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When we evaluate ERP solutions for our Perfect Fit clients we are sometimes asked for our opinion on Open Source ERP solutions. We are starting to see more Open Source solutions entering the ERP market and as they mature we expect to see them become more mainstream. The fit of an Open Source ERP solution would be based on the willingness of our client to assume a higher level of risk. Having said that, I recall the early days of Linux acceptance when some people felt it was heresy to consider an Open Source OS for business critical applications. My, how times have changed.

Here are a few Pros and Cons to consider about Open Source ERP solutions.

Open Source ERP Solution Pros

  • The initial cost of an Open Source ERP solution is usually far less than a comparable proprietary program since there are no license fees.
  • The TCO of Open Source ERP solution maybe less given the option of virtually free operating systems (Linux)and databases (MySQL) and potentially lower maintenance fees. One caveat being higher support costs if major customizations are made.
  • Open Source ERP solutions are infinitely customizable allowing for companies to mold them to meet specific business process requirements.
  • Open Source ERP solutions typically have a wide range of integration formats simply because they need to play well with other software components.

Open Source ERP Solution Cons

  • Finding implementation and support resources for Open Source ERP solutions can be difficult.
  • Some add-on software isn’t compatible with Open Source ERP solutions.
  • Proprietary software has more features.
  • Because Open Source ERP solutions are more customizable internal support requirements may be higher.
  • It is fair to question the longevity of Open Source ERP solutions given their immaturity.

If you are interested in more information on Open Source technologies I suggest you check out www.OpenSource.Org or some related blogs on IT Toolbox.

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