AM

The scope of your ' project ' is probably bigger than you think.  Not only do you need someone to code and setup a web interface.  You need them to code reporting tools for you.  Some kind of administration system to the database so that a novice ' user ' doesn't accidentally delete an entire section of your database.  Then of course there is the administration side.  Where or who is going to HOST your database.  Who will administer updates and changes.  Although it may be ' somewhat ' easy for a script programmer to do most/all of what your looking to accomplish I am sure you are going to want to maintain (for at least intellectual property purposes) the database in house.  Which means you will need to host a web server.  Again all of this is possible but you may want to contact an 'expert' for help in designing your IT environment. Here is a site that you can use to help you find a programmer.  But as I said you may be want to dig a little deeper before all your database belongs to no one.

#4 NellyGrant


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Posted 31 October 2016 - 06:58 AM


Don't you think it's best to hire a specialist for some help? I believe you'll find a large number of freelancers eager for such projects here: https://www.xplace.com/. This online platform for freelancers is also commission free and has lots of freelancers' portfolios to estimate. 

#5 CSchwarz


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Posted 03 November 2016 - 11:52 PM

You could just get a remote desktop server, and then anyone can login remotely to your current system.  Easy fixed!


Otherwise Access databases can go onto the web via Sharepoint... It needs some development to do that.


Otherwise if you are doing a rewrite don't go to low level tools with PHP etc.  Use FileMaker Pro / FileMaker Server.  FileMaker deploys to the web and mobile phones with no web development, just a per user licensing fee.  It's a RAD like access but more flexible with deployment options.

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