At HotWax Media, our core business is providing open source ERP services powered by Apache OFBiz. So, when I need a break from my ongoing investigation into how much caffein it takes to kill a horse, sometimes I read CIO.com.
And while I may have been a bit jittery, I was nonetheless pleased to see a recent article recommending Apache OFBiz as an open source ERP software alternative to proprietary systems like SAP and Microsoft Dynamics.
In How To Run Your Small Business With Free Open Source Software, CIO includes OFBiz along with ADempiere and OpenERP as full-featured and less expensive ERP options for small businesses to consider. Hallelujah! That kind of analysis and attention in the mainstream IT media always makes me happy.
The fact is, open source ERP is largely overlooked by the average SMB today. Open source ERP systems don’t often have the same kind of slick marketing that we see from SAP and Microsoft, and ERP in general can be pretty intimidating. In the end though, for all businesses running or considering ERP systems, I believe that the following points are true:
1. ERP projects are complex, and customizable open source software like Apache OFBiz can help simplify them.
2. ERP projects can run up against software limitations, and customizable open source software like Apache OFBiz can help remove those limitations.
3. Proprietary ERP software licensing is expensive, and choosing customizable open source software like Apache OFBiz eliminates those costs.
The goals with choosing any ERP software system are to clarify the project, make the system do anything / exactly what you want it to do, and minimize project costs as much as possible. These are admirable goals for businesses of any size, and the ERP strategy most likely to achieve them will be centered around customizable open source software like Apache OFBiz.
Mike Bates founded HotWax Systems in 1997 and is our chief executive. His career in web application sales, marketing, design and development spans two decades, and he is a long time open source software advocate. He has led high-profile web software projects for numerous national and global brands and has taught web development courses at the graduate level. Mike joins other HotWax employees and advisers in periodically posting thoughts here related to HotWax Commerce, OFBiz, digital commerce, and other topics.