I'm advising a small NGO and trying to figure out what is the best solution for them. Their data is essentially:
- client data: phone numbers, identification numbers, gender, etc.
- client-wise logs, e.g.: "January 1, 1970, 12:00 - contacted client foo and spoke with them on the phone regarding xyz. January 2, 1970, 13:00 - client foo contacted us and asked a question"
- appointment data: so-and-so has an appointment with this translator in that room at such-and-such a datetime.
Though I could maintain a custom piece of software myself, I think it's better if as much control as possible is put in the hands of the non-coders (not yet!) who are running the organization. In this situation, reinventing the wheel is probably not the right choice which is why I am considering CiviCRM.
There is discussion of using Salesforce because it is established and familiar. My intuition is to avoid the bloated and expensive Salesforce software, even if they have some sort of discount license.
I'm sure that comparisons have been made to Salesforce before but it might be useful to compile some of them in a single place.