Is Open Source ERP ready for large organizations?

It depends on which open source ERP system you select for your enterprise. Sure there are a number of systems suitable for large organizations. To help you select the best system for you, we have listed below a number of criteria which are important in your selection.

1. Functionality
Does the system have roughly the functionality your company or enterprise requires? It will never fit completely, but this is no problem, since open source can be easily adapted. Is it multi- company and currency? Has it at least the functions you intend to use? In general you need accounting, product catalog/warehouse, sales/purchase order, manufacturing, marketing/sales, CRM , data warehouse(BI) and e-commerce.

2. Adaptability
Can the system be customized and still can it be easily upgraded to newer versions? Customizations should always be kept outside the core ERP system so the core system can be upgraded pretty frequently.

3. Scalability and technology.
In order that you system can be accessed via the Internet it is required that the system is web based and that it can be used from within a browser. Does it require additional commercial software such as operating systems and/or databases? Can the system be scaled to a large number of users?
In general it can be said that if the Java technology is used it can scale using multiple Java applications servers, behind a load balancer and accessing the same database server. Other technologies are either commercial or are not so suitable for large installations.

4. Is the system really open source?
Many companies promote their system using the term 'open source' for marketing purposes only. Sure there can be made available a 'community version' with limited functionality where it is always required to purchase extra components to make it usable in large organizations. A further trick is to make an open source version of the system available but with a pretty restricted open source license on it. You can then buy a less restricted license to use and replicate it in large organizations
Also be careful if the system is owned by a commercial company and not a foundation. It is understandable that it is mandatory for this company that profit has to be made. Even be more careful when investors are involved, then making profit is even more important. If the software is owned by a foundation this situation does not exist.

4. Future of the system.
Make sure there is a lively community which keeps the system up to date with modern technology and newer business requirements. Check if there are plenty of providers and users worldwide. Did you know that additions to the system are often contributed by providers and financed by end-users?

5. Available support/provider companies.
Check if a suitable provider is available which has experience implementing open source ERP in large organizations, that they have a proper implementation methodology and can also support you when the system is in production. References to existing implementations certainly can help. If you want to do work yourself, does this company provide you with knowledge transfer?

As usual leave comments or mail us at