Guidelines for building a combined e-commerce and ERP platform in micro-enterprises

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Remote connection

Topic of the dissertation

Guidelines for building a combined e-commerce and ERP platform in micro-enterprises

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science Valtteri Kujala

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, M3S

Subject of study

Information processing science


Professor Sami Saarenketo, Lappeenranta University of Technology


Docent Raija Halonen, University of Oulu

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Open-source platform as a builder of growth in the micro-enterprises of the future

An increasing share of global economic growth comes from small businesses. The role of small micro-enterprises, in particular, has grown with the transformation of working life. Digital platforms are increasingly shaping business models in nascent micro-enterprises. Business growth requires scalable digital platforms in a rapidly digitalising global economy. The coronavirus situation has also contributed to this shift towards fully electronic business models.

The platform industry has often referred to mega-class platforms such as Airbnb, Uber or Wolt. Less attention has been paid to open platforms, which micro-enterprises themselves can develop to suit their business models. Open-source platforms have opened new opportunities for small firms to develop platforms with little cost, resources or technical skills.

This study utilised a design science research method to build a combined e-commerce and ERP platform as a design artefact in a Finnish software company. The conclusions suggested that a scalable platform can be achieved with open source. However, initiating growth capabilities, such as previously defined business processes and strategies, were essential before starting the platform’s technical development. Scalable and open e-commerce and ERP platform may also support a company's growth better than several separate software programs.

The doctoral researcher Valtteri Kujala founded his first own company at the age of 15 and has been an entrepreneur ever since. His entrepreneurial experiences have inspired the present study in the field of computer science.
Last updated: 1.3.2023