Product of the Day: miCompiere ERP/CRM solution for SMB
Just like in the grocery trade there is always room for a "No Name Brand" in the marketplace. You know the store brand that offers the same quality, tastes the same (sometimes is better), but cost less. This is also coming true in the software market. The titans of the industry like Microsoft, Oracle, Computer Associates and SAP are facing increasing pressure from open source alternatives that can do all the same things as the big brand, but at less cost. The use of the dual licensing model as enabled open source software applications generate revenue and give the big guys a run for their money.
For business users open source applications have created a beachhead in the business/database software market. The leading open source ERP product is Compiere which has over 800,000 downloads in 4 years. MySQL the leading database has over 5,000,000 users. SAP (MySQL MaxDB) and Computer Associates (Ingres) both have created open source versions of their database software as part of their contribution to this market.
In some cases open source software doesn't have the support of a proprietary offering. As Doc Searls says, Open Source software is like a very comfortable chair, but you have to build it yourself. Not anymore. InfoSecure Open Systems & Solutions announced the release of the miCompiere suite of services in late December 2004 to help companies migrate to an open source solution for their business applications.
ERP Software solutions support your entire business processes. They consists of modules such as marketing and sales, field service, production, inventory control, procurement, distribution, human resources, finance and accounting. ERP solutions could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and have been out of reach for smaller companies till now.
InfoSecure Open Systems & Solutions ERP solution consists of technology and services that enable the use of the best-of-breed in open source: Compiere enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) application on the SAP-certified open source MaxDB by MySQL database.
Previously, Compiere only worked on Oracle database software. InfoSecure Open Systems & Solutions is also working on porting Compiere to other databases such as Ingres from Computer Associates, and MySQL 5.0. Functionality includes Quote to cash, Requisition to pay, Customer relationship management, Partner Relations Management, Supply chain management, Performance Analysis and Web Store modules.
What has made this solution so compelling is that business processes drive the work flow rather than departments.
Faithful to the principles of open source, InfoSecure Open Systems & Solutions has made the code available on SourceForge. They offer services enabling first-time installation of Compiere or the migration of existing systems from Oracle to MaxDB for as little as $250. To learn more about this development and the miCompiere services you can visit the company's web site.
The consolidation in the software market by the proprietary ERP/CRM brands means that some products will be eliminated or discontinued in the future. (Just ask Peoplesoft customers) These business tactics to eliminate competitors is a driving force behind open source and a vendor independent approach. Open source versions are owned by the users and cannot be bought or eliminated. For companies that are less brand conscious in their purchases and want to save a little money, perhaps, miCompiere is the brand for you.