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Open-Source ERP Makes Headway in U.S. Market
By John Moore, Ziff Davis Internet

An open-source business-application vendor is ramping up its U.S. partner push as it seeks small to midsized customers.

Compiere plans to recruit 20 to 30 U.S. integrators and VARs this year. The company already has about 15 U.S. companies on its partner roster.


Compiere provides its open-source enterprise-resource-planning/customer-relationship-management system free of charge. It offers presales consulting, implementation services, and support through its network of partners.

The company on Monday announced the release of Compiere ERP & CRM system, version 2.5.2c. This version provides improved request functionality, batch invoice entry and improved security management, according to the company.

Jorg Janke, president and project lead, said the company’s partners concentrate on small and midsized customers. Distribution chains, both owned and independent, represent an important market niche and one in which neither SAP nor Oracle excels, he said.

Goodyear Germany, which owns its retail stores and works with independent dealers, was the first customer to go into production with Compiere’s open-source business application. That installation went live in May 2000.

eWEEK.com Special Report: Focus on: SMB

Initial interest in Compiere was among European and Latin American companies. In Asia, Singapore was a particularly active market. The U.S. market lagged, but in the past 18 months, Compiere has made progress in signing U.S. partners, Janke said.

Those partners are targeting small and midmarket companies that have been using solutions such J.D. Edwards (acquired by PeopleSoft), and Microsoft’s Great Plains and Solomon, Janke said.

Among Compiere’s U.S. partners is Global Era, a Denver-based software development and integration company. Global Era has built an ERP practice around Compiere. The company has seen sales activity skyrocket since July 2004, according to Vince Clark, president of Global Era.

“We are pursuing a track right now of having eight to 10 implementations running at any given time,” he said.

Consulting and implementation around Compiere represents about half of the company’s business. Global Era also develops custom software based on open-source tools and technology.

eWEEK.com Special Report: ERP

Clark said he sees the product as a fit for customers with revenues ranging from $50 million to $200 million who are interested in replacing legacy systems. At the low end, Clark said, he has customers and prospects approaching the $10 million mark who are ready to replace small-business systems such as Quickbooks and Peachtree.

In addition, acquisitions in the ERP field also have sparked interest in Compiere, Clark said. “The rollup that is going on in the industry at all levels is something that is concerning to buyers,” he added.

Next Page: Health care surge fuels Perot.

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