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XTuple Expands to the Cloud
The open-source upstart announces cloud-based services and three new editions of its flagship product.
Posted Aug 19, 2010
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XTuple, a provider of commercial open-source business management software, has announced the release of a new version of its flagship product along with an expansion of the xTuple cloud service. The new features of the open source enterprise resource planning (ERP) software include a Quickstart Wizard for setup and an xTuple desktop, with graphical, customizable workflows for sales, CRM, accounting, and manufacturing. The xTuple desktop also allows users to create their own favorite places in the application and set up summary dashboards of key business metrics.

Three new editions of xTuple's open source ERP software are available:

  • xTuple PostBooks — free of charge and considered most beneficial to small businesses;
  • xTuple Standard — allows advanced inventory control and warehousing, suitable for midsize enterprises; and
  • xTuple Manufacturing — the most advanced edition, is geared towards manufacturing companies for discreet or batch production, make to order, make to stock, mixed-mode, even job shops, and engineer-to-order.

The xTuple Cloud Service allows those utilizing any of three editions, as well as existing users, to run a database via the cloud through Amazon.com's Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

Ned Lilly, chief executive officer of xTuple, boasted in particular of his company's simple-to-use desktop capabilities, stating that "ERP has a reputation for being hideously complex. We're trying to change that."

[Editors' Note: This article is one of a series highlighting recent news from vendors named in CRM magazine's recent 2010 CRM Market Awards. The results of those awards can be found in the August 2010 print edition of CRM (the digital edition of which is here). XTuple was named in the Open-Source CRM category.]

Jay Lyman, open-source analyst at The 451 Group, comments that "[xTuple has] been making some moves [in expanding to the cloud] for some time." He observes, "They're kiling two birds with one stone here by enabling their products in cloud computing and enbaling customers to acess their offering to the cloud and by focusing on sustainability and broadening out ERP…the audience for this software is broadening and vendors want to match that and they want to meet that growing appetite. [XTuple is] hoping to generate a demand."

XTuple tested the product with such companies as Sitwell, a furniture maker and supplier based in Mexico, and Dodson & Horrell, a horse-feed manufacturer based in Northamptonshire, United Kingdom. Comments from users in the open-source community were a big factor in perfecting the latest xTuple editions, Lilly says, as the company closely monitored discussion boards and forums. "Living in the open-source world, you get used to living in a fishbowl," he laughs.

There are approximately 25,000 global users of xTuple, most of whom are using the free edition, according to the company. In addition to answering one another's questions on the company's Web site, the public conversations serve as inspirational platforms for continual improvement.

"One of the great things about open-source," Lilly says, "[is that] we have this huge community of people worldwide that are participatng in the ongoing development and improvement of our product.… As long as we're open and public about everything that we're doing — and aren't jerks, basically — then we've earned the right to shepard the ongoing development."

Editions of xTuple are available for Mac, Linux, and Windows operating systems.

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine.

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