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CAL Business Solutions, Inc

Who Owns the Source Code of the Customizations Done on Your ERP System?


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Standard ERP functionality is designed to support the most common business processes. But as you know, most companies have unique processes and specific requirements that are anything but “standard”. ISV (Independent Software Vendor) solutions are often available to fill in the gaps or give industry-specific functionality. But sometimes custom code development is required to cover the areas that an ISV solution doesn’t fill.

While custom programming can be a great way to create an ERP system tailored just for your business, there are some reasons to be cautious. If your partner suggests that customized code will be needed for your ERP system, you need to ask:

  • Who owns the source code of the customizations?
  • Does this partner have the experience needed?

Who owns the source code of the customizations?

Knowing the answer to this question is vital before moving forward with an ERP partner. Consider a possibility: A partner may have taken a piece of code that they created for somebody else and used it for your company. Since they have only modified a small portion of the code to fit your business, they are not willing to give you the source for the whole project because they view the rest of it as a piece of reusable proprietary code.

This is what keeps costs low initially. But the issue it can cause later on is not worth it. So before entering a relationship, especially if you intend on modifying the program, it should be clear ‘who really owns the source of the code?’

Does my partner have the industry experience needed to handle customizations?

If your partner has strong experience in your industry, they will be familiar with the ERP system’s strengths and weaknesses for your business. They will know which ISV solutions are available and will only use customization if it is truly the better choice.

During the requirements analysis phase of your implementation, your partner should explain any customizations that will be required and how they will be done. Some essential questions to ask are:

  • If I ask you to make modifications, what types of changes are going to require reprogramming versus another type of customization?
  • What kind of customizations can I do that will allow me to change the system but aren’t going to be a factor in my upgrade?

The answers can have a significant impact on your ability to easily upgrade or update the system in the future.

The topic of source code is just one example to show you that asking the right questions upfront really does matter.

Choosing the right ERP partner can be daunting. CAL Business Solutions can help. The key lies in asking the right questions. To find out what you should ask your partner, check out the eBook “9 Questions Nobody Asks Their ERP Partner...But Should” at www.calszone.com/9questions.

If you want to have an honest conversation about customizations to Microsoft Dynamics GP or Acumatica, contact CAL Business Solutions at www.sales@calszone.com or 860-485-0910x4.

By CAL Business Solutions, Acumatica and Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner, www.calszone.com

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