Salesforce Sales CRM and the Salesforce Lightning Platform that underpins it are powerful tools for any business. But are they truly the best tools for what businesses and organizations need – or are they simply coasting on their market share and gargantuan marketing budget? And more importantly, is the high cost of Salesforce justified?
Salesforce vs. Corteza
Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at Salesforce CRM and compare it to Corteza CRM by Planet Crust.
Planet crust is the creator and driving force behind Corteza – a 100% fully open-source, UX-driven, standards-based low-code platform that comes with pre-built CRM and Case Management solutions. Other solutions are also possible, such as Integration Hub, Smart Cities, Supply Chain Management, Patient Management, Disaster Relief Management. Basically, any data-based solution you can think of, you can build on Corteza, which is one of its strongest selling points.
By contrast, Salesforce comes with a large library of existing solutions, including Analytics, Commerce, CRM, Marketing, Healthcare, Service and more. If anything, it’s this suite of products that is one of Salesforce’s selling points, though you do have to pay separately for each solution.
But in this article, we’re going to focus on Salesforce’s and Corteza’s respective CRMs and the low-code platforms they’re built on so you can decide which platform is better for you and your organization.
Let’s start with price. Salesforce CRM starts at €25 per user for their most basic Essential package, then goes up to €75 per user for their Professional package, €150 per user for their Enterprise package and a whopping €300 per user for their Unlimited package. And remember, this is per user regardless of their role. And which features you get depends on the package, with the cheapest package offering a limited selection of features and the middle packages offering features at an extra cost. Even with the Unlimited package, if you want any of their AI-powered features, you’ll have to pay extra.
By contrast, Corteza cloud starts as €110 for up to 25 users for their most basic Small Business package and from there goes to €200 for up to 50 users for their Business package, €380 for up to 100 users for their Business Plus package and €820 for up to 250 users for their Enterprise package. That’s as cheap as €3.28 per user. Whatsmore, each package comes with the same set of features – the only difference between the packages is the number of users and amount of data you can store.
Hands down, Corteza is the better choice when it comes to price.
But for Less than €4 per user, do you really get as much power and functionality with Corteza as you do with Salesforce? Let’s compare.
At the lowest end of the price range, Corteza has all the same features as the SalesforceEssential package, including Lead Management, Customer and Sales Details, Collaborating and Cross-selling and Upselling. Plus, every Corteza package either comes with and lets you create additional features that aren’t available with Salesforce Essential. These include Rules-base Lead Scoring, Sales Teams, Calendar All, Custom Opportunity Fields in Forecasting, Opportunity Splits, Contracts, Orders, Products and Price Books, Quotes, Advanced Reporting. The only features you get with Salesforce Essential that you don’t get with Corteza are a Mobile App (although Corteza is mobile responsive), Mass emailing, Offline Functionality, an Inbox Mobile App and an App Exchange.
But Corteza more than makes up for this with what it offers on top of these features and that’s its low-code platform application building platform (more about that below). With Corteza you can create unlimited workflows, unlimited customizable profiles and page layouts, unlimited roles and permissions, and unlimited developer sandboxes in the form of additional Corteza instances. To get the same thing with Salesforce you need to shell out at least €150 per user for the Enterprise package.
The additional money will get you a Sales Console App, Person Accounts, Collaborative Forecasting and a Forecasting Mobile App, so it’s on you to decide whether these extra features are worth the huge price difference. If they’re essential for your business, then you have no choice but to go with Salesforce, otherwise, for everything else, Corteza does the same thing at a fraction of the cost.
At €4 per user with a full set of features, it’s easy to assume that the Corteza user experience is no match for the Salesforce experience. But you would assume wrong. In fact, the Corteza CRM UX is pretty much identical to the Salesforce CRM UX, with charts, tables and graphs all displayed in eye-pleasing colors and with an intuitive layout that today’s users have come to expect from a software application.
