Q

Is there a way around paying large consulting fees to migrate to ERP on Linux?

It seems to me that migrating my company's ERP on Unix applications to ERP on Linux will require paying for many consulting hours. Is there any way around that?
You'll probably have to rely on the support and hand-holding that companies have been accustomed to getting from their large software vendors. For example, in the case ERP vendors SAP and PeopleSoft, one typically pays that vendor, or in some cases authorized resellers, much more in consulting costs to implement that system, than in software costs alone.

Though organizations purchase ERP type systems for a variety of reasons, usually they do so with the intention of trying to change the workflow of information processes and/or their ability to manage complex data more centrally and strategically. On most occasions, these organizations prefer to hire people to help them implement these types of changes.

Of course, the other way for companies to save money on this and other projects is to provide relevant training for the in-house IT staff.

That said, the open source vendor Compiere provides a list of over 50 vendors/consultants that implement their software. Even with paid consulting time, the lower cost of open source software and consulting may save your company some money.

There is another option for Compiere ERP: user-based support. Ultimately, the Linux and open source community needs to do a better job of educating people that they don't have to pay big money for consultants for every project. Instead, they can reach out to the open source community, through the Compiere user community, for example. Community support can be a great and inexpensive option for an IT manager.

This was first published in March 2005

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