Friday, 18 June 2010

What does Consona's acquisition of Compiere mean?

Since the announcement of Consona’s acquisition of Compiere, many people have asked me for my thoughts and comments. What does this deal mean for the open source ERP market, the ERP industry as a whole, and for the Openbravo community? I am keen to answer these questions and share my thoughts.

First, my interpretation of the nature of the acquisition. Everything I have read and heard about it reveals that the driving rationale for Consona was to acquire the technology, and not the open source element of Compiere, and so I predict this will mean the end for Compiere's community. Am I happy about that? No, not at all. Besides the disruption that this will bring to many people, I am a firm believer that at this stage the more successful open source ERP companies there are, the better. This is not good news at any level.

My second observation is about the predictability of this end game. Compiere's business model, organization and management style - specifically in product development, sales strategy and channel management – always resembled that of a traditional proprietary vendor, rather than one suited to an open source provider. Open source must never be used merely as a marketing tool - if you don't believe in open source and invest heavily in its development, then you don't create an open source culture within the project team and therefore cannot leverage its many benefits. Open source isn’t something you can just dabble in.

But I would like to sign off with some positive messages for the open source ERP industry. At Openbravo we are as excited and positive as ever. Open source has always been and will always be the very core of our business. This dedication and commitment is what helped us lead this market. Our purpose is to improve the efficiency of businesses around the world by bringing an ERP to every company. And for this reason our ambition has always been to create the leading web-based open source ERP company. We are strong believers that horizontal ERPs are a commodity and should be free; that value is in the services and industry specific solutions; and that openness and a strong community is a requirement for building better software in the 21st century. Success with open source ERP requires a collaborative, organic approach that unleashes synergies between the community and commercial use of the product, without artificial barriers. Rest assured that we will continue making it happen.

Ultimately, this acquisition means one less open source ERP player, reaffirming Openbravo’s leadership in this market and our genuine commitment to it.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The Openbravo World Conference happening in 10 days

Dear community,

In 10 days we will be having our Openbravo World Conference in Barcelona. Please let me share my excitement since:
  • It is the first edition of this special and free event, which was long overdue to unite our international community
  • We have over 300 attendees already registered, traveling from more than 30 countries worldwide
  • The theme of the conference “Empowering the Ecosystem” is more relevant than ever to Openbravo since we are convinced that the industry needs change, and thanks to the participation of our vigorous community, we are making it happen. We expect to discuss many interesting topics which will help push our community further such as our new 2.50 release, our new forge among others
  • The event is bringing to Barcelona fellow open source innovators from Pentaho, Alfresco, Talend, IBM, Sun, ProcessMaker, Ubuntu, JasperSoft, … which you will all be able to meet
  • And last but not least, we are expecting to have a celebrate our first Community Awards and have lots of fun

For more information about the Conference, take a look at:

If you still have not registered, please make sure you do by Thursday April 9th when registration closes in here
The event is nearly at full capacity, so reserve your seat before it’s too late!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Open source comes of age: Jesper Balser joins Openbravo board

Since Openbravo was founded in 2006, the adoption of open source enterprise applications has been increasing at an unstoppable rate.

The commitment of our team, community and partners is reflected in the calibre of our executive leadership, which was further strengthened by the news that Jesper Balser will join the Openbravo board of directors, Navision co-founder and former head of strategy at Microsoft Business Solutions.

The news has been well received. On the CNET ‘Open Source’ blog, Matt Asay says “Open source has clearly gone mainstream. It is attracting some of the best and brightest from the proprietary-software world, as they see the writing on the wall for incumbents.”

The VAR Guy, meanwhile, says the news signals “growing momentum for business-centric open source applications” and “highlights Openbravo’s continued investments in its IT channel partners.”

A decade ago, proprietary software companies poured scorn on claims about Linux’s reliability, support, mainstream adoption and ROI. But it didn’t stop users, businesses and governments all switching to Linux in droves, precisely because of its reliability, stability, security, cost-effectiveness and innovation.

