View Full Version : ‘Bill Gates of Belgium’ Fights SAP With Free Software

November 10th, 2009, 02:38 PM
To find the latest threat to business-software makers like SAP AG and Oracle Corp., go to an unlikely location: a 150-year-old farmhouse in Belgium.

That’s where closely held Tiny Sprl, run by 30-year- old Fabien Pinckaers, develops free business applications that are picking up customers during the recession.

The economic “crisis has been very good for me,” Pinckaers said in an interview at the farm in Grand- Rosiere. “Restructuring is very good for enterprise resource planning.”

Free programs such as Linux first challenged Microsoft Corp. in software that runs personal computers. Linux has gradually gained enough acceptance that government agencies and even some corporations are willing to try such programs for some of their most important tasks: applications that run billing, payroll and purchasing.

That’s been the province of SAP and Oracle, whose products can carry list prices of thousands of dollars per user. Tiny, Openbravo SL and other open-source software providers write programs that are often given away and can be modified by users, not just their authors. The providers make money by charging for maintenance and services.
Installation on Linux (Ubuntu) :