P.J. Jakovljevic – April 30, 2012
While Virginia might have seen its share of controversy over the recent laws on women’s reproductive rights, the region’s business and entrepreneurial climate is undisputed owing to vibrant enterprise applications vendors. One such vendor is Deltek—long reported by TEC as the enterprise resource planning (ERP) leader in the government contracting sector (see the most recent post on the vendor), while another is abas-USA, an innovative manufacturing ERP vendor that leverages a multiplicity of popular open source and proprietary technologies (see the recent article on the innovative vendor).
This article features the third vendor from the same neck of the woods, xTuple(formerly OpenMFG), which recently turned 10 years young. As a commercial open source company, xTuple works with a global community of tens of thousands of professional users. Customers can tailor the vendor’s solutions with multi-platform support for Apple Mac, Microsoft Windows, Linux and mobile devices, and take advantage of flexible and transparent licensing and pricing options. xTuple targets mid-market enterprises and smaller organizations with solutions that are an alternative to the typical older, larger and significantly more expensive and complicated traditional ERP solutions (on proprietary technologies).
xTuple: Current State of Affairs
Needless to say, the ERP software vendor xTuple, whose technology stack comprises open source technologies (e.g., PostgreSQL database, Qt desktop client, and much more recently the open source SproutCore HTML5 framework for data-intensive desktop and mobile clients), has seen much expansion in its business and customer base since its inception. The company reported a 35 percent growth in 2011 and currently has more than 300 paying customers (each with 20 users, on average) and nearly a million downloads of its freePostBooks accounting software edition to date.
xTuple’s direct customers are concentrated in North America and Latin America with local partners in other regions worldwide. The vendor’s ecosystem now includes more than 50 partners and translations in 25 languages. In addition, xTuple currently has 27 employees and expects to grow to around 40 by the end of 2012. Most of its employees are in the headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, where xTuple owns and has been renovating a 10,000 sq-ft 1940s-era bank building. The vendor also has employees working remotely throughout the U.S.
In 2011 xTuple delivered three major product releases (3.6, 3.7 and 3.8 in its modest version numbering system) and many minor ones. The xTuple offering is available in the aforementioned PostBooks (free download) and commercially licensed Standard and Manufacturing Editions. The vendor also introduced the following two new commercial editions:
- Project Edition—project accounting plus Standard Edition
- Enterprise Edition—Manufacturing, Project, Web portal, Fixed Assets, xTuple Connect (formerly Batch Manager) data integration, plus the new Advanced Commissions module
Never a Dull Moment with Ned Lilly, xTuple CEO
What follows below is a candid discussion with Ned Lilly, xTuple’s chief executive officer (CEO), president and co-founder. Lilly is no stranger to TEC; here is an engaging article with Lilly from 2008. He is very well versed in current market trends and is not loath to engaging in friendly, competitive banter (Lilly also publishes the popular The ERP Graveyard Blog, tracking the once-rampant ERP vendor consolidation at http://www.erpgraveyard.com/). See xTuple’s bios of its top management as well as this article on Ned Lilly and the idea behind starting xTuple.