This year, Opensource.com ran several great articles focusing on open source in business. These articles show the power of open source in business as tools, platforms, or integration points. Let's review some of the top open source business stories from 2021:
If you've managed projects in an office environment, the odds are you've probably used Microsoft Project to track tasks and assignments. However, the open source community has created many options for tracking projects. For your project management needs, Frank Bergmann wrote about using Redmine, ]project-open[, ProjectLibre, GanttProject, TaskJuggler, and ProjeQtOr.
With business intelligence, you can get a better view of your information by sorting data, arranging results, and displaying contextual information. Business Intelligence (BI) is a key technology for any organization that wants to make "data-driven" decisions. Maxime Beauchemin article discusses Apache Superset and how it has matured into a leading open source BI solution.
The pandemic changed how many people prefer to do business—probably permanently. Restaurants and other local retail establishments can no longer rely on walk-in trade, as they once had. Online ordering of food and other items has become the norm and the expectation. It is unlikely consumers will turn their backs on the convenience of e-commerce once the pandemic is over. Don Watkins wrote about six open source plugins to help you create a WordPress site that meets your customers' preferences for online shopping, curbside pickup, and delivery. It also builds your brand and your customer base.
In any business with a customer-facing component, it's critical to keep on top of customer interaction. When did we last contact this customer, or when did they last contact us? Who responded from our organization? What service level agreements govern the relationship? These and other questions are best managed in a customer relationship management system (CRM). Nitish Tiwari wrote about Chatwoot, an open source customer relationship platform built with Ruby and Vue.js. Chatwoot was written from scratch to allow customer-relations teams to build end-to-end ticket management and support platforms. This article looks at Chatwoot's architecture, installation, and key features.
Whether you run a retail store, restaurant, pub, supermarket, gym, or any other business, you need a reliable way to keep in touch with your customers. After all, they're customers because they like what you do, and if they've shared their contact information with you, they want to hear more about what you have to offer. Pradeep Vijayakumar wrote about the Dolibarr project, an open source enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Dolibarr provides a whole range of ERP features, including point-of-sale (POS), invoicing, stock and inventory management, sales orders, purchase orders, and human resources management.
Microsoft Exchange has for many years been nearly unavoidable as a platform for groupware environments. Late in 2020, however, an Austrian open source software developer introduced grommunio, a groupware server and client with a look and feel familiar to Exchange and Outlook users. Markus Feilner wrote about how grommunio can replace Exchange in the enterprise as a robust and fully functional choice for groupware.
Many IT projects are late, over budget, and subject to dramatic changes during development. These issues make invoicing one of the most taxing activities in IT. Frank Bergmann wrote about how ]project-open[ simplifies the process of invoicing. Frank's article can also serve as a guide to handling financial tasks if you decide to become self-employed or set up a startup.
Open source is good business
Open source software isn't just for developers. Businesses can leverage the power of open source software, as well. In fact, open source is a major driver in many business areas. The tool you're using today might itself be open source software or using open source as part of the stack.