I'm very much enjoying EspoCRM, even more-so than I like Odoo now.
Just wondering if there's anyone else here on either the data-architecture side or development that would be interested in a little collaboration?
From my side, I'll share access to follow and copy anything I'm doing with it, and any custom developments I can persuade my team to help with.
From your side, bouncing ideas, looking at anything you've build with it for cross-pollination of ideas, maybe some custom development if LAMP is your thing too.
I am looking at a bit of GPT-3 integration too if AI & ML interests you also.
Generally for development I work through GitLab tickets in our private repos, chat can be whatever but the rest of the team I work with is in Discord, although we might start to use Rocket Chat a bit more as I quite like that too.
I don't mind followers for interest too, but not a huge amount of time for chit-chat, so ideally anyone that's already invested in using EspoCRM for your business or clients.
I like templating and automating where possible, repeatable, scaleable, that kind of thing. I may also be able to introduce potential clients and collab projects in future too if of interest.
Not sure what all you'd like to get into in particular, but we run EspoCRM on Cloudron and this sounds very much in my area of interest. What sorts of custom projects are you looking at? For reference, the big installation I'm in most of the time is a fairly vanilla setup, with a bit of customization to rename certain components in the UI, running the Advanced Pack and VoIP extensions from EspoCRM directly. The Advanced Pack covers quite a bit of automation capability as well.
@jimcavoli Cool. I just purchased the Advances/Sales/VoIP packs too - very nice!
I have a few ideas:
- Industry-specific modules, similar to what they have done with the Property extension, as an example, could do for Recruitment, Vehicles, Financial Services etc.
- I have a data-model for accounting systems I designed a while back and thinking I could replicate all the accounting features that Odoo has.
- Warehouse & Inventory management systems I have a lot of experience with too and could reproduce in a similar journaled manner, so all inventory movements are always recorded.
- HR and other resource management.
- Could probably reproduce any other Odoo modules in EspoCRM and faster.
- I have a Doctor friend that wants to work on a project, so perhaps surgeries and related services.
- Project management, perhaps synching GitLab/GitHub/Gitea issues.
I suppose others might call that ERP - but I think ERP usually revolves around the accounts, whereas I like the idea that the relationship is the central model that everything else revolves around.
The things I like; it is fast to model with, REST API by design, SPA interface, my experience with business has been that the relationships are the core of any business, and to make them the data hub as well helps to keep a business focused on the relationships, so everything else is a satellite but always connected to the core so that when people work independently on different areas, they always come back to the relationships they are working for.
I did a fair bit of work setting up Freescout too - but after playing with EspoCRM, I think Freescout could be made redundant too, since all the data-objects are either in Espo or could be quickly reproduced.
Other thinks like Croodle for Polls, could probably easily be modelled in here too.
One thing that is kinda missing is Nextcloud integration, so I might sponsor that among my team later too.
One thing that is very obvious to me once I started playing, Microsoft Dynamics (I have a lot of experience with), Salesforce and SAP etc, really are extortionate in comparison!
@marcusquinn True; though I've actually been thinking recently about setting up FreeScout as an alternative interface for some people to deal with just doing the communication versus the backend CRM being used for reporting on the communication and managing in a more general sense, so you could have the best of both worlds. I think this can just be done with a shared mailbox both are configured to use (plus monitoring the sent folder), since Espo is actually very good at mail imports and FreeScout is much better at the conversation perspective.
@jimcavoli My business pains have always come from information being spread across multiple systems, perhaps the answer to that is the Portal Views designs for each role.
Freescout to me looks like Espo Emails, Email Templates, Cases & Knowledgebase covers most things. I see the nuances but going to focus on Espo for now and just use other apps for inspiration on what I can reproduce in Espo.
I need a bit more time until I'm happy to share something worth yours or anyone's attention but then I'll share a login so you can have a nosey around and see if it inspires anything.
Certainly Integromat can help with multi-system synching - but I'm still holding out for n8n.io as I've not had a chance to play with that but obviously prefer self-hosted where possible.
@marcusquinn Understandable; looks like n8n is going to be packaged up compatible with 6.1 or newer, once the proxAuth add-on supports excluded paths (for web hooks and the like) so hopefully that will help accelerate and help make reproducible more things too
@jimcavoli Amazing! Very much owe you for that one. As soon as I get a good look, I'll see if there's anything we can contribute upstream to it as well for LDAP or whatever else we find we might need.
A bump on this.
Anyone here with strong experience of accounting systems data-structures and pivot tables, say hello.
I'm pretty good with all those things, and more than happy to share what I'm doing with it, but only time for fast-talkers and thinkers on the collab part if anyone wanted to get involved.
I can do it all myself but I'm sure anyone with a similar mind could see where it's going and run in parallel or throw in some ideas because the key with systems like this is broad experience for the generic parts, so that the custom needs are minimal and very specific to avoid maintaining multiple forks for common needs.
Happy to share the results with everyone else too but for now it's still WIP, so wouldn't be much use to you than an idea of what can be done because I'm evolving it daily at the mo.
I've done a little market research with a few SMEs too, at it seems that small business budget for a good setup would be about £6k setup and £500/month support. Bigger businesses tend to expect £500-£1,200/day rate on CRM/ERP consultants. If that helps anyone quantify how interesting this might be
If anyone wants to preview my EspoCRM custom work, DM me with your GitLab.com ID and I'll add you to the Group & Repos.
You don't need the paid addons, but if you are going to use it in business, I think it's a reasonable purchase from them considering all that it is capable of.
I'm personally not using anything from that right now in this custom work, and the Sales Pack can be reproduced, but if you want to get an idea of what Espo can be, feel free to follow my work in GitLab, I commit significant updates most days.
@marcusquinn Have you tried reaching out on the EspoCRM forums for potential collaborators? Just a thought
@girish Yeah, I'm blowing up that forum too
There's a few power users and devs there but it is relatively quiet.
This is the main repo I'm working on: https://gitlab.com/brandlight/espocrm/espocrm-brandlight-custom
Recommended for anyone TBH as I've taken it way beyond the standard setup.
I just need a GitLab.com ID from anyone wanting access. I've not made it public as I wouldn't have time to keep up with those obligations yet.
It is all "production ready", and used on 3 live instances now. But I'm also evolving it fast, so anyone wanting to use in production would just need to get familiar with it first so they know what to expect is already done and what is still to do.