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“Successful CRM means focusing on the client’s needs.”

There have been several heated topics about which CRM to integrate with Joomla, and in general vTiger has been the most popular choice. Joomla has a wrapper module that allows otherwise totally separate packages like vTiger to appear as though it is seamlessly integrated into the CMS. The trick is just building a bridge with the user database and user login so that users don’t have to login twice.

Being a software dev who has worked on both vTiger and Joomla…the idea of combining these two very active open source communities to work together and benefit each other is awesome. Sure enough both these communities have a lot to learn from the other. While providing solutions for our clients, using joomla or any other CMS we probably already have or will run into a need for a CRM. Unlike the CMS market there are plenty of commercial CRM solutions out there and few Open Source projects (like ie. vTiger).

How about an option for Community Builder > Joomla Profile > vTiger Lead. Seems exciting.

Since vTiger itself is made up of an amalgam of many open source projects, the replacement of vTiger’s Content Management System and client front end with Joomla, not only will this take off the need to maintain the vTiger “frontend” but it will give system integration providers one big up in the form of HTML templates instead of clunky custom coded templates to design their project sites. This one major benefit of Joomla really aids in the deployment of truly professional sites.

Basically CRM does the following:

  • Enables efficient productive customer interactions across all communications channels (personal, letter, fax, phone, web, e-mail)
  • Enables web collaboration to reduce customer service costs
  • Integrates call centers enabling multi-channel personal customer interaction
  • Integrates view of the customer while interaction at the transaction level
  • Facilitates to track all the records, log notes against records, be able to email to individual and multiple records

Vtiger5 coming out of beta has been ramping up efforts for integration with Joomla!. There are quite a few areas that these two systems can really complement each other. I’ve managed to find few of them thats already completed or near completed already. Below is a list of what is done or in the pipeline..in this area.

Few popular utilities using vTiger and Joomla integration which has taken development possibilities to a whole new level:

  • Joomla vTiger CRM integration using Chronoforms: Form Builder build forms using fields from the CRM, pre-populate with CRM data (if any) for that customer. Used for instant sign up forms and surveys etc.

Flow: Joomla! Chronoforms Component –> CURL –> WebForms (Post.php) –> vTiger DB

  • User registers in Joomla/vTiger: images (1)

– The registration interface creates a joomla user and a CRM contact. It populates the basic needed info in joomla (username, password,email) and the rest is given to vtiger.
– Developing a Joomla-based site with some of the more advanced content available only to registered users. The idea of turning those user registrations into vTiger prospects is mighty appealing.
– A common platform to share users and login between Joomla and vTiger.
The user has option to register for any of several newsletters and to sign up for a paid subscription to the site (VirtueMart). Further, the user gets pricing in VirtueMart according to their level of membership.
– The front end access control provides recurring subscriptions, mailing list management, communication history/help desk/FAQs, and eCommerce. This is really exciting!

  Flow:

  • Done using vTiger API through SOAP.
  • In vtiger5/trunk there is a soap/ directory, you’ll need to install those files into <vtiger_root>/soap/. These will enable the extra services (fields,contacts,products) that the joomla integration needs to work.
  • You will also need to patch vtigerservice.php with the included patchfile.
  • In your vtiger directory there should be a vtigerservice.php file, that is where the bot connects.
  • It then goes into the files in soap/ for the correct file, depending on the service type. The vitgerservice.php.patch file in trunk/soap (from the joomla modules svn) will patch the vtigerservice.php file so that it recognizes the needed files for joomla.
  • Enables a registration capture to contact support, form building support, helpdesk support and a very slick SOAP interface for access via Joomla.
  • Helpdesk component with vTiger as a CRM with a Joomla VirtueMart e-commerce distribution:
    VTigerCRM_OTRS_Tickets

 The helpdesk module will depend on the registration module for the user data, and will check for portal status before allowing a client in. The helpdesk simply needs to check for an authenticated user in joomla and for the portal flag to be enabled in vtiger for that user. If thats all good then they are allowed in the helpdesk.

Flow:

  • When the ‘portal customer’ is enabled in vtiger and the dates are in range, the user are allowed to access the helpdesk system. Otherwise they could be presented with a ‘buy support tickets’ choice that would allow them to instantly buy access to the support desk via the vmart interface.
  • All vmart products should come from vtiger. Any time a user fills up their cart it would create a CRM potential, mapped to a sales order. After the system returns from a successful gateway transaction (authorize.net, etc) then the invoice is marked paid, sales order and potential are closed as won.
  • If the user does not finish the transaction, the cart can be re-populated with their open sales orders when they log in. There would be config options in vmart that would allow you to show all open invoices as well (for companies that do monthly billing, etc).

Adding the incredibly diverse functionality of vTiger product and customer management system to VirtueMart’s wide variety of plug-in functionality and payment processor compatibility is truly awesome.

  • Integrating Landing pages:
    download (1)
    Using Joomla that populates certain variables on the page with CRM info like a Link from email campaign leads user to a page personalized for each user to place order etc.

One of Vtiger’s biggest strength is its relationship system, that is what makes things like these possible from a CRM backend.

Extensions for Joomla CRM bridges:

External Resources:

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