Who We Are

xTuple - World's #1 Open Source ERP

You may have noticed xTuple is a little different. We believe the fundamental question we pose to potential customers - "Does your software help your business grow?" - is an afterthought to much of the software industry today.

xTuple staff with building signOur mission is to help companies of all sizes successfully implement powerful and easy-to-use open source Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to grow their business profitably.

That means xTuple, the world's #1 open source ERP, provides enterprise-class technology products and services at an affordable cost - one of the lowest Total Cost of Ownership of any ERP system on the market.

xTuple business management software gives growing companies control over operations and profitability, integrating all critical functional areas in one system: sales, accounting and operations – including customer and supplier management, inventory control, manufacturing and distribution – the powerful tools to Grow Your World®.

Somewhere along the line, commercial software vendors - once the realm of brilliant designers, engineers and artisans - lost touch with what customers really wanted. Costs escalated and business models became out of sync with the reality of the marketplace.

Once exotic categories of software became near-commodities. Customers increasingly questioned why it cost so much and why both the products and the vendors were so difficult to work with. Mainstays of the industry disappeared almost overnight, and enterprise software customers had the uncomfortable realization that there was no longer any safety in working with large, established providers.

This was the emerging scene for enterprise customers and small- to mid-sized business as well. Adequate starter solutions were available, the kind of accounting software you could buy off-the-shelf at your local computer store. But to step up to a real enterprise system was prohibitive - both in cost and complexity. Big products were designed with big companies in mind, with tools and technologies that were generations old and extremely difficult to modify or scale down.

xTuple CEO Ned Lilly on open source

Enter the Rise of Open Source

While the application level experienced prohibitive cost and complexity, the infrastructure level of information technology was affected, too. Little-noticed by the big incumbent vendors, a phenomenon known as open source software began to come into its own. The practice of programmers around the world collaboratively developing software over the Internet, which had seemed to many a hobby, developed into a real business application.

The open source community, numbering in the tens of thousands, worked tirelessly to improve the core operating systems, databases and servers that powered much of the Internet. These building block software components quickly caught up - and in many cases surpassed - their counterparts in the world of proprietary software.

New features were added faster and quality-tested by thousands of real-world users. Bugs were identified and fixed more quickly - and with an openness and candor that even the most traditional IT managers found refreshing. Security improved dramatically, as vulnerabilities that had previously been locked up in proprietary compiled code were exposed to the antiseptic sunlight of open source development. In one well-publicized case, a major database software vendor actually had an embarrassing "back door" security hole fixed by an independent developer within days of releasing its product as open source - and this software had been powering customers in the military, banking and other sensitive industries for years.

The founders of the company that would become xTuple saw a compelling opportunity to build a new solution for small manufacturers - based on open standards to give growing companies the flexibility they needed. On the technological side that led to leveraging robust open source building blocks such as the Linux operating system, the PostgreSQL database and the Qt framework for C++.

The desire for open standards also extended to the business logic of the software. Manufacturing concepts such as MRP and MRP-II (Material Requirements Planning) - around for years - had been rigorously codified by organizations such as APICS (The Association for Operations Management). A surprising number of programs - even the more expensive ones - forced users to change their business processes to accommodate the software. That struck us as fundamentally backwards and wrong - the software should be open, based on standard professional methodologies and with the flexibility to accommodate the individual characteristics of particular specific manufacturing industries. What would you call such a thing? Open Manufacturing.

So we started writing code. Lots of it. And we started a company.