More recently, open source business applications came under the same sort of fire. But adoption has still been unstoppable, and for all the same reasons. It’s no longer a question of ‘going mainstream’: open source applications are already there. If you wish to form your own opinion, you might want to attend the upcoming Openbravo World Conference in Barcelona, April 18-19th.

Jesper has the insight, the experience and the ability to guide Openbravo to the next level of enterprise adoption. We’re delighted to have him on board and we hope you’ll join us in welcoming him to Openbravo and to the open source applications community.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Openbravo hits the millionth download... Yes, we can!

What a journey we have undergone since Openbravo opened to the world in April 2006 with its code publication on SourceForge. 2 ½ years later, we are proud to say that thanks to the support of our incredible community of developers, partners, and customers, we've already reached the millionth project download. It's incredible to have achieved this milestone in such a short period, which is a confirmation of the soaring adoption rates of open source, but most importantly of the growing ecosystem fuelling Openbravo ERP and POS solutions.

Undoubtedly, the company is undergoing substantial expansion, with a partner base of 90 worldwide and a growing number of localizations, 20 of which are completed, and another 30+ in progress. Openbravo has become an ERP of reference to such a large ecosystem because, put simply, it offers more value for money. It beats other leading ERP packages due to its lower cost or better adaptation to customer needs for the same budget.

The 1,000,000th download also marks the beginning of a new era with several exciting initiatives that further support and enhance the Openbravo ecosystem:
Modularity to encourage individual contributions part of Openbravo 2.50
A new development Forge for Openbravo projects and downloads (to be released soon)
• A range of knowledge-sharing opportunities, and the launch of our global community event, the Openbravo World Conference

All of these actions are to get people to join and participate within the community more easily. So, if you're not already part of this flourishing ecosystem, NOW is the time to get involved with Openbravo, either by contributing to the product, joining our partner network, or by implementing Openbravo in your business so you too can benefit from working with our solutions.

This special day for Openbravo coincides with another special and, judging by the near unanimity of the news, historical day, the election of Mr. Barack Obama as president of the United States of America. Regardless of the political preferences of each, there is no doubt that the arrival of the first African American to chair USA is a fact that breaks barriers, brings hope to those who have not always had a voice and sets the beginning of a new era of change (we hope it will be for the better), similarly to the philosophy that has continuously driven us towards opening the world of ERP's: Yes, change is already happening!

Monday, 27 October 2008

In times of crisis...

Dear Openbravo Community,

Over the course of my career, I have personally seen markets from the United States to Australia, from Asia to Latin America; all go through ups and downs that ruin a family retirement, that ruin a business’s future. When markets plunge, everyone can become vulnerable.

I also know, that while certain “fear based” news capture the world’s attention, we must begin to understand what lies beneath for tomorrow. For those with the ability to think long term, there are genuine opportunities that come with the current type market shift:
  1. The opportunity to focus on what’s truly important
  2. The opportunity to cut costs and reduce needless spending
  3. The opportunity to prepare for when the market recovers increasing your competitive position
Above are 3 values any family can apply, but how do they specifically relate to open source, ERPs, and Openbravo? How is the System Integrator going to survive this time period? Let me begin by sharing a few thoughts about the ERP market and Openbravo.

As I look forward I still see an enormous market potential for System Integrators and Openbravo Partners. Analysts estimate that the underserved ERP market for SMB is worth USD 30 to 50 billion worldwide.

The next question becomes, are customers thinking about investing at this time? Keeping market emotions aside, the fact is that Openbravo leads steadily continue to increase (even in the last weeks). This shows that end customers see the opportunity of our unique offering: get your ERP at a lower cost, or invest these savings for a customized solutions. In this market, this could mean implementing now to save money and further customizing when the market turns.

