Open Source Experts
ConnectingBlox has experience working with a vast array of open source projects addressing many common business needs: office & produtivity, e-mail/messaging/collaboration, accounting, ERP, CRM, human resources, project management and many more. We don't just suggest open source products to our customers - we use them ourselves and our developers are active contributors to many open source projects. Open source in the enterprise is something to which ConnectingBlox is fully committed. We can help select, implement, integrate, extend and support open source projects.
Although nearly 66% of companies consider open source in their software searches, more than half of them cite a lack of understanding of the open source model as the main reason for selecting less capable proprietary software.
Open source has always had the advantage of being more adaptable to the specific needs of an enterprise. With corporate contributions to open source projects on the rise, quality and security now meets or exceeds that of established proprietary softwares. The result is an open source landscape in which smaller organizations can obtain capabilities previously well out of their reach.
- Newest Features
The very nature of open source leads to the creation and adoption of newer features faster than a proprietary model. In an open source project ideation isn't limited to a small group of employees - its spread over many developers, users and reviewers from a variety of industries, countries and cultures. The resulting products have feature sets which are setting worldwide standards and are ultimately being adopted by major software vendors.
As major software vendors have moved to a more reactionary model of adding features, open source projects are starting to establish themselves as market leaders with more cutting edge features and better tuned and tested core features.
Scalability. In today's world of big data, fast searches and unprecedented transparency that one word can be the difference between success and failure. And it's a word that is especially frightening to companies relying on expensive proprietary software. When your business grows, your data grows with it. If your applications and databases can't scale to meet demand where does that leave your business?
When it comes to scalability, open source has long been king. Many of the world's most powerful supercomputers are actually just many open source Linux servers joined together with open source clustering utilities. The same databases and applications that you can install on a single open source server today can scale to clusters of hundreds of servers with virtually no changes to the software. And with open source there is no license acquisition cost - so you can start small and add processing power as needed without ever having to adjust your software licensing budget.
Security is a concern in any application. Open source projects are certainly no exception. But open source has the advantage of transparency. All of the code is out in the open for anyone to see - so developers can't hide back doors or data collectors that so frequently become the target of hackers. When your security teams have full visibility into an application's functions and behaviors they can focus on maintaining security at the network edge.
For more advanced security needs, having access to source code makes it much easier to wrap customized authentication mechanisms and encryption around your software and databases.
As applications grow more complex and critical data is spread across multiple systems and databases, integration becomes a key driver of enterprise efficiency. With proprietary software integration can be a challenging and costly task. Major software vendors pick and choose what integrations are available and even what data can be accessed. Third party integration tools can often overcome those limitations, but they come with high license and support costs.
Another advantage of having access to the full source code of a product - integrations are much simpler and faster to implement. Data models can be easily extracted from the source code and even modified to fit your needs. Open source projects can be easily integrated and combined to create a system that appears to users as a single cohesive system.
Despite all the features available in any software, there is bound to be something you want to change. With open source that is a real option. In fact, because open source products come with no expensive licensing costs you can put more of your budget to customization. The end result is a software solution tailored exactly to your needs at a cost still well below that of a proprietary solutuon.
ConnectingBlox provides development and customization services for every open source project that we represent. With our expert guidance and services we can deliver enterprise-class products designed just for you without the enterprise-class price tag!
The Open Source Skillset
ConnectingBlox helps our customers navigate open source options. Proper use of open source can provide great benefits to most companies, but it also shouldn't be taken lightly. Open source projects require a different skillset than traditional software.
- Open source projects can fall under a number of license models and each has its own rules for how you can use or modify the code. Understanding those license models is very important to success in open source.
- Code Control
- Without strong code control procedures, an open source project can quickly deteriorate. Code control ensures that only tested and approved code enters production.
- Open source projects today have inherently strong security. But with many contributors around the world, it still requires a watchful eye to make sure no malicious code gets introduced.
What is Commercial Open Source?
Commercial Open Source is a simple concept - a brick-and-mortar company offers support and training for an open source software product. Often the company will charge for their services on a subscription model or offer cloud based version of their products. Commercial open source removes the burden of managing the various open source packages that typically make up a complete open source platform. Unlike proprietary software vendors, however, commercial open source products can survive if the supporting company doesn't. This model provides the benefits of commercially supported software without the pitfalls of vendor lock-in.
ConnectingBlox works with many commercial open source vendors to offer our customers the best products with established quality and long term support. Our relationships to these companies and their projects enable ConnectingBlox to customize software to your exact requirements while maintaining the integrity and supportability of the original product.
Beware of "freemiums". A number of commercial products call themselves open source but in reality they offer a base product in open source form but charge for enterprise or "premium" features which are often closed source.
Ever Expanding Choices
Open source software is certainly nothing new. The vast majority of the Internet is powered by Linux operating systems, Apache is the world's most popular web server and more databases are built using MySQL than any other database engine. But the shift to cloud computing and the drive of enterprises to implement more agile systems has pushed open source into nearly every corner of business computing. Regardless of your industry or software need, there is likely to be an open source platform that should be included in your evaluation plans.
Whatever your needs, ConnectingBlox can help make open source a part of your environment. We currently have support for hundreds of open source projects representing a broad range of services:
- Email & Messaging
- Social Networking
- Professional Service Automation
- Manufacturing Execution Systems
- Database Management/Big Data
- Business Process Management
- Laboratory Management
- Property Management
- Point of Sale
- Enterprise Content Management
- Asset Management
- Statistical Processing
- Human Resources
- Digital Signage
- Student Information Management
- Event Planning/Management
- Warehouse Management Systems
- Machine-to-Machine (Internet of Things)
- Fund Accounting
- Doner Management
- Project Management
- Document Management
- Retail Planning
- Business Intelligence
- Time & Attendance
- Learning Management
- Electronic Medical Records
While major corporations have long embraced open source, smaller companies have been slower to adopt the model as they typically lack the resources to fully utilize open source projects. Organizations like ConnectingBlox are now stepping in to bridge the gap. An unintended consequence of this "trickle down" process has been a flow of knowledge - concepts born in the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies are being developed into open source software and adapted to the needs of smaller businesses.
Engaging an open source expert such as ConnectingBlox can help your company take advantage of this knowledge flow and capture new opportunities. We can show you how to make open source work for your business.