Universities Abandon Old ERP for Open Source

If you want to understand where open source is heading next, visit Indiana University. During a recent chat with The VAR Guy, the university's CIO described why the days of commercial ERP and CRM applications are limited.

Instead of deploying new commercial enterprise applications, the university is partnering with several other colleges on two major open source projects, dubbed Kuali and Saiki.

Kuali is a financial platform that includes a base system of general ledger, transactions, reporting and workflow features. Several universities are testing the system now, and a numerous universities plan to standardize on Kuali when a "1.1" or "2.0" release arrives within the next few months.

By contrast, Sakai is an online collaboration and learning environment. Many universities deploy Sakai to support teaching and learning, ad hoc group collaboration, support for portfolios and research collaboration. Sakai's growing popularity could undermine commercial university software developers such as BlackBoard.

Both Kuali and and Sakai will need VARs to gain critical mass in higher education. Sources at Indiana University say integrators are already lining up to support both platforms. What's next? Some sources expect Kuali to gain traction within state and local government organizations.

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