• August 10, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Teaming Up to Open the Open Source Door

In a move to expand its CRM offerings to the small and medium enterprise (SME) market, open source provider Centric CRM has finalized a strategic partnership with SpikeSource, a distributor of open source applications. The first offering from the collaboration, Centric CRM Spike Certified, will make Centric CRM solutions available through SpikeSource's VAR channel and will fully integrate with SpikeSource's open source middleware. Centric CRM focuses on open source CRM applications, while SpikeSource is an open source software provider that distributes, integrates, manages, and supports open source applications through a partner network of solution providers. The partnership is representative of the industry trend by CRM open source providers to make their software more accessible to smaller businesses that lack the big budget IT departments of Fortune 500 companies. As open source applications become more popular, vendors are being forced to partner with each other so smaller companies can still gain the cost and customization benefits of open source while not having to worry about developing the code internally. "The Centric CRM/Spike Source relationship shows how infrastructure and applications are coming together to create complete solutions for business customers," said Kim Polese, CEO of SpikeSource, in a written statement. "These kinds of collaborations are important given the speed at which open source adoption is moving past infrastructure and into applications." The partnership will enable Centric CRM users to work with SpikeSource, "ensuring that Centric CRM applications work on SpikeSource stacks," says Michael Harvey, CMO and vice president of corporate development at Centric CRM. "SpikeSource will support the customer with integration and management capabilities as well." These partnerships will let customers take advantage of open source by offering an end-to-end business solution, encompassing purchase, customization and integration, and updates, says Laurie McCabe, vice president of SMB insight and business solution at AMI-Partners. "Companies like Centric CRM and other open source providers are going to be key for open source growth," McCabe says, referring to open source's expansion into not only the SME market, but also the SMB market. "They're going to be the ones who can bring open source to the masses." Related articles: Sweet Open Source CRM for Microsoft
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