We are running Sugar CE (SuiteCRM actually). We chose it because we have an in-house custom-built ERP system based on PHP/MySQL and so Sugar integrates well and we have full control (open source) to customize and it is low cost.
We are getting into some marketing automation stuff - Drip Email Marketing. It appears the stock functionality regarding this type of functionality is a bit 'thin' shall we say. But we usually have no problem doing what we want to do through complex workflows.
I ran across this Inbox25 SAAS product that supposedly integrates well with Sugar and gets rave reviews. We can afford the few hundred dollar a month fees. However at first glance, this appears just be making Marketing Automation task setup easier for the less sophisticated user that doesn't want to deal with setting up multiple complex workflows to achieve the Drip Marketing effect. It also looks like it has much better real-time statistics. The web form creation tool isn't a big deal to us as we have expert web developers and can easily create our own lead form without this product.
One thing I'm concerned about is once you sign up for a SAAS product like this, you're in a way 'stuck' with them because now they are going to be accumulating valuable meta-data on your lead, campaign statistics, etc. that you lose when you drop them. This is a particularly significant issue when you are talking automated marketing CRM type platforms because it's the lead/customer historical data that is so paramount in that type of application.
So we are at a crossroads so to speak in that do we pay to for the enhancements and then be at the mercy of this outside service, or do we just achieve the same result through workflows, module customizations, and our own PHP programming so we remain completely self-reliant?
Another thing that pops into my head is that if most of your activities are regarding marketing automation, I could see that you end up "living" in the Inbox25 product the vast majority of the time and don't even need to go into your SugarCRM very often?
Wondering people's thoughts that have gone down this path before?