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ERP Experts Survey | TEC 2019
Part One: Emerging ERP Technology and Trends

Open-Source ERP Solution: Yay or Nay?


We wanted to know whether the experts would recommend an open-source enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. This question inspired a significant amount of discussion.

Yes 8.11%
No 40.54%
Maybe 51.35%

Of the responding experts, 59% told us that they might or would definitely recommend an open-source software system, while 41% said they would not, with the more positive group saying they’d be comfortable provided the system was the right fit for the organization’s business needs.

Among the group saying a definitive yes to open-source ERP was Ned Lilly, Founder and CEO of xTuple: “Not only is the product development process better (higher quality), the positive economics are undeniable. And open-source strongly mitigates against vendor lock-in—an old problem in ERP that is re-emerging in the SaaS [software-as-a-service] age.”

Comments from the respondents who believe open-source ERP should not be recommended point to concerns over vendor viability, customer support, security, and lack of standardization in the community model. What we really see from the “no” crowd is a “not yet proven” sentiment.

Granted, we have yet to see an open-source ERP vendor move to the ranks of Red Hat, which was recently acquired by IBM for US$34 billion, but there are solid vendors on the market that should not be overlooked as a matter of course. Some open-source ERP vendors have very solid and secure products, with all the customer service and financial backing of the commercial vendors.

Mehdi Aftahi, TEC’s CTO, stated: “Whether an ERP solution is open-source should not in itself be a deciding factor. It all depends on the capabilities of the software and the user requirements.”

“Not only is the product development process better (higher quality), the positive economics are undeniable. And open-source strongly mitigates against vendor lock-in—an old problem in ERP that is re-emerging in the SaaS [software-as-a-service] age.”

—Ned Lilly, Founder and CEO, xTuple

Considering an Open Source ERP

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