Open ERP's Big British Chance

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It is striking that open source does better the lower down it operates in the enterprise stack. The market share of infrastructural software like GNU/Linux or Apache is better than that of CRM or ECM apps, which are in turn better than that of ERP systems. Speaking of ERP, we now learn that “UK businesses are largely ignoring enterprise resource planning systems”:

Research carried out for the first time ever by the Office for National Statistics found that only 6.5% of 8,000 businesses surveyed were using ERP systems in 2006 – a figure that rose to 37.2% for the largest companies with more than 1,000 employees.

Weighted figures, adjusted to take account of the proportions of businesses of different sizes across the UK, show that less than a third of all UK companies – 30.2% - are estimated to be using ERP systems.

This is potentially excellent news for the open source ERP suppliers, since it means that they have a wide-open market that they can sell into, without needing to displace installed systems – something that's probably harder to do in this sphere than anywhere else: ERP, by definition, is tightly integrated into the way a company works. Things are helped by further figures that suggest GNU/Linux is already gaining a good foothold in British companies:

The research shows significant use of free open source operating systems such as Linux among larger companies, with 29.4% of firms employing more than 1,000 staff going down the open source route.

Among all the businesses surveyed, 6.3% said they used open source, with the size-weighted figures suggesting that across all UK businesses more than one fifth – 22.6% - are now using open source operating systems.

Open ERP vendors, start your engines....

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