The jittery economic times has seen an increased interest in open source tools and technologies. In fact open source has been at the fore-front of driving innovations. A lot of companies have started adoption of open source tools and technologies. in the last 5 years open source software have grown from 10% to 30% of total IT spending by enterprises on an average. This has mainly happened as open source vendors have got more mature in terms of providing better support options to enterprises giving them confidence in using the open source products.
In the space of Enterprise Resource Planning software open source provides numerous advantages over proprietary software such as SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, Netsuite and other home grown proprietary software. Although these advantages apply to any open source ERP but I will be talking considering OpenERP, a leading open source business suite of applications as a base case.
1. No Licensing Fee
Majority of Open source software have zero licensing fee which makes this very lucrative and attractive to growing companies. As the number of users increase the cost does not increase. Also this serves as democratization of ERP software as even small companies can dream and adopt a real ERP to fuel growth.
2. Tailored Software
Most other vendors are very hesitant to make changes in the product and want you to stick to their own business process. Hence the companies using the software have to change their business process accosting to their software. I think this is not good in the rapidly changing business environment. Also one software cannot fit all industries. OpenERP has very flexible architecture which allows much more easy customization and configurations. Also its modularity makes it very flexible and can be used as a good platform to build more modules. Also this supports iterative development.
3. No Vendor lock-in
This is a huge advantage which is enabled by availability of the source code. If the customer is not happy with the services of the vendor they can change their vendor or find more competitive pricing options. Also generally these tools use standard open source technologies which can also allow for easy exports of data out of the system if needed. A lot of proprietary software I have seen makes it very difficult to export data out of the system and lock you in.
4. Lower Support and Maintenance Costs
Since support can be provided at different levels by different vendors the support and Maintenance fees are reduced due to competitive market. Even free lancers can come to the rescue if need be. This gives a very different dimension to the way product could be supported.
5. No Barriers to Evaluate and Experiment
Open source ERP are easy to download by anyone and does not cost a cent to play around, feel comfortable, and experience the features. This is huge win against other proprietary enterprise software. You do not get access to play around unless you pay upfront licensing fees. Development in open spurts ERP are much more easy on the pockets of the client as the business model is more on service driven and as the software is developed the client can pay on milestone basis.
Hence all in all open source ERP OpenERP pose a compelling reason for enterprises to adopt it. Pragmatic has launched a 3-2-1 Launch program which allows companies experience open source ERP OpenERP at a very cost effective fee where we provide the needed installation, configuration, support and training.
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