One evident competition is between specifically licensed ERP products and the collection of options known as ‘open source’ ERP software — ERP platforms that are not built for profit by a particular firm, but maintained with open source licensing, often by communities of users.
Here are some of the relevant advantages of selecting an open source ERP solution for business.
One of the biggest advantages of open source ERP software is that businesses can explore more open and interconnected ERP platform models that may work better, particularly for a smaller business that doesn’t need a slick, highly crafted proprietary ERP solution. In terms of being interconnected, open-source products can sometimes be more compatible with the company’s hardware system, or with other standalone applications.
This is an overwhelming benefit of many open source ERP solution popular with companies who choose to go this route. Many of these platforms are supported by vibrant user communities — the support is experimental and transparent, and for IT professionals who love to be immersed in this environment, open source can be a good solution.
The Big Vendor Problem
Others who promote open source ERP solutions argue that going open source frees a company from the “big vendor” trap— some talk about “walled gardens” where functionality is limited to tools from a particular vendor, or even where vendors start to control proprietary customer data in disturbing ways.
No Installation or Licensing
In some ways, this is the number one benefit of open source solution — there is no burden of licensing software, by physically using software keys or installing and registering products in a particular way. There are none of the costs associated with licensing, costs which can get pretty steep for vendor licensed products.
Open Source Prestige
As a less tangible benefit, some companies will enjoy the reputation they get by using open source products in an age where much of the tech community finds open source to be a ‘moral high ground’ in the industry, or in some ways, an indicator of more tech prowess. In some ways, it’s much like the sourcing of organic foods, or other high-value product quests. Of course, this is very subjective, and not everyone values open source over proprietary, but there’s a significant amount of open-source cliquishness in areas of the tech world.
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