Why do so many people download the Open Source application called OpenBravo? Currently its tens of thousands of people do just that. No doubt many are techies that want to see the sources for any number of reasons. I would say that a significant percentage maybe even a majority are small to medium sized enterprises that need Enterprise Resource Planning software, or Accounting and one or more of the integrated modules.
Then why is it that the current estimate is that 90% of those downloads never go into production? There is no hard data to support it but from my own experience and in talking with OpenBravo and other Open Source vendors that have shared their opinion, the reasons fall into two categories.
One reason cited is that it is too hard to install and maintain. It requires a dedicated server with internet access, and a database and web server, and those typically add up to an IT staff person to manage it, or to lease a server with that setup. Both of which mean $$$ as well as a distraction from their Core Competency whatever that may be.
Another reason cited is that as Rich as OpenBravo with all its modules is, many Small to Medium sized Enterprises simply don't need what OpenBravo and its modules offer or perhaps more accurately their needs are unique and to make OpenBravo fit their needs requires again IT staff or outsourcing of developers to make the needed changes...$$$ again and distraction again.
Our approach at O4BO is to make it as easy as possible to get started with OpenBravo by hosting it and selling it at a low price as a subscription service. With nothing to install or maintain and no need for an IT staff person or outsourced server, we address that Hard to install and maintain reason.
If OpenBravo doesn't quite fit your needs, we address that in a couple of ways. One is that we include a portal and you can configure the portal however you wish and add portlets that may help it fit your needs better. We offer professional services to add these custom portlets or to create customizations for you on our subscription service and lastly OpenBravo integrated with Pentaho gives you many additional integrated features not available in OpenBravo that you would download.
For less than one hour of an IT staff person you can have one user with full access to OpenBravo for an entire month. Now that's value.