Open source Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP Software system is like a shell created outside the core system to meet the business needs and line-up with the company organization. If implemented within an organization the right way and used the right way, can drive significant benefits, including better information sharing, reduced operational costs better synergy between marketing and sales leading to more revenue, better automation and integration of processes. All in all, a healthy proposition.
ERP systems like SAP prohibits smaller organization to benefit from a well-integrated ERP system. That’s the reason why open source ERPs are increasingly becoming popular.
But before you go ahead with an open source ERP you would do well to understand the benefits using an open source ERP system:
- Save Money
A lot of money can be saved by using an open ERP solution in the long run. No licensing or software maintenance cost. You should be able to visualize how much money you can save. Access to open source databases and operating system which further indirectly reduces the cost of licensing is also provided. Again if you face the need to hire available consultants and programmers – not free but with a significantly lesser fee.
Open source software can be altered and tailored to meet your organization’s business needs. There is generally a wide range of integration formats. Changes can be achieved by using company’s internal programming staff or by external ERP developers. It would be more cost effective if you have to spend money on custom development for an open source ERP system than hiring consultants for commercial ERP Software solutions like an SAP.
An open source ERP will give you complete access to its source content/code. You are totally free to use as you are the owner of the system and need not to depend on your service provider. You can implement the software yourself in any way you want (and it is capable), or “opt” to hire a service provider (it is not compulsory).
There are many developers who are simultaneously working on an ERP software and are constantly enhancing the codes, you get regular updates for an open source ERP. All open source software come with a set of core files that get replaced during each update. Implementation of your customization leaves the core files untouched, updating your ERP will become a breeze. Which is not so for a commercial ERP system, because most of them are customized deeply and even simple updates require consultancy from the ERP vendor (as you don’t have access to the source code).
The code quality of open source software is of better. It is not about the money you pay to the developers but more about the passion of the developers building the software. Also, more developers work on the ERP software over a long period of time, making the code quality higher than proprietary software. Furthermore, the competition between the developers of open source software leads to the improvement of the overall quality. Just think how Chrome and FireFox are ahead of Internet Explorer and Safari.
In a nutshell, if your primary requirements involve customizability, cost reduction, and freedom, then go for an open source ERP for your organization. Then the only downside you might face is not all your employees will be familiar with the interface. But that is quickly resolved technical training. Plus it is clearly visible how the pros outweigh the cons.
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