Where the Corteza user experience outshines Salesforce, however, is in customizing or building applications. In Corteza customizing an app is easy and clearly structured – you just define the data you want to save in modules, use the page builder to create the UI and then add charts and workflows as you want. The same with building an app from scratch – just create and link modules, build a nice looking UI and deploy to your users in minutes. With Salesforce, on the other hand, this is a complex, non-intuitive process that requires configuring more parts and requires a coder’s mind.
It’s this added extra ease-of-use that puts Corteza ahead of Salesforce.
In this day and age, a platform is only as powerful as the applications it can connect to. And Salesforce’s AppExchange is a powerhouse library of third-party add-ons that cover every category. You need it, the AppExchange has it, so whatever Salesforce does do for you, one of these third-party apps almost definitely will.
By contrast, Planet Crust has yet to develop an ecosystem for Corteza. True, Corteza’s built-in Integration Gateway will let you connect to any data-based piece of software or cloud system out there, but there’s nothing pre-built and you’ll either have to set up the connection yourself or hire Planet Crust to do it for you. How difficult or costly this depends on the app you want to connect to.
So while Corteza certainly has the potential to connect to what you need to connect it to, out of the box it just can’t compete with Salesforce. We’ll let you decide if the AppExchange is worth the cost of Salesforce, especially since creating custom connections in Corteza will still be cheaper in the long run, but for sheer availability of apps, we give this one to Salesforce.
Building Web Applications
Most people don’t realize that Salesforce is actually a low-code platform (called Salesforce Lightning). This means you can build pretty much any data-based apps on it and deploy them in the form of dashboards. The same is true with Corteza. But as we mentioned in the User Experience comparison above, building apps in Corteza is a considerably smoother experience. It’s also a cheaper endeavor.
That’s because Salesforce comes with a bunch of unseen costs related to its low-code features. For example, with Corteza you get an unlimited number of custom fields or objects, whereas with Salesforce you have a fixed number and need to pay for more. Corteza also gives you unlimited rows of Corteza Corridor scripts, whereas Salesforce only gives you a limited number of APEX code, beyond which you have to pay for more.
So while the power potential of both platforms are the same, for ease of use, flexibility, and cost savings, this one goes to Corteza.
Rounding things out, let’s talk about data. Data is essential to our world today and to every organization on the planet from business enterprises to governments to NGOs are more. And both Salesforce Lightning and Corteza allow you to connect to any type of data source. After that, the similarities end.
The first difference is what happens to the data when it comes into the platform. Corteza standardizes the data and turns it into an open format that’s easier to work with, combine with other data and share to end-users. Salesforce does not. You’re stuck with the format the data is in.
Next up, there’s the question of where your data is stored. Strictly speaking, you can install Corteza on your own server and thus store it on your owner server, something that’s not an option with Salesforce, which only offers a cloud solution. But even the Corteza cloud solution stores your data on your own instance, rather than on a centralized Salesforce server somewhere.
And finally, there’s the question of getting your data and what you’ve built with it out of the platform, should you need to. With Corteza you can export all record data as well as all your applications and workflows, whereas with Salesforce you can only export your data, with no possibility of exporting apps or workflows.
The freedom, flexibility and control that Corteza gives you over your data makes it a clear winner over Salesforce in this regard.
Corteza beats out Salesforce in five out of six categories: Price, Features, Experience, Building Apps and Data. Salesforce, on the other hand, is a clear winner with its AppExchange ecosystem. If immediate access to that ecosystem is essential to you, then you won’t have a choice but to pay Salesforce’s high subscription fees.
On the other hand, if you can wait to create the custom connections to Corteza that you need or have Planet Crust create them for you, you’ll still come out way ahead with Corteza in terms of cost. Plus you’ll get nearly the same set of full features with added benefits of a better user experience, easier app building and more control of your data. For these reasons, Corteza is definitely a better alternative to Salesforce.
Planet Crust is the creator and driving force behind Corteza, a 100% open-source low-code software development platform that lets you import data from any source and use intuitive drag-and-drop tools to create custom applications for your unique business needs. Get started for free today.
Which Is Better?