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)

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)

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)

Red Hat To Present Enterprise "Internet of Things" At @ThingsExpo

@ThingsExpo billboard is viewed by more than 1.3 million motorists per week on Highway 101, in the heart of Silicon Valley. The Evolution of the Internet Of Things Session by Chris Gray The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, will discuss the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data and analysis are providing the pull to meet customer expectations of a widely co... (more)

Can Open Source ERP Succeed?

Open source has been a great success for infrastructure software such as Linux, Apache and MySQL. Here at Software Advice, we've made use of all three. We've also made extensive use of open source development libraries like jQuery. For apps, however, we have either rolled our own or deployed commercial Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings. We're not alone in that decision. Open-source applications have failed to gain mainstream acceptance. Despite passionate communities and a compelling value proposition, businesses just aren't buying open-source enterprise applications. The lone exception, from what I can tell, is SugarCRM (more on this below). But why not enterprise resource planning (ERP)? Why hasn't an open-source ERP player gained critical mass? With so many ERP implementations getting long in the tooth, many businesses are yearning to break free from vendor ... (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)

The Science and Art of Open Source Software License Management

The industrial revolution continues - starting with the steam engines of the 18th century, continuing with large-scale steel production, oil exploitation, electrical and photographic innovations of the 19th century, and moving on to the transportation, communications, computation and electronics of the 20th century. It is still early in the 21st century, but we can safely say software has become the engine that feeds the industrial, economic, medical, and gradually the political issues of our existence. The only way to satisfy the demand for the volume and complexity of the software that is needed to keep our world moving is to maximally share and reuse code within and across application domains. Open Source Software (OSS) is the epitome of code reuse, enabling complex applications to be realized rapidly, economically and safely. Probably the largest collaborative ... (more)

The Evolution In Enterprise Communications Continues

The VoiceCon 2010 event, now called, “Enterprise Connect!” is underway this week from Orlando, Florida; broadcasting keynotes from Avaya, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and Siemens, which you can watch for free on VoiceCon TV. As I mentioned previously, in my last unified communications blog post, “Telepresence – The Face of the Cloud“, the 2010 UC dance gets more interesting (and complicated) with each passing day.  As businesses continue to seek out ways to cut costs, and gain efficiencies, unified communications, and cloud computing, continue to provide alternatives for enterprises of all sizes to reduce their costs, and become more efficient in the process. Some of the leading news stories this week are: HP partnering with Polycom (you didn’t expect them to partner with Cisco did you?), Siemens partnering with VMWare for virtualized real-time enterprise unified communicati... (more)

The Math of FOSS Freeloaders

Concerns are raised every once in a while in the broader free and open source software community about freeloaders. The attitude expressed is that if you're getting the benefit of FOSS, you should contribute. Building a business on a FOSS project you don't own, whether you're providing a service or product around a FOSS project should in return garner some sort of quid pro quo. In reality, freeloaders are desirable. I think we need to look through the other end of the telescope. The people most often concerned about freeloaders and the free ride are actually the ones with the motivation problem - they expect free work (or "free" customers).  I recently wrote about "Making Open Source." One of the first things required is a motivation to share.  One of the next requirements is an ability to collaborate. I believe the people most likely to express concerns about free... (more)

opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM Quarterly Update

In this edition of the quarterly update, I’m happy to tell you about the: opentaps 1.4 Release New opentaps.org website, forum, and training video store opentaps-Magento integration Development goals for opentaps 1.5 A proof of concept for opentaps 2.0 based on OSGi, Spring dynamic modules, and maven Amicon Technologies and IntegratingWeb join opentaps as opentaps Partners opentaps in China opentaps 1.4 is Released opentaps 1.4 was officially released in March 2010. This release features many new features in CRM, manufacturing, supply chain management, and financial accounting; improved user interface thanks to the Google Web Toolkit; hibernate keyword search; VOIP integration with Asterisk; improved Web security; the opentaps Domain Driven Architecture with Spring framework and hibernate; and upgraded versions of the Apache Tomcat and OFBiz. For more details, see o... (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)