Our findings disagreed and so apparently does a new entrant in the space, Colosa. Colosa announced February 25 that it was open sourcing its BPM package ProcessMaker.
In an email interview, CEO Brian Reale, CEO of Colosa, said he offers:
1.) an On Demand version which runs on their inhouse server cluster
2.) an OSS Version which can be downloaded for free and installed on Windows or Linux
3.) an Enterprise Version
The difference between the enterprise/On-Demand version and the OSS version is that the Enterprise Version comes with Support and some additional management features for Dashboards and Reporting.
Colosa, with South American roots and a U.S. office in Florida, is open sourcing its product according to Reale because it was built on the LAMP stack and users and partners were telling them that there are few BPM or Workflow tools available in PHP. (I have not had time to research that claim but if that's what partners were telling himI don't have to.)
Colosa is aiming its BPM/Workflow solution for the mid-sized company, and believes that OSS offers good distribution channel to reach the mid-sized company. Actually I have not seen that trend develop yet because OSS products typically require IT staff skills typically not found in the midmarket. But I expect that trend to develop and it does not hurt to be a little out ahead of the curve.
The real objective is to get Colosa's ProcessMaker workflow functionality into other ISVs products and you can't beat OSS for that purpose.
Colosa has been in business since October of 2000. However, initially it only produced specialized workflows for the Reinsurance Industry Vertical, according to Reale
So try it especially if you're an ISV looking for some workflow functionality. That's the advantage of OSS.