Open Source

A short description of a few of our favourite open source business systems. Open Source covers a wide range of licensing models including Free Open Source Software (FOSS), where you don't pay for the right to use the software, Mixed License Open Source, where the base product is available free but extra functionality is proprietary and charged for, and "Professional Open Source" where some or all of the software is free but the complexity is such that you probably want or need paid-for professional services in order to deploy and manage it. All open source has a common characteristic of transparency - an expert may look under the covers, read the code, see how it works, and enhance it or fix it without resort to the original developers. 


Alfresco is an "enterprise content management system" or ECMS. ECMS is what we used to call document management before we started needing to manage photos, videos, source code, web pages etc. One of the grand-daddies of document management is Documentum, a massively expensive system used for heavyweight document management in pharmaceuticals, aerospace, government, law etc. Alfresco was designed by the creator of Documentum, and is open source. Bragh can help you implement Alfresco to benefit from top class document management at a fraction of the cost of other systems.  Learn more at


Asterisk is a VoIP PBX - with the addition of handsets, a computer and telephone interfaces Asterisk becomes a complete corporate telephony switchboard able to support hundreds of lines and thousands of extensions. Incredibly flexible, used by many global corporates and VoIP telephony service providers as well as a million or so smaller organisations, Asterisk frees you from dependency on a switchboard provided by a predatory telco with overblown license and maintenance fees. More at


BIRT was the Business Intelligence Reporting Toolkit, but these days it's just called BIRT. BIRT is one of several top-end open source tools for making sense of your data, and can be used to produce just about any type of BI / MI report from almost any business system. BIRT is so good that it's actually embedded as standard into several high-end business systems in preference to commercial reporting software - why re-invent the wheel? BIRT can produce stand-alone reports or be embedded into web pages, and its real forté is Visualisation - that's graphs to you and me. BIRT excels at easy to digest graphical representation of data making it very popular for building dashboards. It also does a nice line in exporting to Excel so you can take your report and tweak it. More at


No list of open source is complete without a mention of Linux. Available in many distributions from many sources, Linux is the operating system that powers the majority of servers on the Internet, and a huge range of PCs, laptops, smartphones and embedded devices including burglar alarms and printers. Linux was originally a clone of Unix, but it found such resonance with developers that it is probably the number one operating system in the world, loved for its flexibility and reliability. Linux has become symbolic of the open source movement,and a large proportion of open source software has been designed specifically for Linux. From our perspective Linux is the best server operating system in the world, not least because it hardly ever needs rebooting. Almost all upgrades can be installed, and problems fixed, without rebooting meaning that Linux enables servers to be up and running 24x365. Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, Android, Chrome OS  and many others are all versions of Linux. Read more at

Tux, the mascot of the Linux operating system



Magento is an open source e-Commerce solution - web shop, inventory control, order processing, payments, accounting, returns etc. It does multi-company, multi-currency, integrates with lots of other systems, a complete e-shop in a box. If we're honest Magento is common as muck, because it's simply one of the best e-Commerce solutions available at any price. It's used by many of the biggest brands on the Internet as well as many of the smallest. The pure open source "community" edition is quite good enough for most purposes, but the paid for Enterprise edition brings some extra features. You can get people who are much cheaper than us to implement your Magento system for you, but if you choose us you'll get our hands-on commitment to ensuring your success. Learn more at


Odoo, previously called OpenERP, is a comprehensive ERP system covering pretty much all aspects of business operations from Accounting through to Website. It includes all the usual ERP functions including Inventory Control, Manufacturing, Procurement, Sales (including via eBay), Recruitment, HR etc., and for those despatching physical goods includes interfaces to most major carriers. It also provides CRM. An effective competitor for Microsoft Dynamics, Sage 200 and Sage Line 1000. Overall there are c. 30 core modules and a further c. 3,000 community-developed modules meaning that Odoo probably has a solution for most types of business. Oddo has won the BOSSIE award for best ERP system three years running - hard to argue with that. Bragh can help you implement Odoo and save tens of thousands of pounds a year. More at

Oracle VM

Oracle VM (Virtualisation Manager) (OVM) is an open source server virtualisation environment built on the open source Xen hypervisor and Oracle Linux. OVM will virtualise most x86 operating systems and provides all the top-end virtualisation features needed to manage big server estates. Basically think of OVM as VMWare for free, except that it does a better job than VMWare, especially in supporting high-end databases. Best of all, whilst the software is free open source, Oracle provide full commercial support for OVM so corporate IT departments don't need to feel they're doing something risky in using it - help is on hand from one of the biggest names in IT. We first deployed OVM over 10 years ago and immediately saved £39,000 on license fees. We can help you do the same. Read more at


PostgreSQL is one of the most powerful relational database systems in the world. Originally developed by computer science academics for research purposes as the first Object-Relational database, PostgreSQL dates back to 1996 but actually stems from the Ingres database first released in 1982, so it has 35 years of development behind it. That work shows, PostgreSQL is one of the fastest, most stable, complete, and scalable databases at any price. Rivalling the commercial Oracle database, which it exceeds in some ways, PostgreSQL has become increasingly popular as the data volumes associated with "big data" and large e-Commerce have demanded bigger and better databases. We first deployed PostgreSQL into a commercial application in 1999, it is our database of choice for big systems and data analytics. Read more at



SuiteCRM is, surprise .... an open source CRM system. Billing itself as an alternative to Salesforce, Microsoft CRM and Siebel, SuiteCRM lives up to its bold claims. SuiteCRM is a derivative of SugarCRM, as is the popular vTiger CRM, so there are three strong CRM packages offering the same core codebase but SuiteCRM looks to have the edge. In 2015 it won the BOSSIE award for best open source CRM, and it's being adopted by major organisations such as the UK NHS. SuiteCRM does all that you would expect from a top-end CRM system, and there are many companies around the world providing commercial support for it. Read more at


Zimbra is an "email collaboration system". Basically think of it as a low cost open source replacement for Microsoft Exchange - although it does more. Email, webmail, calendars, tasks, address books, file sharing, spam and virus filtering, and forums. Even more features in the paid-for edition. Zimbra is used by over 200,000 businesses. In our experience (we first deployed Zimbra over 10 years ago) it's more scalable and more reliable than MS Exchange. Bragh can help you deploy Zimbra so your company can enjoy world-class collaboration tools at lower cost - and the bigger you are the more you save. Learn more at