Author: Tom Rodgers
Monday, January 3, 2011Comment(1) Print
For many years Open Source ERP has been quietly maturing. With a large following from impartial sites like SourceForge.net and Open Source ERP Guru as well as the sites sponsored by Open Source ERP integrators and commercial Open Source companies, the information and collaboration is remarkable. The key to ERP is maturity and stability. While not all available Open Source ERPs are mature, many are and it is those that deserve a serious consideration.
The world of ERP has been dominated for years by the likes of SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Baan. These ERP systems are broad and deep in functionality, but as we all know, are difficult to implement and often expensive to support. For the sake of argument we can say these are the 1,000-pound gorillas and are commonly known as Tier 1 ERP. Tier 1 software is meant typically for companies that have over $200 million in revenues with multi-location and country presence and these providers do a good job of meeting the majority of the functionality requirements across most industries. Then there are several Tiers of ERP that accommodate the needs of smaller companies and certain industry niches. They typically focus on user experience but have the same traits as the Tier 1 providers – closed systems built on proprietary development toolkits. That is not to say they cannot be integrated with other software, they can and are every day but it is more difficult and requires specialized functional and technical knowledge, all of which adds to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).