A solution that is by definition better since it allows customers to focus their investments on the aspects that really matter (adapting a solution to their needs) and support (Openbravo Network) your business, instead of just paying licenses. A solution that is better and can be more easy to discover in economic downturns where budgets are even more limited. And in this case, let me just give you a couple of types of leads that have increased in the last weeks:
  1. Leads coming from larger companies which already have an ERP at headquarters. They switch to our solution instead of extending SAP. For these companies, they receive a fully customized ERP, fully adapted to their needs, and without the licensing costs.
  2. Public Administration sector interest is also growing as fast as Openbravo. In times of crisis governments maintain or even increase their spending on technology, and this holds true for open source technology. Looking in my backyard, Openbravo has been supporting the growth of city halls arround the world, Public Tourism and also become a requirement for companies attempting to bid on government contracts.
The outlook shows that companies will need to keep critical IT projects going. As a result of the market condition, they will be forced to look for new alternatives. When they do, companies will find products do to the same or more, but at a lower cost. My message is that when companies search, they will find that an open source solution is the professional ERP alternative they have been looking for. I truly believe this alternative is, and will continue to be Openbravo.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Calling all Openbravo Partners!

It is with great pleasure that I announce our first Partner Conference Call, taking place this Wednesday and Thursday:
  • English call: 16:00 to 18:00, October 9th
  • Spanish call: 16:00 to 18:00, October 10th
This new initiative will bring Openbravo closer to its partners, while providing additional marketing and business support to help them build a stronger practice. This bi-monthly Conference Call is targeted towards our partners’ CEOs, and will serve the following objectives:
  1. Share new offerings/assets which help guarantee partner success
  2. Learn from fellow partner success stories and experiences
  3. Cover market alignment and improving sales approach (e.g. key client segments to focus, product pitching, …)
  4. Ensure regular communication and feedback and identify new collaboration opportunities

This is yet another initiative demonstrating our commitment towards the Openbravo ecosystem, for which our partners hold an important role. Because we know that our success relies on that of the ecosystem, we believe that with increased collaboration and communication we can all achieve superior results, which holds true for all community members. That is why we strongly encourage all of our partners to attend every conference call to maximize their business potential.

So, I hope to talk to all of you at the conference. Details for the conference will be send to Openbravo partners in the next days.

For those of you who are not part of Openbravo’s global network of partners, the Partners Conference Call is yet another great reason to join. Please do remember that our Partnership value proposition is aimed for companies which want to exploit the big business opportunity around our products by building a large business practice in coordination with our company. Main discussion topics are business driven since as you can imagine general product related issues are fully managed in the open and properly discussed in our already available Community Channels.

Friday, 1 August 2008

ERP Today at full capacity

Last Wednesday we held our first ever End-Client event in Barcelona which turned out to be a great success! Close to 50 Spanish SMEs attended “ERP Today”in our first session in Barcelona, and listened on as we demonstrated Openbravo’s professional open source ERP, displayed its related benefits, while hearing a few of our customer testimonials. The idea for the event came naturally as we were experiencing a high demand of potential users wanting to learn more about Openbravo products. We got great feedback from our first ERP Today and look forward to holding many more of these, namely in Madrid and Valencia this September. For registration please click here.

We understand what a daunting task implementing or changing an ERP can be, but, like our customers Productos Montblanc and Galenicum explained so well through their testimonial, the benefits of having Openbravo ERP has drastically improved the way they do business and taken their companies to the next level. From a century old family business like Montblanc, to a young international sourcing and product development pharmaceutical company like Galenicum, Openbravo ERP can increase efficiency, profitability and customer satisfaction across companies of all shapes and sizes, namely thanks to the support we get from our global network of partners who are specialized in adapting Openbravo to each company’s needs.

Part of the advantages of being an Openbravo partner, besides the professional support and tools Openbravo provides, is to get the chance to attend events like ERP Today. Our local partners Capri Software, openTrends and Praktics had the opportunity to meet with potential users face-to-face and asses their needs, while exploring the possibility of working with them in the future to optimize their business processes with Openbravo ERP. All this ties in to Openbravo’s vision of bringing better fitted ERPs to companies worldwide, regardless of size. Everyone should have the right to own their ERP, and Openbravo is working hard to build the ecosystem to make it happen.