Update: Open source ERP on Amazon EC2?

Compiere's Amazon-hosted virtual computing environment helps customers reap cloud benefits for ERP tasks

Compiere stepped into the cloud by making its open source ERP wares available on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Customers can now tap into the Amazon-hosted virtual computing environment, dubbed Compiere Cloud Edition, for ERP tasks including accounting, purchasing, order fulfillment, manufacturing, warehousing, and CRM, the open source ERP vendor said on Wednesday.

[ Related: Oracle recently offered Sourcing onDemand as a SaaS module and eGain introduced a novel idea: A SaaS app that's free unless it delivers value. ]

A subscription to Compiere Cloud Edition includes application support, service packs, and access to upgrade tools, the company said in a statement. Customers can also opt for implementation, integration, and customer-specific cloud images.

Compiere Cloud Edition running on Amazon's EC2 enables customers to take advantage of cloud computing's benefits, including lower up-front costs, faster time to deployment, the ability to add capacity on the fly, and reduced on-going hardware and infrastructure expenditures, according to the companies.

"The majority of enterprises are thus far using Amazon as a playpen," said Gary Barnett, an analyst with consultancy The Bathwick Group.

Compiere Cloud Edition likely will appeal most to smaller companies that do not already have mountains of back-end ERP data residing in SAP or Oracle to migrate over to Amazon's EC2.

The Compiere-Amazon combination might also apply to smaller sites within larger companies, says Bruce Richardson, chief research officer at AMR. "If you talk to SAP and Oracle, they're only waking up to the need for cloud solutions. They just don't have a good SaaS or cloud offering."

Richardson adds that "those people who like Linux and open systems will find the combination attractive because there's no cheaper way to do ERP." The challenge, Richardson says, "is converting downloads into paying customers."

One paying customer is O-So Pure, a provider of ultraviolet dental solutions.

O-So Pure CEO Jerry Skaare, a self-professed open source aficionado, was initially attracted to Compiere but says, "When the Amazon offering came along, it cut right to the chase. I needed my resources to concentrate on O-So Pure's business, not on infrastructure."

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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