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Open Source vs. SaaS: Cooperation instead of Competition

Brands can have it all. As they embrace Composable DXPs, they gain the flexibility to rapidly innovate and move ahead of the competition.

Published on by Karim Marucchi, CEO

For years a debate between Open Source Software and Software as a Service (SaaS) has been raging: which is the better choice? On the surface, each platform has its advantages, and depending on whether a business needs rapid out-of-the-box functionality or a greater ability to customize the platform, CMOs and CTOs have long been forced to choose a side. Our success in the Enterprise over the past decade has come from creating a third option; Why can’t we enjoy the advantages of both?

The benefits of Open Source software have been well understood for more than a decade. It’s entirely customizable, not beholden to a single tech provider, and gives you total control over your data. WordPress is a great example, with a wide range of enterprise grade plugins that are easy to adopt – or adapt – to meet your needs. WordPress is not just a blog anymore and powers sites from Disney to the White House.

SaaS, meanwhile, may seem ideal for rapid deployment, scalable, and promise a low cost of entry. The real detriment of SaaS deployments is its lack of innovation and customization. You are immediately limited to the features that are made available by the platform providers. And when you and your competitors gain access to the same features at the same time it’s difficult to find a competitive edge. The SaaS platforms know customization will be necessary to demonstrate the required differentiation for enterprise customers, and their business models are built for these eventualities by adding significant cost to the millions of dollars per year in licensing fees already incurred.

Reframing the Issue

The real problem facing SMEs today isn’t being stuck with one technology approach or the other, it’s a fundamental lack of a digital strategy. Often Marketing and IT are jostling for power, with one or the other taking precedence and selecting the technology that delivers the customer experience before they even understand that they have a common goal. It’s important to step back and approach decisions prioritizing marketing goals and use cases over chasing the latest technology. . What does the Marketing team need to do their job more efficiently and what are customers looking for? Using that information to feed your understanding and guide your approach will produce optimal, integrated technology decisions.

The ideal, then, is to enjoy the sheer creativity and innovative potential that comes with using Open Source software as a hub and combining it with the needed SaaS platform. That combined solution will have robust scalability and complex functionality. The key is the integration between the two. With Open Source as a hub this happens seamlessly to provide a complete 360 degree customer experience in which they can enjoy and interact with complete consistency across devices. Businesses that master this blending are those poised to dominate for years to come.

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Composable is Here to Stay

Gone are the days when customers went from a blog to an eCommerce site, getting whiplash from a completely different feel and messaging, all because you’re using different systems that don’t play well together.

We’re deep into the age of Composable DXPs. where content management systems, eCommerce, online and offline content are all seamlessly blended. A great example of this customer-centric approach is when a well-known multi-billion dollar per year grocery brand in Texas turned their complete focus to understanding the needs and wants of their customer, examining how they could make the experience match and exceed those needs. They ended up developing an innovative, completely customized experience that put the information customers need right at their fingertips, guiding them through a natural conversion/retention process.

You Can Have It All

You can have it all as you embrace Open Source Composable DXP Solutions. Prioritizing your marketing goal and use cases you’re free to select the SaaS technology that can power the experience and seamlessly integrates Open Source software. By refusing to allow yourself to be locked into a single approach, you can keep the flexibility of a small business to rapidly innovate for a customer experience that sets you apart from the competition.

The Original WordPress Agency

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