Accounting and ERP (Integrated)

(Fully integrated business solutions)

Benefits of using Open source software:

Cost savings on software applications and infrastructure. There are up-front cost savings because the community versions are often available for free or lower cost. It is less expensive to add new users, or upgrade the software. The total cost of ownership is typically about 30-40% less when comparing to traditional proprietary solutions. There are communities of users which contribute to the development and improvement of the product. There are user forums where we can communicate with other companies using the system, collaborate on improvements and share information.

Openness. The source code of the application is freely available. There is no limit to the customization that can be done. However, the application is usually backed and supported by a commercial organization. You are not locked in, or tied to any specific vendors because you have full access to all the source code, and documentation. All the documentation, (technical and user manual) are publicly available on the community web/wiki sites. Many projects also include instructional videos contributed by the sponsors or other users. There is also support for integration with other open source projects.

Lack of vendor lock-in. The software is platform independent, and the community is international. There is support for multiple languages, currencies, tax regimes etc. These systems inter-operate and are compatible with existing proprietary applications and Operating systems such as Microsoft Windows/Office or Apple Mac.

Business Model. Supplier revenue is derived mostly from services, so support and assistance is a strong focus, instead of per user license fees, upgrade fees etc.

Flexible deployment. Can be implemented in the cloud, if desired – see below.

Lower Risk - Usually there is a full featured community version available for unlimited evaluation. 

Fred Blauer,
Jan 28, 2011, 8:07 AM