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Does CRM Work on Linux?
Companies that migrate their CRM applications to Linux-based networks can achieve substantial savings in a short amount of time.
Posted May 31, 2004
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Stability, performance, scalability, better empowerment of IT organizations to control their destiny--versus proprietary software solutions: These are the benefits of Linux-based applications. Other advantages to migrating to Linux and Open Source are the increasing availability of battle-tested Web-enabled products and databases. Companies that migrate their CRM applications to Linux-based networks can achieve substantial savings in a short amount of time. Organizations have experienced a payback or ROI in Linux five to six times faster by migrating business applications to the popular Open Source operating system over other common server technology. The key contributors to this savings are proper strategic planning and the advantages of implementing an Open Source network environment. How to migrate to Linux Organizations talking about Linux are trying to decide how to properly implement it into their business-technical operations. With appropriate planning companies can move their business applications to a Linux platform and enjoy significant ROI while working with a less intrusive network infrastructure. One option is to combine Linux server capabilities with server-side business applications. Much like the mainframe days of old, where all applications ran on a central computer, a return to this architecture can be a boon for IT advancements and makes things like backup, recovery, failover, and systems redundancy almost a no-brainer. Thus, the risk of running business applications on one machine has been greatly reduced. By using the single-server philosophy, it becomes possible to disintermediate levels of complexity from the architecture. In the mainframe days you had a "dumb terminal" on your desk. If you don't need to install, maintain, and upgrade software on every desktop, isn't that a lot easier to maintain architecture? We're not suggesting that you throw out all your PCs and get dumb terminals, but if a number of business applications were server-side they wouldn't require much resources on the desktop. It's a step toward simplification and can extend the life of desktop PCs.
Linux migration success comes by not taking everything on all at once and following through to the end with the strategy. Move forward with a stage-by-stage migration to Linux. Begin the migration at the services level--directory, print, and database systems. Also, companies should enable their proprietary software products to run on the Open Source Linux platform. Another primary success factor is that software products and services become thin-client or server-based, rather than fat-client side applications. The key actions to appropriate strategic planning for the migration and deployment to Linux are:
  • specify a Linux provider;
  • start with service--don't feel you have to move everything at once--make it a true migration by moving business services first;
  • Upgrade your business applications to open-source--choose a successful first business application on Linux. Business applications for leads generation, sales force automation, and customer satisfaction are updated for open-source environments, allowing organizations to brand and modify applications to meet specific needs;
  • where possible phase out client-side applications--Linux' open-source capabilities allow applications to be Web-based, eliminating the need for client applications, thereby increasing efficiency and lowering total cost of ownership.
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