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Tuesday, 11 November 2008 16:11

Australia leading the way in open source ERM and CRM software adoption

The adoption of open source Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technologies is gaining momentum in the Asia Pacific region and Australia is one of the countries leading the way, according to a new report.

IDC's latest end user study, "Adoption of Open Source ERM and CRM Software in Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) and Providers Analysis" reveals that no vendor lock-in, access to the source code and Open Source network support, in addition to the traditional cost factors, are driving adoption of Open Source ERM and CRM applications in the region.

The IDC survey evaluates the various Open Source (OS), Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) vendors and the adoption of these applications in the Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region

"Open Source ERM and CRM applications are still in the embryonic stage in APEJ with small and medium sized organizations being the early adopters", says Ridhi Sawhney, Market Analyst of IDC's Asia/Pacific Enterprise Applications Research.

"Australia, Singapore and Thailand have taken the lead in the adoption of Open Source ERM and CRM as compared to the rest of the region. The maturity of Open Source infrastructure is leading the adoption with Linux at the operating system level, follow by the Open Source database and then progressing to Open Source applications.

According to IDC, enterprises today have greater awareness of the advantages of Open Source, moving beyond just cost savings. For instance, acquiring source code helps in driving greater optimization, while having access to Open Source communities provides vital round-the-clock support. Since the source code is published to the user community, users can revise, test and control the program to provide stability and security to the software.

The report found that enterprises adopted Open Source applications because there is no vendor lock-in associated with the solution and it enables the users to stage and test the applications without large upfront costs, producing higher ROI compared to the proprietary solutions.

A significant trend in the region, according to IDC, is that the majority of Open Source vendors is not based in Asia/Pacific. They operate indirectly through partners and VARs who are well versed with the local business environment and build their sales through relationship selling. However, Open Source vendors such as SugarCRM, Compiere and EpesiBIM have established development centers either in China, India or Indonesia.

According to a recent IDC survey, Singapore, the PRC and Australia shows the highest percentage of respondents planning to deploy Open Source ERM or CRM software in the near future, while respondents in Australia and Thailand have the largest number of deployments of Open Source CRM solution.

Manufacturing and distribution services emerged as the two verticals that have the highest number of deployment of Open Source ERM and CRM. The manufacturing industry, with lower profit margins and higher complexity of the business processes, tends to deploy Open Source solutions.

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Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 35 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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