How I Met CiviCRM and How it Changed our Business (and lives)

2014-05-27 05:44
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It was back in 2009, my two sisters were starting a non-profit project related to their passion: Indian Classical Dance. The project was called Güngur and I decided to help them out. So, I googled “CRM + Open Source + Free + nonprofit” and CiviCRM came up.
At that time, our company (iXiam) was ending it’s 2nd year of life. We were doing heavy .NET / J2EE custom application development. 
I didn’t want to bother the developers with this personal project so I (not being a coder) decided to install it myself and see how far I could go. To my surprise, the installation went smoothly and we have being using CiviCRM since Güngur’s first day of life.
In the meantime we discovered Drupal and we decided to adopt it as the CMS of choice for our projects. We redesigned iXiam’s website, and as a part of that we briefly mentioned CiviCRM. A couple of months later we started receiving some leads that turned out to be prominent NGO’s looking for Spanish speaking CiviCRM support and the rest is history. We have worked with projects in Spain, Argentina, Mexico, France, Greece, Switzerland, South Africa and the USA.
Last year we had the opportunity to help UNESCO manage their General Conference with CiviCRM.  I remember entering UNESCO headquarters in Paris with my colleague Luciano and thinking “wow, look how a simple Google search landed us here…”
We are based in Barcelona, Spain and have presence in some Latin American countries. When we started implementing CiviCRM in Spanish speaking organizations, the Spanish translation wasn’t really great. We decided to put in resources and actively contribute to it. We had a full time resource for almost 5 months working exclusively with the translation. It was crazy!   We met really cool people from the community like Mathieu Lutfy who helped us out with this task, and we finally managed to come out with a very decent, normalized Spanish translation.
If you want to get involved with translations and internationalization please visit the Wiki section. There is also a forum for internationalization where you can get help from the community.
We actively participate in the Community, organizing trainings and meetups, helping with CiviCONs, answering questions in the IRC and forum. I am also part of the Marketing Committee.
Today, CiviCRM-related projects are a very important part of our company. At the beginning of this year, we launched our own CiviCRM as a Service platform called Civi-Go, and we continue helping organizations worldwide with their projects.