There are a few options for implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP). You can purchase it and have the software, servers and storage installed on-site; you can access it online with software as a service (SaaS); or you can go with open ERP, the open source option that you can get for free or for little cost. The open source approach is for adventurers, and not the faint of heart. It is a less expensive way of implementing ERP but it calls for technical expertise. Interestingly enough, there are a number of enterprise software vendors that deal with open source software. Open source enterprise software is also Web-based and can be accessed online, on a hosted platform.But if you are an adventurous entrepreneur, you can obtain enterprise software code which is available for free. Our job is to unravel the code, tweak it or, re-write it to your own specifications. If your business has that capability, then you might want to go the open source route.
The technicalities of Open ERP
You can also purchase the open source code and get assistance from the vendor with its installation. The free option means that there is no support in terms of maintenance or service.
There are some small tech firms that prefer to use open source software and are capable of rewriting its source code. And that, of course, represents the big problem for most businesses who might be considering open source. If you don’t know anything about software programming or code splitting, you should probably not bother with open source enterprise software. If you have personnel that can work with the software, then you have various options to explore in terms of how you use it.
Some of the top open ERP vendors include Compiere, Openbravo, WebErp, SugarCRM, and Made2Manage. You might want to compare commercial Web-based ERP offerings with open source online packages to see the differences and which may work best for your business. Software on-demand is very popular today, that’s why it is very important that you do your homework, research the various vendors and make comparisons in their platforms and their prices. When you access ERP online, you don’t have to purchase software, servers or storage.
You simply pay a subscription fee for the number of people utilizing the software and the amount of time they are online, with it. It’s a convenient approach to getting access to the software you need, when you need it; and it is cost effective.
Some say that open source software is for the brave. But that depends upon how you intend to access it. Do you want to do it yourself, or do you want technical assistance? You do have options and as expressed above, one is to compare open source to commercial online platforms.
You can find a good deal, but you will have to take the time and the initiative to do so. The enterprise market is growing and mobile seem to be the next big application. Take a look at your business and determine which enterprise system is best for you and will best grow with you, as your business does.
Just keep in mind, with open ERP, there are options too.