Since Aras moved to an open source distribution model in 2007, I’ve had more than one exasperated CIO ask me why I won’t “sell” him my software.  This always makes me laugh a little, after all, who likes being SOLD anything? But that’s what we’ve all come to expect in enterprise software, especially in the PLM space.

The fact is Aras doesn’t sell our software to anyone.  We’ll educate you and inform you and point you in the right direction, but we will not try to sell you. Why? There are two reasons – one is pragmatic, the other is philosophical (for lack of a better word).


This is pretty straight forward. As an open source software company we simply cannot afford to sell or, for that matter, market our products. Our business model doesn’t support it.  In traditional enterprise software companies the cost of a huge sales force and fancy marketing are offset by license fees. At Aras, there are no license fees therefore there can’t be any sales teams or fancy marketing.


As I said, who likes being sold? We certainly don’t. And we’re pretty sure you don’t either. The Aras team has a deep history in enterprise software. We’ve been on both sides of the negotiating table and if there’s one thing we know it’s this: once a pressure sale, always a pressure sale. If I have to convince you to use my software, next I’ll have to convince you to train people on it, modify it, maintain it, expand it, etc. Tired yet? I know I am.


At Aras, here’s how we do PLM: We use modern technology to build an advanced PLM system that really works and we give it away free of charge on under an enterprise open source distribution model. You can use it, share it, modify it, whatever… and never pay us a dime. There are self study guides, product demos, tutorials, forums, etc. online to help you along. The only catch is that we will not spend time trying to sell you the software.  If you want our help, you pay for our time in the form of our highly trained staff of PLM experts and/or an annual subscription service that provides the comprehensive support services, training discounts and upgrade services you expect for a mission critical, enterprise business application.

To some our approach seems crazy. To us it just makes sense. It’s efficient, effective and a lot more fun than traditional PLM business models. Instead of working feverishly to maintain old school, contentious sales situations, we’re building mutually beneficial relationships and a strong user and partner community with shared goals and enthusiasm. I’ll take that over a pushy salesman any day of the week.