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Open Source ATS

(March 23, 2006)  We smell change. The Salesforce.com ecosystem includes a  Applicant Tracking System that can be installed with a click. There are ongoing conversations about ATS alternatives all around the CRM industry (here's one). The price point keeps dropping (unless you read the fine print).

And, in the press release below, an open source ATS has emerged in Europe.

The days of monolithic systems, modeled after the big ERP products (to whom most ATS companies hope to sell themselves) are failing more often. New government candidate definitions screw with the tracking functionality while full employment brings its predictable problems. The skinny on the street is that the Recruitmax name change was prompted by the arrival of a lynch mob at the doorstep of the company who made its name underbidding.

So, the question at hand is: can the industry handle an open source ATS and does it matter?

Industry's First Open Source HR / Applicant Tracking System Available

Minneapolis, MN Cognizo Technologies has announced the first public source code release, available for download. CATS is the HR/Staffing/Recruiting industry's first and only open source, enterprise class, web based ATS package. Built using the LAMP platform and open source design methodologies, CATS is on a fast track to rival the best proprietary ATS offerings in the marketplace.

The latest release is CATS 0.5, codenamed "Ravi", the first of several unstable 0.5 releases of CATS which will eventually lead to the stable 1.0 version. This release contains many bugs and is still only intended for developers and adventurous/advanced users who want to help track down bugs.

The market for HR Talent Acquisition Management and Applicant Tracking software for corporate and agency recruiters is comparatively large, but it is highly fragmented and there is no clear leader. It has traditionally been highly competitive because of the lucrative nature of the industry, according to Asim Baig, President of Cognizo Technologies. A review of the available ATS packages at HR-Software.net shows that there are dozens of offerings in the market today with the largest player having less than 10% share. "The industry has been ready for an open source alternative to the current offerings and CATS has already made its mark in a very short period of time. By leveraging the agility and power of the open source development process, we are poised to become a clear leader in the near future," said Asim.

Using CATS, Human Resource managers and recruiters can easily manage critical talent acquisition issues in an easy yet powerful manner. CATS has been offered as ASP hosted service in beta testing mode since January this year, and to date Cognizo has received hundreds of positive comments and feedbacks from early trial users. The #1 response received is that CATS has a very user friendly and intuitive interface and workflow.

"Since the announcement of the availability of Beta trials of CATS we have been overwhelmed with the response we have received," said Asim. "In less than two months since its launch, we have had over 4000 demonstrations to end users and organizations interested in evaluating an Applicant Tracking System. The first public source code was released on Mar 1 and there were over 200 downloads in the first week alone. This spectacular response reinforces our belief, that the path to an open source alternative ATS is paved."

 John Sumser
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