Most open-source companies rely on business models (and development models) that aim to leverage large global communities of users and developers. The goal? Monetize some percentage of a very large number of community members. So it's hard to imagine a more unlikely candidate for an open source play than Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), an industry dominated by big enterprise proprietary vendors such as Oracle and SAP that sell to Global 2000 organizations.
Given the vast and growing number of open-source projects, one would assume its quality had gone down as quantity went up. In fact, the inverse is true, suggests a new report from Coverity, which spent the past three years analyzing more than 11 billion lines lines of code from 280 open-source projects. This is crucial given open source's increased importance to the software industry as a whole, and not merely self-styled "open-source companies."
I recently delivered a presentation at the Openbravo World Conference on the rise of open source and the value and nature of commercial open-source projects within the open-source community. Here are my slides:
As I've noted before, the open-source ecosystem would be much poorer if companies were to stop funding key parts of it. This presentation strived to identify how to build community without lobotomizing the companies involved.
Disclosure: I am an advisor to Openbravo.
Follow me on Twitter @mjasay.
One of the best ways to see how a company is doing is by looking at the caliber of people it attracts. With that in mind, it's impressive to see whom open-source enterprise resource-planning vendor Openbravo just recruited:
Jesper Balser, co-founder and former CEO of Navision, a leading ERP vendor acquired by Microsoft in 2002, is the newest member of its board of directors.
In addition, Openbravo has hired Cees Poortman, another veteran of Navision and Microsoft, as its vice president of global commercial operations.
While open source has made its mark in just about every product segment within enterprise software, ERP (enterprise resource planning) has remained firmly proprietary. As CIO.com's Thomas Wailgum suggests, however, the time may be ripe for change.
The reason? Years of empty promises and overloaded invoices from the incumbent ERP vendors may finally ring hollow in a global recession:
Does a massive, 18-month, multimillion-dollar ERP rollout, with the odds of implementation and user acceptance stacked against you and 22 percent annual maintenance costs to boot, seem appropriate now?
ERP industry guru Vinnie Mirchandani likes to say that there … Read more
Portland is one of my favorite cities on the planet, and today I learned to love it even more. Portland's transportation agency, TriMet, has been using open-source Openbravo POS since 2007 in its automated system to sell tickets and passes to the public. $4.5 million in transactions later, Openbravo POS continues to deliver.
Why Openbravo?At the time of the selection, they evaluated Openbravo POS against some the most popular commercial POS solutions and our beloved open source application came out on top. The deciding factors were its simplicity, rich functionality and the quality of its code. The … Read more
The VAR Guy has the scoop on some upcoming Ubuntu news: Ubuntu and Openbravo are teaming up to help push Ubuntu into the enterprise.Now, Canonical is seeking killer server applications for Ubuntu. MySQL, the open-source database now owned by Sun, has backed Ubuntu quite a bit. And now Openbravo is joining the party...Smart move by Canonical and Openbravo. CIOs, midmarket IT managers, and solutions providers don't care much about server operating systems. It's all about the applications.
I agree, and so do Red Hat and Novell, which built their formidable server businesses by focusing on applications.
It's interesting, however, where Canonical/Ubuntu is focused. It started with some select, big-name partnerships with IBM and others, and is now focused on shoring up that story with open-source applications. Openbravo is the first to leak, but there are others in the works.… Read more
I stumbled across this news from Openbravo this morning, and thought it indicative of the type of contribution typical to commercial open-source projects. Egyptian accounting for Openbravo's open-source ERP platform. No way that a proprietary software company is going to write that, not until every other aspect of the product is already complete.
For organic open-source communities, bug fixes, code contributions, etc. can be expected, though not to the levels commonly expected. It turns out that all (or nearly all) communities are small, even for projects like Linux and Apache. Some, like Drupal, break this mold, but they are the exception, not the rule.
For most projects, including commercial open-source projects, localization and some bug reporting constitute the primary contributions from the community.… Read more
As an advisor to Openbravo, I can attest to how hard the Openbravo team worked to finalize this funding. It is an investment well-earned, and should be money well-spent.
Openbravo has emerged as perhaps the leading open-source ERP vendor in a short space of time, in large part because of its strength as a hosted solution and due to its viability in emerging markets like Latin America and under-served parts of Europe.
Congratulations to the Openbravo … Read more
Yesterday I suggested that Google could allay a lot of concerns about what it intends to do with others' applications, data, etc. by firmly committing to open source, open data, and open APIs. Today, albeit on a much smaller scale, open-source ERP provider, Openbravo, did just that with the Openbravo Manifesto.
Here are just two of the commitments Openbravo made:Open Source: A functional version of our software is always published under an open source license. Our goal is to enable any person with the required skills to install, configure and use Openbravo ERP and POS in a production environment.… Read more