Enterprising Developments

Open Source Options Abound

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, March 5, 2012

Open source software offers a lot of compelling value for IT operations, not just because it can be acquired at low or no cost, but also because you can license as many copies as your growing business may need. In addition, open source tends to more closely follow industry standards, making it easier than commercial solutions to swap out new versions.

Recently, the British government—which is actively encouraging departments and agencies to consider open source options—published what is probably the most exhaustive single list on the planet of open source alternatives for every piece of the data center.

While insurers' core policy administration, underwriting and billing systems are not likely to be open-sourced anytime soon, there are many parts of their enterprises that may benefit from open source.

Here are just a few of the document's recommendations:

- Document and content management systems: Alfresco as alternative to Microsoft Sharepoint, Opentext, Filenet, Documentum.

- Records management: Alfresco as alternative to Microsoft Sharepoint, Documentum, Meridio, TRIM, Objective.

- Workflow forms and case management: FoxOpen

- CRM: SugarCRM as alternative to Microsoft Dynamics, SageCRM, Salesforce

- Business intelligence: Pentaho BI Suite as alternative to Oracle, IBM, Informatica.

- Statistics and data analysis: GNU R as alternative to S/S-plus, SAS, SPSS.

- Data mining: RapidMiner as alternative to SPSS, SAS PASW, SAS Enterprise Miner, MATLAB, Oracle DM, , Excel

- Business process modeling: Activi BPM, Intalio BPM

- Project management: Project.net as alternative to Microsoft Project

- Servers: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Canonical Ubuntu Server, CentOs Linux, Novell SUSE Linux as alternatives to Microsoft Windows Server, UNIX, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, HP-UX.

- Virtualization: Linux KVM, Xen as alternatives to VMWare vSphere / ESX / Server.

- Data storage: Hadoop HBase, Cassandra Redis, NoSQL.

- SOA: WSO2 Carbon, JBOSS as alternatives to IBM, Oracle.

- Web application development: PHP, Zend Framework as alternatives to Microsoft ASP.Net.

- Cloud infrastructure: OpenStack, Eucalyptus, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud as alternatives to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, VMWare, Citrix.

- Email servers: Zimbra, Zarafa as alternatives to Microsoft Exchange Server

- Intranets and portals: Alfresco, Liferay as alternatives to Microsoft Sharepoint, OpenText Vignette, Oracle WebCenter

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

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