What does "Open ERP" mean?
Open refers to "open source". Open source refers to website applications that are "open"; that is, free and available to developers to customize to the needs of their clients. ERP means "Enterprise Resource Planning" and refers to an integrated enterprise platform. These generally include a combination of accounting, CRM and other modules.
Why use open source software?
Software programmers have two basic options. The first is to use freely available open source solutions and customize as needed or purchase proprietary software. Proprietary software is far more costly and the average licensing fee is $2,000/year per user. TGI believes that the best solution for small and medium sized businesses is open source.
Why do you suggest Open ERP solutions for small businesses?
All businesses can benefit from integrated ERP platforms. The single greatest expense for any business is high labour cost associated with employees performing mundane, repetitive tasks that could easily be performed, error-free, by available software solutions.
Why do you think open source is better than private?
- Security: Bugs in open source software tend to get fixed immediately. In the proprietary world? Not so much. Microsoft, for example, typically takes weeks if not months to patch vulnerabilities such as the recently discovered Internet Explorer zero-day flaw. Good luck to all the businesses using it in the meantime.
- Quality: Which is more likely to be better: a software package created by a handful of developers, or a software package created by thousands of developers? Just as there are countless developers and users working to improve the security of open source software, so are there just as many innovating new features and enhancements to those products.
- Customizability: Along similar lines, business users can take a piece of open source software and tweak it to suit their needs. Since the code is open, it's simply a matter of modifying it to add the functionality they want. Don't try that with proprietary software!
- Freedom: When businesses turn to open source software, they free themselves from the severe vendor lock-in that can afflict users of proprietary packages. Customers of such vendors are at the mercy of the vendor's vision, requirements, dictates, prices, priorities and timetable, and that limits what they can do with the products they're paying for.
- Flexibility: When your business uses proprietary software such as Microsoft Windows and Office, you are on a treadmill that requires you to keep upgrading both software and hardware ad infinitum. Open source software, on the other hand, is typically much less resource-intensive, meaning that you can run it well even on older hardware. It's up to you--not some vendor--to decide when it's time to upgrade.
- Interoperability: Open source software is much better at adhering to open standards than proprietary software is. If you value interoperability with other businesses, computers and users, and don't want to be limited by proprietary data formats, open source software is definitely the way to go.
- Auditability: With closed source software, you have nothing but the vendor's claims telling you that they're keeping the software secure and adhering to standards, for example. It's basically a leap of faith. The visibility of the code behind open source software, however, means you can see for yourself and be confident.
- Support Options: Open source software is generally free, and so is a world of support through the vibrant communities surrounding each piece of software. Most every Linux distribution, for instance, has an online community with excellent documentation, forums, mailing lists, forges, wikis, newsgroups and even live support chat. For businesses that want extra assurance, there are now paid support options on most open source packages at prices that still fall far below what most proprietary vendors will charge. Providers of commercial support for open source software tend to be more responsive, too, since support is where their revenue is focused.
- Cost: Between the purchase price of the software itself, the exorbitant cost of mandatory virus protection, support charges, ongoing upgrade expenses and the costs associated with being locked in, proprietary software takes more out of your business than you probably even realize. And for what? You can get better quality at a fraction of the price.
- Try Before You Buy: If you're considering using open source software, it will typically cost you nothing to try it out first. This is partly due to the software's free price, and partly due to the existence of Live CDs and Live USBs for many Linux distributions, for example. No commitment required until you're sure.
Open source for today's business needs:
Because it's written in collaboration with partners and customers, the open source software development model creates software that's meant for the people who use it. Distributed development means lower costs and reduced lock-in.
In contrast, proprietary development has one company doing all of the software development, leading to higher prices, stifled innovation, and customers locked in to one vendor.
Building our business on open source has resulted in an entirely new focus on service and customer value. Classical proprietary software products are typically offered under an End User License Agreement (EULA). Red Hat solutions are offered under a subscription-based service-level agreement (SLA). What's the difference?
Software Quality Better than Industry Average
Coverity, a company specializing in software quality and security testing, has found that open source Report Finds Open Source The irony isn't lost on me: Coverity, a a company specializing in software quality and security testing solution, has found that open source software has fewer defects in its code than proprietary programs.
You don’t need to do it all yourself
As you all probably know, maintenance takes up most of your time and is the least interesting aspect of programming. So why do it yourself when you have a community of eager developers to do the dirty work for you! Just by adding numbers to your development team you are cutting back a lot of the workload for your team and you will probably get more thorough testing from your contributors than you could have achieved in a timely manner with your current staff.
You can get an edge over your competitors
Let me just say that making your software open doesn’t mean you’re making it free, you can keep certain aspects of your code private as you choose. People often think making their code public will give their competitors the ability to always make their software better, but if your competitors want to steal your ideas, they don’t need your code to do it. The benefits of having contributors far outweighs what your competitors could take from it.