It’s an absolute pleasure to write this post.  In 2014, we started building out a small business specific CRM called SecretCRM.  It would eventually be renamed to TealCRM.  This was a project that was started at my company Eligeo.  We wanted to create a product specific to small business but found out how difficult it can be to get a product to market when it’s simply not your core principle.

In 2017, we closed the project down.  Privacy was an issue.  Resourcing for it was an issue.  It simply didn’t fit into what Eligeo was and is.  We held onto the source code just in case.  I’m glad we did.

I am currently going through the source code for Teal and I’m getting ready to release it on Github under MIT License.  This is an independent project and has nothing to do with Eligeo.  I’ve always wanted to give something back to small business.  This is something I’m hoping will help small business all over Canada and the rest of the world.

So, what’s going to be in the first release?

This is the first step.  I am literally stripping out a lot of the billing and Saas features we had built into the system.  A lot of this stuff doesn’t make sense for a public release so it’s going.  I’m also upgrading a lot of the old libraries and frameworks (CodeIgniter) to the latest versions.  Otherwise, everything that Teal had before will be available.  It’s a fully functional CRM that can be used immediately on your own server or any public cloud.  We’ll look at other ways to distribute it over time once it matures some more.

I would love some help

Do you love small business too?  Can you program in PHP? JavaScript?  I would LOVE to chat with you.  I’d like to see where this project goes but it will need a robust community to be built around it.  I’ll keep plugging away on features and patching issues with the system but I’m looking forward to getting more eyes on it.

Developers, be warned, it isn’t pretty

It works.  That I know.  Since 2014, we’ve had at least 5 internal developers work on TealCRM along with external contractors.  Suffice to say, it turned out to be a mess of inconsistent, spaghetti and undocumented mess.  It’s going to need some work.  Some of the priorities for Version 1.1 will be hardening the system, ensuring all and any exploits are addressed, cleaning up a lot of redundant code and simply establishing a common set of guidelines for building the system out.  It hurts my eyes looking at the code and I know it will be a journey, but it will be worthwhile.  There is some neat stuff to build on here.

What does the future hold?

I have some plans in mind for Teal over time.  I think I will let the community voice what they are thinking we should do and collectively move the project where it needs to go over time.  This first version is just the beginning but I can see more small business focused thoughts over time.

What does Eligeo have to do with TealCRM?

At this point, nothing.  Eligeo has relinquished ownership of the code and released the code under MIT License.  Although I work at Eligeo, at this time there isn’t any real plans for Teal and there may never be.  That’s fine.  The point of this project is to create a CRM that’s not overly complicated for a small business.

 

I’ll be posting updates as often as I can.  This is certainly an exciting project for me.  I’ll be posting some updates as things progress about the development and release schedule.  If you’re interested in getting involved, please drop me an email at derek@tealcrm.com.

Thanks for checking in!

-Derek