Open Source: OpenERP Launches SaaS Version for Partners
OpenERP, as you may guess from the name, sells a suite of business applications built on open source code, ensuring low-cost apps for the customer and flexible deployment for the administrator. But OpenERP has always been limited by its status as an on-premises product. Not anymore.
OpenERP v6, available now, is a hosted SaaS version of the company’s business suite available to the channel, and also includes a slew of other updates.
To hear company COO Mark Laporte tell it, the really interesting thing about OpenERP is that its offerings aren’t aimed primarily at the American market. OpenERP has resellers in 50 countries (up from 19 in March 2010), but France and India have downloaded the apps more than any other country, including the United States.
OpenERP’s international resellers now will be able to offer subscriptions to a cloud-hosted version of OpenERP v6 that Laporte said is exactly the same as the on-premises product. Those subscriptions are $39 per month per user, and cloud users can switch to the on-premises version at any time. The only catch: cloud service providers can’t host the OpenERP v6 themselves.
Other improvements in the latest version of OpenERP include a new user interface designed to make tasks more intuitive while also simplifying navigation and modularity so users can add applications and functions as needed. Laporte noted its user base has been very vocal in asking for the more than 100 new features in OpenERP v6.
It’s an intriguing solution, and for companies that need CRM, warehouse monitoring or any other enterprise applications in the OpenERP suite, the SaaS option may be an attractive one. But I’m wondering if it’s going to spur even more cloud growth abroad.