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Okt 21, 2016

What does Open Source Product Information Management mean for Business users?

You’ve looked at several of the leading packages and noticed that Akeneo is different in one important way… it’s open source. Not sure of the d...


open source
product information management

You’ve looked at several of the leading packages and noticed that Akeneo is different in one important way… it’s open source.

Not sure of the difference between open source and proprietary software?
Here’s a quick primer.

Open source makes your IT team excited; but what does it mean for you as a business user?

Open Source Means You’re Not Locked In.

Unlike traditional PIM vendors who lock your company into annual license fees through proprietary formats, Akeneo keeps its users loyal because they love the product and the service; not because their data is being held hostage.

Open Source Means Better Interoperability.

A PIM system that exists in a vacuum is pointless. As the central repository of your product information, your system needs to be connected to a lot of data sources and third party systems (your ERP, your suppliers’ databases, your e-commerce application, your desktop publishing system, etc.).

This means that a huge part of the value that a specific PIM system brings is its ability to easily integrate with a wide variety of systems. Akeneo stands head and shoulders above the competition here largely because of our open source approach. This allows integrators to go beyond the limited number of APIs or native connectors that you find with proprietary systems. Akeneo is fully open with clearly documented APIs and freely available source code. This makes it extremely easy to get information in and out of the system.

This in turn, means that there are many existing robust integrations with Akeneo… like the plug-and-play connectors for Magento, Shopware, Prestashop, and InDesign print catalogs.

What’s more, there’s a large eco-system of experienced Akeneo integrators who are ready to build new or customized integrations as needed.

Open Source Means More Integrators.

Our community of integrators is easily the strongest in the business. There are more of them, and they are more capable at complex installations than the reseller networks of traditional proprietary PIMs.

Why? The open source model provides them with more opportunities to customize solutions and consult with their customers than traditional resellers. Unlike proprietary systems where the vast majority of budget is spent on expensive licenses, the open nature of Akeneo encourages users to customize their PIM to fit the way that they do business. As a result, there is a thriving community of integrators to help them get that done.

Open Source Gives You More Control.

We’re constantly working with the community to build new requested features and functionalities. However, if your company has a special need, you can always build it yourself (or hire one of the many integrators) to create the required extension.

This kind of flexibility is simply not available with proprietary software.

Open Source Means You’re More Secure.

Seems counter-intuitive, right? But open source software is generally regarded as more secure than proprietary software. There are a lot more eyes looking at open source code that can help spot security holes than in traditional software– where only a few people ever see the actual source code. Compare it to having ten people proof a catalog versus just one. A team is bound to catch more errors before that catalog ships than just one person would.

Open Source Means a Lower Total Cost of Ownership.

In fact, our free community edition means that your company can start using Akeneo for free. Not free as in “free trial” or free as in “free for the first 10 products.” but free as in “free.” No catch.

Prove the value of your PIM project to management and other departments without going through budget requests. Just install Akeneo and get started.

Of course, we do offer SLA-backed support and some advanced features for an additional fee that provide even more opportunities to streamline your workflow. However, our open source model allows users to spend the majority of their budget on customizing the product to their business needs rather than paying for expensive licenses.

Open Source is the Future of PIM

Open source has previously come to revolutionize and dominate similar sectors of the internet economy like:

  • content management systems (think of CMS systems like WordPress and Drupal)
  • e-commerce platforms (like Magento and PrestaShop amongst others)
  • relational databases (MySQL and PostgreSQL for example)

PIM systems will not escape the open source revolution. The network effect of connectors and developers flocking to open source will provide Akeneo with a rapidly accelerating advantage over its proprietary competitors.

Got Concerns About Open Source?

Let’s address some common questions:

Does Open Source Mean Less Features or Scalability?

No! In fact, many mission-critical applications for companies of all sizes now run on open-source software, including most of the internet’s infrastructure as well as ecommerce and web infrastructure giants like Magento, Drupal, Alfresco, Talend, and MySQL.

Akeneo itself has been deployed by global retailers and manufacturers such as Samsung and Shop.com.

Our feature set is second to none and includes:

Advanced rights management
Validation workflow
Versioning and publication
Rules engine
Easy-to-use product asset manager

We Need Real Support and Training – Not Just a Forum Where We Can “Figure It Out.”

No problem! Akeneo offers 24/7 support with a full SLA and customizable classroom training.

I’ve Heard That Open Source is Only for Developers

It’s true that developers were amongst the first and most enthusiastic adopters of open source. And your development team will probably be enthusiastic when they hear that Akeneo is open source. It makes their life easier.

But Akeneo was built with business users in mind. In fact, we happen to think it’s the easiest to use interface out there. And our customers think so, too.

Check out the Akeneo user interface without having to install anything with our free online demo.

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