Gone are the days when people simply accept conventional wisdom that mandated companies use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, because those companies couldn’t risk an open source solution. Excuses such as available resources, regular releases, stable software, etc., just don’t cut it any longer.
An open source vendor I happen to fancy, Aras Corporation, once had to decide whether to continue down the COTS path or dare to be different and go open source. Eric Lai from Computerworld Daily describes in an article (Aras still happy with decision to open source its PLM software on Windows) the very real business decision and the favorable outcome of moving to an open source model.
Business cannot improve operational efficiency by ERP alone and it certainly won’t achieve that end by simply managing metadata and CAD files. That said, PLM software that can deliver regulatory compliance, process control, BOM management, and a bridge to ERP. This combination of critical functionality, offered via an open source model, may one day rule the world as a business game changer.
More and more I think people have become savvy enough to think bigger and accept alternative solutions, and I also think that solution providers, like Razorleaf, realize they have a lot of knowledge and expertise regarding PLM processes and implementations that can be generalized and applied to any piece of software. It’s only a matter of learning a different tool, like Internet Explorer is to Firefox, or perhaps as Microsoft Windows is to Linux.