Open source software offers small businesses the same low costs and flexibility that enterprises enjoy. So why don’t more small businesses opt for open source?
Many small business owners simply aren’t aware of the number and variety of high quality open source software available for them. Because open source projects generally don’t have the same kind of marketing dollars behind them as commercial options, they can be a lot tougher to find. The following list of open source software for small businesses on Datamation looks at good open source replacements for popular small business applications.
Open Source Accounting: GnuCash
GnuCash is open source accounting software that can replace Quicken. For owners of very small businesses, GnuCash offers a step up from Quicken (and it will import your existing Quicken data), but it’s not quite as full-featured as QuickBooks and similar products. In addition to the features you’d find in a personal financial manager, it includes modules for tracking customers, vendors, jobs, invoices, accounts payable, accounts receivable and more. Operating System: W indows, Linux, OS X. 3. Front Accounting
Open Source Backup: Bacula
Bacula is open source backup software that can replace Simpana Backup and Recovery , NetVault, or HP StorageWorks EBS. For larger businesses, Bacula offers network backup and recovery capabilities. Although it’s an enterprise-grade program, it’s easy enough to set up and use that it’s appropriate for small businesses as well. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Content Management: Alfresco
Alfresco is open source content management software that replaces Sharepoint, Documentum or Open Text. Alfresco adds a social element to standard Web content management and document management functionality. It’s high-profile users include Toyota, Sony Pictures ImageWorks, the Sesame Workshop, Merck, NASA, Land’s End, Fox, Cisco and many others. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Customer Relationship Management (CRM): SugarCRM
SugarCRM is Open Source Customer Relationship Management software that can replace SalesForce.com. Used by more than 50,000 companies, Sugar offers companies a great deal of flexibility and fast performance. In addition to the free community version, it’s also available on a SaaS basis, like SalesForce.com. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Invoicing: Simple Invoices
Simple Invoices is Open Source invoicing software that can replace FreshBooks or Bill.com. This Web-based invoicing system sends bills as PDF files and creates a wide variety of reports so that you can track your sales and payments. You can host it yourself or use one of the third-party hosting providers listed on the site. Operating System: OS Independent.
This article was originally published on April 21, 2011