Explore how open source is changing the world of enterprise software, including ERP and CRM

Open Source ERP and CRM

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Three months after publicly starting down the road to imprint its NDA on the cloud by establishing a large-scale open source cloud platform called OpenStack free for anybody to use, Rackspace Hosting, its BFF NASA and a reportedly growing OpenStack community made their first official code drop Thursday. The milestone is called Austin - they're doing this alphabetically so presumably they have a ways to go - and it includes the all-important Amazon EC2-challenging OpenStack Compute provisioning engine that's supposed to blend the best of the Rackspace Cloud Servers widgetry that underlies its public cloud offering with NASA's own home-made Nebula cloud platform. OpenStack Compute, which has commanded most of the work these last few months, is the engine that provisions virtual machines complements of either Xen or KVM and basically supplies the glue that holds a clo... (more)

Taking a "Garden Fresh" Approach to Java-Based Enterprise POS Systems

Garden Fresh is a company with 119 Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants operating in 15 states, offering fresh produce and salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot-tossed pastas, freshly baked breads and more. Since 1978, Garden Fresh has kept a commitment to delicious and healthy dining. The very first Souplantation restaurant was the first casual eatery brand to serve fresh, wholesome menu options, and the concept continues to resonate with customers. Each restaurant offers an all you can eat dining experience, where guests can create a meal tailored to their individual needs.  Patrons can always count on fresh, high-quality ingredients and daily made-from-scratch menu items. The secret to Garden Fresh's success lies in their approach to food and their ability to keep costs down. When it came to information technology, Garden Fresh had looked for a number of... (more)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Standardize & Save

Click Here to Download This eBook Now! Are you really saving as much as you think you are with non-paid community Linux? Every organization is looking for more ways to be efficient. How can you provide better service to your organization and eliminate the things that drain productivity and efficiency? Red Hat can help. Click Here to Download This eBook Now! ... (more)

Five Pitfalls to Avoid with Open Source ERP

Don't you just love spending millions of dollars to license a commercial ERP package? And then I bet you feel warm and fuzzy about hiring a bus-load of expensive consultants to come and tell you how to run your own business, following so-called ‘best practices' built into an inflexible ERP package. And just when you thought you were going to realize all the benefits of ‘off-the-shelf' software, you find you have thousands of lines of custom code lashing together old systems you didn't dare remove, third-party bolt-on solutions to plug gaps in the ERP software vendor's package, and customized reports, forms and enhancements no-one ever thought someone in your industry could ever need. Open Source - an Escape from the Commercial ERP software Nightmare? Then along comes open-source ERP. Kudos to OpenBravo, Compiere/Consona, OpenERP, xTuple, opentaps etc. Open source (f... (more)

Oracle Slaps a Microsoft Tax on ODF

Oracle has started charging 90 buck a throw for a plug-in that lets users of Microsoft's Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs read, edit and save in the OpenDocument Format (ODF) of the OpenOffice productivity suite and lets Office users and OpenOffice users share files. A kinder, gentler, more improvident Sun used to give the widgetry away for free. The plug-in works with the standalone versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as Office 2007 (Service Pack 1 or higher), 2003 and 2000 (Service Pack 4 or higher), and XP, Vista or Windows 7. Oracle wants $9,000 for a minimum of 100 users and $1,980 for a year's support, which is the only way to get upgrades. It's available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, Arabic, Russian, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. ... (more)

OpenERP: The New Wave of Open Source Solutions in India

OpenERP - The Belgium based open source ERP provider recently taking mind of its developments in India has announced for a community involvement which would help them create a low cost solution for the Indian Market. The open source market in India has recently taken a giant leap and the company looks forward to cash-in on this opportunity through localized implementations. The significant growth of the partner network and the requests from various parts of the sub-continental country can be seen as the pre-cursor of this business decision. OpenERP already has its development and support center based in Ahmedabad, India contributing to its revisions over the period of time. In recent times the overall pie for open source providers around the world has got bigger in circumference.Fabien Pinckaers, OpenERP founder and CEO quoted in his blogpost “We have never experien... (more)

Enterprising Pizza POS Software Solutions

Leading Canadian pizza chain Pizza Nova has been satisfying hungry appetites with authentic Italian cuisine since 1963. When the time had come for an IT upgrade, they hoped to improve communications, increase efficiencies and save money at the same time. To acheive all this, they tapped restaurant point of sale software developer Volante Systems and their Pizza POS solution to do the job. Volante's enterprise POS software is currently installed in 13 of 120 Pizza Nova restaurants, with plans to implement the software throughout the chain by two to three stores per month. According to Merrilee Stoll, Director of Information Technology for Pizza Nova, the driving force to replace their former pizza POS system was to improve communications between the various stores and head office, and to take advantage of the cost savings offered by a point of sale system that was ... (more)

Can Open Source Make ERP Better?

Derek Singleton at SoftwareAdvice.com has written an interesting article entitled Can Open Source ERP Succeed? He brought up some of the hurdles for the adoption of open source ERP software. Having developed open source ERP and CRM for over five years now, I’d like to ask a different question: Can Open Source make ERP better? The ERP Challenge To answer this, we need to look first at the fundamental challenges of business applications such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): They’re complicated.  Businesses are complicated, so ERP, which must be support all the functions of a business, are large and complicated.  This makes them expensive to develop.  This is not so bad by itself–lots of software are complicated.  But then, They require customizations.  This is the real killer. Because every business is different, ERP must be tailored to meet the needs of each bus... (more)

Buying Proprietary Software?

Open source software has probably been the biggest driver of complex software solutions in the last decade. Access to a large variety of quality, peer-reviewed software has accelerated product development, reduced product introduction intervals and lowered the costs for producers of software and for those of us who leverage third-party software in our projects. Many of us have heard about the trouble that organizations have come across when using open source improperly... remember Cisco/Linksys, Katzer, and the BusyBox chronicles? You may think that your organization is safe because you are buying proprietary software. However, if your software supplier unknowingly incorporated open source into its product, your organization may face unexpected legal and financial consequences arising from open source licensing obligations and the resulting intellectual property infr... (more)

Making Commercial Open Source Software

I recently blogged about making open source software, and the high level steps for how to think about the process. We started with the need for software to seed the discussion, the need for clear motivation as to why to publish as open source software, and then the structural requirements to build a community (license choice, collaboration platform or forge, and governance considerations). Contributions are the life blood of any community, so lastly we talked about the need to build an onramp to encourage users that will hopefully become contributors, and the additional onramp needed to make it easy to contribute. Rory MacDonald (@technocreative) challenged in the comments that there are substantial commercial motivations for a company to develop open source projects that go beyond a desire for collaboration, and provided a number of examples.  I completely agree, ... (more)

Mozilla Chief to Quit

Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs will be stepping down sometime later this year he told employees Thursday. Mozilla will be looking for a new chief executive and Kovacs will stay there until that person is found. He wants "something more commercial" to entertain him and will stay on the board. Under his watch Mozilla, oddly both a for-profit and non-profit, which is like serving the biblical two masters, went mobile and created the open HTML5-based - none of this fragmented native to a particular operating system business - Firefox OS, which has been adopted by some carriers in emerging markets like Brazil's Telefónica for their entry-level phones. Its carrier partners include Deutsche Telekom, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telenor and Etisalat. All Things D says Kovacs also struck a commercial software deal with Samsung to "build a new browser engine for Android and the ... (more)