Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another Oracle Exec Leaves, This Time for Open Source

Don Klaiss, Senior VP of Applications at Oracle has left to to be CEO of Compiere. Compiere is the largest, and, I think, oldest, open source ERP provider. Compiere was an early adopter of Oracle as a backend for its open source database.

Klaiss says, "After 15 years with Oracle, I decided to move on. Building and running such a large applications business had been challenging and exciting, but as the industry matured and began to consolidate, I felt there was a lack of innovation happening in traditional enterprise software."

"Why? The mid-market ERP segment was not well served – and it needed to be. On the high end, Oracle and SAP offer a variety of products. But these products are complex, bloated with features, and too expensive for most mid-size companies."

I first played with Compiere back in 2000 or so when I worked at another, closed source, ERP software company. I looked at it to see if we could adopt anything. We were using Orale Forms at the time so there was nothing there we could use. I still thought it was a pretty nice piece of software though and tried to get my management to look at it. No go.

Paul Hamerman, an analyst with Forrester Research, says, "The company is starting to become recognized among our clients. We don't get a lot of inquiries about open-source alternatives. But I think it is starting to get legitimatized."

Klaiss has brought in former Oracle and SAP employees for key posts and is changing the way it interacts with the world. Klaiss himself is blogging (or at least being very open with his opinion) in "In Search of an Open Source Business Model".