Open source: the rolling your own ERP alternative

My last post talked about the potential for the Force.com to become an alternative developer environment, especially for situational applications.

My last post talked about the potential for the Force.com to become an alternative developer environment, especially for situational applications. In the above video, I met with Martyn Shiner and Clive Birnie of Severn Delta.

Several years ago, they bought a bankrupt business that manufactures kitchen cloths. Can you imagine anything more boring? Boring it may be in the eyes of some but this wee business was faced with a massive problem. It needed to build an enterprise class ERP but on zero budget. "There wasn't any money for development and the existing software package was being sunsetted. Alternatives were way beyond our budget," says Martyn.

They did it over a period of about two years, with a tiny team. They've been live just over three months and it is based on open source components.

Questions are bound to be asked about how sustainable such systems really are when they are developed in this manner. But if Martyn and Clive are able to return the project back to the open source community, there is every chance it will grow organically.

I've been following this company's progress for about 18 months so to finally catch up with the founders and hear their story was well worth the wait, even though our recording was made in a relatively noisy building. Enjoy.