An Open Source Spend Management Platform?

A colleague asked me earlier today if there were any "open source" Spend Management providers, similar to SugarCRM in the Customer Relationship Management Market. As far as I know, I can't seem to find any. But it would certainly make sense in certain areas.

Why? Open source software models are predicated on users paying for maintenance, support, and other expert services, rather than software licenses (which, under the model, are put in the "open" public domain, and hence, are free). This is a natural for the Spend Management market, where price points are declining for commodity products (e.g., basic reverse auctions) but where services and information still command a premium.

While a pure-play open source model might prove challenging for platform vendors in the Spend Management arena, one could possibly see a situation in the coming years where organizations plug-in best-of-breed open source components (e.g., optimization) to their Spend Management systems, paying specialist vendors for services and expertise, rather than software alone. In fact, a number of Spend Management business models that I've seen out there are not to far off from this today.

Jason Busch

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