As with many types of software these days, businesses have a choice to make when choosing customer relationship management (CRM) software: on-premises or cloud-based. While cloud-based software has taken off lately in terms of popularity and adoption, the fact is that both on-premises and cloud-based CRM have distinct benefits and disadvantages worth considering.
Put simply, on-premises CRM is the traditional approach wherein the software is installed on a company's local machine and managed directly by that company's IT team. Cloud-based CRM, meanwhile, has the software hosted remotely and made available to clients over the Internet, through a login system.
The most prominent consideration for many companies, especially smaller ones, is likely cost. While on-premises CRM does require a large upfront payment, the cloud model may end up being more expensive over time as subscription fees never end. That said, other factors come into play, such as the cost of maintaining on on-premises solution.
The cloud approach to CRM is also advantageous in that it can be accessed from anywhere, not just from the workplace. On the flipside, though, cloud CRM is dependent on constant connectivity. Lastly, although most software as a service (SaaS (News - Alert)) CRM providers allow for customization of the software, this doesn't quite match the level of customization available from local CRM — though this is dependent on the skill of the company's IT team.
In general, the choice between cloud-based and on-premises CRM often comes down to the size of the business, with smaller businesses generally being more compatible with a cloud-based solution, as this deployment method takes a lot of the cost and need for manpower out of the equation.
That's why companies like Soffront tend to offer enterprise and small business variants of their CRM software. Soffront Snapshot is the company's small business-oriented CRM software, aimed at companies without an in-house IT team that still require an efficient system for managing customers, contacts, phone numbers, e-mails, meeting notes, to-dos and documents.
Soffront Enterprise CRM, meanwhile, is a more powerful solution aimed to completely cover the needs of a larger business or corporation, even including mobile CRM, marketing and sales automation, defect tracking, and much more.
Want to learn more about cloud computing solutions geared specifically toward small to medium-sized businesses? Don’t miss the Cloud4SMB Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud4SMB Expo. Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey