Open Source Arrives At Small Business Conference
The VAR Guy is hanging out today at SMB Nation, a conference for small business VARs — most of whom work with Microsoft. Still, open source companies like Untangle and xTuple have quietly found a home at the conference. Here’s the scoop.
First, to be crystal clear: From Small Business Server to Exchange Server to Windows management products, Microsoft-centric discussions are ubiquitous at SMB Nation. But a small contingent of open source-savvy folks are here. And they’re generating some buzz.
Untangle is making the rounds talking about the company’s open source security gateway — which has gained traction with OEMs and managed service providers over the past year. And Danielle Kerner, director xTuple’s partner program, has also surfaced at the conference. Both companies landed on The VAR Guy’s Open Source 50 report, which tracks the most promising open source partner programs.
Open Source ERP
Kerner’s attendence for xTuple is particularly interesting. xTuple specializes in open source ERP for Mac, Linux and Windows systems. During a quick chat at the show, Kerner mentioned that xTuple’s typical customer deployments involve 15 to 100 seats. And most of xTuple’s initial partners are small VARs that apparently have five or fewer employees.
Translation: xTuple may be perfectly positioned to target the Microsoft Small Business Server crowd, which attends SMB Nation in full force.
But on the other hand, our resident blogger concedes: A lot of Small Business Server VARs are perfectly happy working with Microsoft; and those folks may not be ready — or interested — in open source alternatives… at least not yet.