The timing of this article can’t get any better since we are just few weeks/months away from the official release of OpenERP V8. Confianz has worked on more than 25 open source solutions for the last 6 years but we have a special ardor for OpenERP.
OpenERP the “game -changer”!!
The pragmatic vision set by the Leader defines the Success of any product / idea hence a huge applause goes to vision that Fabien Pinckaers had when he began small. ERP is one closed area where many will be skeptical of getting into because of the big names like SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Netsuite etc. But today some of the stunning features of OpenERP will give these brands a run for their money.
Parallely aligning every employee and partner into the same vision is the next feat the leadership team of OpenERP has achieved. Cross geographical teams in multi locations and defining a partner network is not a duck soup, when you had to begin from the scratch.
But the best that came along in the form of a great community of developers who put their heart on the process. Open Source software demands a lot of credits, sentiments which goes into the system. Keeping everything open/ transparent is one of the core values that OpenERP has maintained in years which is always welcome and one to emulate.
One of the great areas where OpenERP excel is its ability to keep their workflow undeterred by not forcefully putting in businesses. There are instances in large MNCs where 75% of the employees quit after the proprietary ERP implementation as the entire company were forced to follow a new workflow, which made everything chaotic. With OpenERP, businesses get the benefit of both the worlds, what is good in your workflow stays while good automation practices can be implemented as well. Being modular and ability to remove unused features, OpenERP creates a good platform for businesses to adopt and move forward without a steep curve.
Another area OpenERP excels is Reliability and scalability. Architecture of the system is done in the best way that it can take good load provided the infrastructure and configuration requirements are met correctly. A good credit goes to Python and Postgresql and keeping it lean.
So is it the Best ERP in the world?
No, not yet. It has to mature a lot over the coming years, having said that there is no denial that it is slowly but constantly evolving. In the United States, it is catching up very well which is a great sign. Some of the partners have come up with synonyms or labels, which goes with the US audience, which is also awesome. Being part of some of the implementations in the United States, I was happy to see customers willing to move their entire accounting from QuickBooks or Peachtree and still loving the implementation.
Whats new in OpenERP V8?
Well responsive design is welcome as people are more mobile these days. Goals based approach; badges in CRM are really innovative. If I am not wrong, concept of shops will be completely going out from OpenERP. Though many critics argue about the new website/E-commerce module, we think its cool and will give the top CMS/E-commerce systems a run for their money.
Also to look forward are some of the innovative plans by OpenERP, which aims to build POS hardware, integrated with OpenERP.
Grey areas and improvements ?
Perfection is a far cry, we have seen goof ups during many product launches from the top companies – aka BSOD on launch of windows 98 ? One of the important fix we want to see in future is the annoying error messages that pop up if you click too fast on the screen. Some how the handler issue is a pain for OpenERP. Customers really don’t see this, as they never click so fast. Again the damage is nothing as it doesn’t do anything, since OpenERP is a document-based system, you are just interacting with the browser.
Is openERP implementation a business risk?
The exact same risk applies for any proprietary ERP system. The easy way out is to find a good company with track record to do the erp customization and implementation for you. Make sure the customization is well documented and always ask for user manual for the customized modules. Having a part time CTO/Tech Lead to look over the progress is good to make sure everyone is on the same page, this is assuming you don’t have any IT knowledgeable staff. Find a good OpenERP partner to train you in the system, end of the day this piece of software is going to run your entire company and you need to juice out all the features relevant to you. Now, the profound rule, invest time on an ERP implementation right from the planning phase. Who knows your business and processes better than you? A good level of communication in the early stages will ensure least gaps in the final customized system and eradicate any unforeseen surprises.
Comments are welcome