Sunday, July 22, 2007

Open Source & ERP II

Most of the open source software can be downloaded at no charge. For example, you could simply go to or and download Compiere's ERP + CRM Business Solution.

As a technical person, this is great news. You could download the software including its source code and make any enhancements to it as per the license agreement. You could resell the product, start a service company around the product and do what any software/service company will do with their own proprietary product.

Essentially, Compiere gives you a ready made platform to launch your own software business. A huge head start in my estimation.

Without digressing further... At least you have choice now. We will summarize these choices in the next posting.

As a SMB owner, you download Compiere and then what...You neither have the time nor resources to go much further. Invariably, you will need the services of a trained technical person to install & configure & run the software. Compiere has business partners in many countries who specialize in providing services, enhancements around the product. So although the product itself comes at ZERO cost, you have to pay a price for the services associated with the product.

We believe any open source software will have a similar cost model - free software with services that come at a price.

Alternative Solution
An alternative is to buy license with a hosted service provider. Compiere has partners who provide such services. The advantage is that you do not need to download the software or get into its installation, configuration and maintenance. These will be taken care of by the service provider. Of course, this service comes at a price.

Download the free software but pay a price to install, configure and maintain it OR go with the hosted model and pay a (periodic) fees....

- amit

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