Open Source ERPs, a boon for SMEs

By : |August 6, 2012 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Any industry requires a proper technology set-up to accelerate growth. Modern trend speaks out loud about the use of ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) in the corporate world for a smooth and efficient functioning of any enterprise.

On shifting the focus to SME specific market, one needs to be well verse with the barriers in the path of SME growth and be aware of the investment capacity.

Therefore there is a need for an Open Source technology which is available at exceptionally low prices and custom made for these SMEs.

Observing the current market trend, here are Top 4 Open Source ERP Software applications. Looking at the current market demands where SMEs need have their prime focus on cost effectiveness, these applications are broadly designed for specific market needs of the SME market segment.

1. Opentaps
[image_library_tag 924/14924, align=”left” width=”150″ height=”151″ title=”Screenshot of Opentaps Workdesk ” alt=”Screenshot of Opentaps Workdesk ” border=”1″ vspace=”10″ hspace=”10″ complete=”complete” ,default]It stands for Open Source Enterprise Application Suite. (Opentaps Workdesk Screenshot)
Opentaps has emerged as the leader of ERPs for SMEs mainly due to its user friendly interface, its compatibility with MySQL and PostgreSql, its object oriented domain driven architecture and test driven development process.

2. OpenMFG: OpenMFG by Xtuples
[image_library_tag 925/14925, align=”right” width=”150″ height=”31″ title=”OpenMFG” alt=”OpenMFG” border=”1″ vspace=”10″ hspace=”10″ complete=”complete” ,default]SMEs that invest their maximum capital in purchasing software for accounting, invoice, inventory details and all that it takes for a small manufacturing unit have an alternative that does not require much of investment.

Designed by Xtuples, OpenMFG, also known as ‘OMFG’, is embedded with all the features which will enable the SMEs primarily the small manufacturing units to use a versatile technology at low cost. The features include

a. Accounting: Includes maintainance of ledger, multiple account details etc.
b. Sales CRM: Maintaining purchase orders and multiple inventory detail management.

For a small manufacturing unit that focuses on more returns than investments, it can depend upon this technology as it is not only free to use but open to development and is user friendly as well.

3. Compiere 
[image_library_tag 926/14926, align=”left” width=”160″ height=”34″ title=”Compiere” alt=”Compiere” border=”1″ vspace=”10″ hspace=”10″ complete=”complete” ,default]A Cloud-based Open Source ERP and customer relationship management software specially designed to meet the requirement of an enterprise which can invest in a certain amount in cloud computing. Presently, there are many companies which provide Cloud space to SMEs but the cost factor comes into play when huge sums of money is charged for a comparatively lesser space.

The SMEs which don’t wish to spend much on cloud space, have an alternative in the form of Compiere which is an Open Source cloud computing software available at relatively cheaper price. For a Compiere accounting ERP, the annual licence costs around $1000 which includes the installation and initial services of the software.

The service areas of this Open Source cloud are well spread in different domains ranging from small manufacturing units to large scale government sector.

Some important features of Compiere:

a. Easy to acquire as there are no upfront investments and hence provide an affordable platform to the SMEs.
b. Easy to implement because it is flexible for use on different platforms with a wide range of hardware support.
c. Being an Open Source software, it is highly adaptable and can be customized as per the user requirements.

4. ERP5              
[image_library_tag 927/14927, align=”left” width=”180″ height=”88″ title=”ERP5 UI screenshot” alt=”ERP5 UI screenshot” border=”1″ vspace=”10″ hspace=”10″ complete=”complete” ,default]ERP5, an Open Source/free enterprise planning framework, has been specialized to provide a growing number of applicative solutions for enterprise management.

It is specially made for the industries that can spare some capital on ERP, however it still happens to be relatively less expensive than the others in the league. An ERP5 starter would cost the user around 500 Euros, covering the initial phase of the starting service.

ERP 5 offers a wide range of software tools for various industry purposes which range from basic ERP structure to specialized ERP for MRP, payroll, finance, CRM, and commerce.

On putting a spotlight on the growth prospects for SMEs, it is essential that one should focus on the essential technology which supports the business keeping in mind the cost and the capital involved in the implementation of technology. Open Source ERP has certainly opened up a new gateway for the growth of SMEs not only because of their cost effectiveness but also due to their adaptability and easy customization depending upon the user requirements.

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