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Indian cos opt for open-source softwares to cut costs

Free and open source software is steadily growing in
popularity in India as firms move to cut costs and achieve more customised
technology solutions. A falling rupee, which increases licensing costs, is
likely to hasten the shift from softwares made by companies like SAP, IBM and
Oracle. Many companies particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
have adopted free and open source software (FOSS) to power their systems in the
wake of increasing costs and shrinking IT budgets.

Free and open source software is steadily growing in
popularity in India as firms move to cut costs and achieve more customised
technology solutions. A falling rupee, which increases licensing costs, is
likely to hasten the shift from softwares made by companies like SAP, IBM and
Oracle. Many companies particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
have adopted free and open source software (FOSS) to power their systems in the
wake of increasing costs and shrinking IT budgets.

The government has already embraced open-source in a big
way, the Aadhaar project is a case in point. Now, companies like Hungama
Digital Entertainment, Uttam Energy, Bilcare, payment processor Euronet,
insurer Star Union Dai-chi and IT outsourcer iGate have also started using
open-source software. And the list is growing.

“There is a definite trend towards open source from
Indian companies. Lower cost is a factor but so is innovation.” said CN
Raghupathi, the head of Infosys’ India business.

Amit Vora, chief technology officer of Hungama Digital, said
though open-source is up to 70 per cent cheaper, the large developer pool for
it was equally important. “The open source ecosystem and the ability to
boost inter-operability is big selling factor. Plus, you don’t have to be at
the mercy of the vendors to provide customised features and innovation,”
he said.

For the past two years, enterprises have moved their servers
to open source, but now the trend includes critical software. Business
intelligence software and even customer-relationship management software is
shifting to open source, said Rahul De, the Hewlett-Packard chair professor in
information and communication technology at the Indian Institute of Management,
Bangalore.

Anand Sankaran, senior vicepresident at Wipro Infotech, said
telecom firms were evaluating the benefits of shifting to open-source software.
“Why can’t CRM (customer relationship management) be done on open source?
Why do you need a licensed platform to run it, some of the companies have
started thinking about it,” said Sankaran.

The Indian enterprise software market, which is expected to
reach $3.92 billion (about Rs 25,600 crore) this year, is expected to touch
about $6.7 billion (about Rs 43,700 crore) by 2017, according to research firm
Gartner. Spending on business intelligence platforms including open-source
versions is expected to rise more than 13 per cent to $74.1 million (about Rs
483 crore) in India this year. This is expected to expand further to $107.4
million (about Rs 701 crore) by 2016.

[Source: The Economic Times]
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