Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Promise of Open Source realized

Open Source

software such as OpenBravoPentahoSugar CRM and Mule ESB amongst many others has been downloaded by tens of millions of people (yes no exaggeration) .  Yet the vendors of those same Open Source solutions admit that only around 10% of those downloads ever go into production.  
The reasons are many and varied:  Here is my estimate based on my own experience and the experience of @O4BO subscribers.  The reason they did NOT go into production was:
  • Too hard to install - The hardware requirements and software requirements with database and web server can be daunting for a Small Business without an IT staff.
  • Free isn't exactly free - Internet Bandwidth, Server Hardware, and everything else needed, all cost money.
  • Setup and initial training - Even if they download and install, getting it into production requires skills and sometimes the training materials are less than adequate for a Small Business Owner to get up and running.
  • It didn't quite fit - The Open Source solutions were either too big and complex or too small and simple, or simply didn't fit with the business requirements....leading to the need for an IT staff to do customization just to make it work.
I founded @O4BO to address that 90% and the reasons above that they didn't go into production.  Here is how we address each of those reasons:

  • Too hard to install - the Small Business owner can go to the O4BO Store and sign up starting at $0.00/user/mo and start using those same solutions with NOTHING to install.
  • Free isn't exactly free - You can subscribe today at http://www.o4bo.com/web/guest/subscribe-now and get Liferay Portal for 10 users forever for FREE, no strings attached.
  • Setup and initial training - @O4BO we not only setup and feed you videos and guides to get you going, but we have partners that can do training and we have broad support from Online Forums to Support staff and even Support Contracts with an SLA of 4 hours....nobody better at that.
  • It didn't quite fit - Here is where @O4BO shines.  Here is a list of some of the options you have to "make it fit":
    • The Liferay Portal is customizable and has a web content management system, you can create your own interface and even include other software solutions even other SaaS solutions in your Portal. The Portal can accept your own custom portlets to do whatever you need done.
    • We have integrated all our solutions in the Portal and have Portlets into each of them.
    • We have integrated all our solutions on top of Mule ESB so that you can integrate all our solutions with your legacy data and applications or even external applications like SalesForce.com 
    • If you want your own application integrated with @O4BO we can do that too, with our partner ProfitBricks or IBM SmartCloud we can install your software (any) on the Cloud and integrate that with all of our solutions on our own Cloud, no limitations and we can do it for less money than you can do it yourself.
    • If you want just one of our applications to be hosted on the Cloud with some customization we do for you or you do yourself or you have someone else do, we can deploy just that application and its customization on the cloud of your choice and integrate that.
    • Customization is much easier since all our applications are Open Source.
    • If you want an extension to one of our applications, we offer the WorkXpress Platform as a Service, fully integrated with all our other applications and even with your legacy data as well.
So if you are in that 90% check us out.  http://www.o4bo.com

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