Can a Joomla! Based Company Succeed In The Enterprise World?

Last fall I attended Victor Drover's session at the Joomla! World Conference in San Jose, California, where he spoke on the topic "Is Joomla 3 Ready For Enterprise?" (see video above) I was at the back of the room and as I listened to him I remember thinking about my own experience with a commercial enterprise system.

It was while I was engaged in a large project for a national association in Canada that I first looked into Joomla. Joomla! was at version 1.0 and it impressed me with what it could do right out of the box. Of course it was no where near what was needed for the association but we started using Joomla! for microsites where it easily did the job that was needed.

The commercial enterprise system was the lifeblood of the association’s business processes. It was expensive but also capable and the company providing the services could easily justify the expense.

Joomla! is close to being ready for enterprise

Joomla! is still not ready to go head to head with full commercial enterprise systems. One area where it lacks is integration with standard network accounting packages that large companies use. These accounting systems will also tie into inventory control systems. For large companies Joomla's Inability to accommodate these two areas would be show stoppers.

At a recent JoomlaDay I had a private conversation with a Joomla! insider where I was assured that in about 6 months Joomla! will have what it takes to hook into and be capable of handling these kinds of processes. This is really exciting but just as Victor pointed out in his talk at JWC2012 who will be in a position to provide the services and support required to make it happen for clients?

Who will take a chance on you?

If you were responsible for the technology of a large business requiring a full enterprise solution would you want to be the first to go with a Joomla! based system? Why would anyone trust a Joomla! based company to provide these products and services anyway? Typical objections from potential customers would be what is your track record? What have you done already in regards to enterprise systems? Who have you done them for?

A dedicated staff is needed

It's not really a matter of 'can Joomla! do it' but more a matter of ‘is your company able to do it’? You’ll need specialized staff who possesses intimate knowledge of accounting practices and inventory control systems. Your staff must have the ability to communicate with the client and development teams to maintain these systems. These systems need to manage multiple currencies and different taxes scenarios. Multilingualism is also important. Since every company and association is unique this will mean lots of customization to make everything work the way the client needs it to.

It takes a lot of dollars to hire and keep competent people working on these kinds of solutions. Client requests must be dealt with immediately. A dedicated staff will be required for a large customer. Are you ready to do this?

How will you provide Joomla! based enterprise services?

When a client spends 100k to 500K on a system they want it to be there long term. A Joomla! enterprise system will require support long after its Joomla! version support cycle has passed. So on the one hand getting into the arena of the big systems looks exciting and on the other hand daunting. Would you be willing to develop and provide enterprise level solutions with a Joomla! based product?

About Joe Sonne:

Joe is based in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He runs a business called JoeJoomla at http://joejoomla.com

In the Joomla! community he is a well known speaker, trainer, and writer about all things Joomla. You can see and hear his presentations at various JoomlaDays in the United States and other venues such as J and Beyond and Joomla! World Conference.

Last modified on Apr112013
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