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SMBs early adopters of open source CRM

Small and midsize businesses in Asia are leading the charge in adopting open source enterprise applications, notes new IDC report.
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Written by Eileen Yu, Contributor on

Small and midsize businesses are among the early adopters of open source enterprise applications in Asia, where the majority of open source vendors are based outside the region, according to an IDC report released Tuesday.

Beyond just cost savings, more businesses in the region are turning to open source because they desire to be free of vendor lock-in and want access to source codes, stated the report. The IDC study aims to evaluate the adoption of business applications such as enterprise resource management (ERM) and customer relationship management (CRM).

"Open source ERM and CRM applications are still in the embryonic stage in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, with SMBs being the early adopters," said Ridhi Sawhney, market analyst of enterprise applications research, IDC Asia-Pacific, who added that Australia, Singapore and Thailand, are leading the region in terms of adoption

Businesses today are more aware of the benefits in deploying open source, the research firm said. "For instance, acquiring source code helps in driving greater optimization, while having access to open source communities provides vital round-the-clock support," IDC said.

"Since the source code is published to the user community, users can revise, test and control the program to provide stability and security in the software," the report said. "Enterprises adopted open source applications because there is no vendor lock-in associated with the solution, and it enables users to stage and test the applications without large upfront costs, producing higher returns on investment compared to proprietary solutions."

The IDC report also highlighted a "significant" trend, where the majority of open source vendors are not based in the Asia-Pacific region, choosing instead to operate via partners and value-added resellers (VARs) well-versed with the local business environment.

It did note, however, that vendors such as SugarCRM, Compiere and epesiBIM, have development centers in China, India and Indonesia.

In an interview last month, Microsoft's intellectual property lawyer Horacio Gutierrez said the competition between proprietary and open source camps is "a thing of the past". Describing software houses today as increasingly "mixed source", Gutierrez said Microsoft is offering open source tools, just as open source vendors such as Red Hat, have license commercial software alongside open source products.

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