Andrew Libby on 22 Jan 2009 13:04:50 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] software for running a business

Hi Chad,

I made a similar move in 2005.  Been full time since then,
and going strong.

I'm in the process of moving my business over to Compiere,
though I purchased the professional version.  To date, I've
been using the following "stack" of software:

o SFA/ CRM - SugarCRM (I'm interested in Concursive,
  as well as Compiere)

o Email/ GroupWare - Zimbra.

o Accounting - GnuCash.  It does the job, but a bit
  limiting.  Hence my looking into Compiere.

o Phones - Asterisk.

o Helpdesk - Request Tracker.  RT is a little clunky, but a
  great system.  I have the mail gateway setup so customers
  can launch helpdesk requests via email.  This is very

  It's been my experience that customers are much more
  likely to pick up the phone or send an email than log into
  a web site and launch tickets.

o Documentation - Media Wiki and WebDAV.

o Backups - BackupPC.

o Monitoring - Nagios.

We're actually building out in such a way to provide these
services to folks like yourself that might partner with us.

I second the advice of others regarding professional
advisers.  These types of advisers are really expensive,
but worth it, very worth it.

Good luck to you Chad.


Chad V wrote:
> Beware:   Long Read
> Background:
> As most of you are probably doing, I have been doing some small
> support operations "on the side" of my normal 8-4 job for the last 10
> years.  It has always been the odd evening or weekend job every month
> or two.  Cash and word of mouth only.  I put up an advertisement and
> now I have some regular customers.  Home users and some SMB customers.
>  So I decided to finally incorporate what I'm doing as a business to
> run part time and to use for it's tax advantages (i.e. cell phone,
> internet connection, vehicle, etc.).
> Questions:
> I'm starting this off just for me to do part time, but I would like to
> leave room for expansion for myself and maybe add some employee's
> later on.
> 1.  I'm looking for an application that takes care of accounting,
> sales (products and services), marketing, etc. and can provide
> something along the lines of a helpdesk request area for customers.
> I've looked at Compiere (OSS version), hipergate, OFBiz, SugarCRM (OSS
> version), Openbravo and vtiger.  So far, OFBiz and SugarCRM seem to be
> winning me over.  Sugar is very complete and refined (pun?) with a lot
> of add on's available, but OFBiz combines accounting and ERP with
> inventory management and a built in product catalog and web store.
> What ERP / CRM / Accounting / Sales / Marketing tool do you use for your SMB?
> 2.  If I can't find an app above that includes the problem & hours
> tracking, what could I use for that?  I'm looking to give a customer
> login credentials or one for each of their employee's so they can
> login to a web site and fill out a ticket for me to look at later.
> I'm very partial to GLPI so far and I've implemented it at another
> company to use as their internal help desk application.  However, I
> will have to test it out for multiple companies to login to while not
> letting them see another companies issues.
> Any ideas for other software that will perform this function?
> 3. Just in general, what open source applications do you use to run your SMB?
> Thanks for any help.
> Chad
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Andrew Libby

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