ERP software user groups are normally either vendor run or independently managed by a volunteer group of users - and this difference in management is very influential in determining the type of content, subject matter forums and user benefits. Most experienced users believe that vendor run user groups are foremost a vendor selling tool for both existing customers and new prospects. Vendor sponsored user groups also tend to filter criticism and steer topics to planned (business development) destinations.
Independent user groups tend to form a more balanced and meaningful relationship with the software manufacturer (or resellers in some circumstances) in order to address post-sale topics such as system utilization, new features, new version upgrades, system administration and software evolution. While the vendor run user groups typically offer greater theatrics and better shows, the independent user groups almost always achieve greater system empowerment and benefits which translate to increased job performance.