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.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Meeting Yossi…

Some weeks ago I was interviewed by Yossi Bhardi, the person behind the Open Source ERP Guru blog. I not only enjoyed the interview, which you can find here, but also having the chance to talk to Yossi for the first time. Yossi is one of those committed volunteers who invests his personal time in following the ERP Open Source revolution. The work he does from his blog is a great contribution in building the OS ERP market and therefore something that helps the whole industry. As I always mention when talking about other OS ERP players, the more successful we all are, the bigger the open source ERP stake of the market will become, for a greater number of customers to enjoy an offer which is more valuable, fair and easy to understand when compared to proprietary ERP solutions.

Thank you Yossi and keep up with the good work!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

What a great OffSite!

From the day I started working in Openbravo, we have been periodically conducting Offsites with all company employees. These are full day events in which we gather all Openbravo members who can make it (this year we had people in Miami that could not attend), in one place to:
  • Celebrate achievements and progress together
  • Give a brief update on the current status and plans for the coming months. Alignment of priorities are key to continue serving our community well.
  • Work together on selected topics which are important to our business and people
  • Participate in fun activities together. You know what they say… those who work hard, play hard! ;-)
This last OffSite has again brought me lots of good feelings and positive ideas to keep on making it happen. If anyone wants to understand what Openbravo’s biggest asset is… I’ll tell you right now... join Openbravo (whether as a community member, a partner, a customer or as an employee) and discover our amazing team!

I feel extremely proud on the almost 100 professionals from 15 different nationalities which are currently employed full time by the company, in a multitude of locations around the globe. Our people are highly professional, have the optimal knowledge and are passionate and committed to making it happen. And I tell you this … there is no better asset in a company like ours than people. People who work hard, play hard, and have fun doing both!

Ps_ Because the SanFermines holiday was right around the corner (the famous running of the bulls fair taking place in Pamplona), we had this Offsite in a bull fighting venue. This photo was taken in the arena where many Openbravo employees braved the bulls! By the way … nobody got hurt.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Freedom is a much powerful change agent than dictatorship!

This Sunday I watched again V for Vendetta, the comic written in 1982 by Alan Moore and David Lloyd and brought to the cinema by many of the filmmakers involved in the Matrix trilogy and directed by James McTeigue. If you like fiction, politics and films with a powerful message, you need to watch this movie. Here are some takeaways that I think perfectly apply to nowadays world of software:

1) Dictatorship tries to force what a reduced number of people believes is right. Freedom, on the contrary, gives choice to people and allows for new ideas to appear.
  • Dictatorship in the world of software is represented by any company that thinks that through 100% vendor centralized approach they can satisfy the needs of all clients. Don't you think that the world is too large to be able to accomplish this by only a single vendor?.
2) You are free when you really have a choice to decide and, sometimes, human beings forget about being true to what they really want.
  • There is too much FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) around software. Extensive FUD from proprietary vendors to open source projects. Some FUD from open source projects to proprietary vendors. At the end, users decide. Our role as IT professionals, regardless of what is our origin (proprietary or open source vendors), should be to ensure that users can decide freely without so much FUD generated and allowing to be honest about what they need and want. In that mindset, I am sure the right choice will always be made.
3) The power of freedom is in the community (and if not, watch the movie until the end: GREAT!) built by people/ organizations that have made their choice and join forces.
  • This is by far the most important idea that open source brings over the table. An open source project with a successful community will always win in competition against 100% centralized proprietary vendors. The change proprietary players need to push within their organizations to adapt to the new paradigm of collaboration sometimes breaks the principles in which they were created. This is what I like about Openbravo: we are strictly built on the principles of open collaboration with users, partners and individuals who can contribute their ideas at will. Our principles are built on top of our competitor's weakest points.
Finally, for the ones that have seen the movie, I love the sequence when the inspector has that feeling of "I know what is going on here", "everything is connected". I sometimes have the same feeling. And the feeling is great because is when you discover that all facts, feedback that you get from the community, partners, clients, VCs, employees,.. plus your own thoughts come along into building a disruptive model: the leading open source ERP movement. ;-)

Anyway, this is what I wanted to share with you from this weekend. If you have seen the movie or you see it, please don't forget to leave your comments here.

Long live to V!

Resuming my blogging experience

It has been a while since my last post and I want to apologize because of this. Although I am not the kind of person that has a natural blogging gene, I promise I will still try to keep on sharing with you my thoughts around Openbravo.

To resume my blogging experience I want to tell you two quite obvious things:

  • Openbravo is doing great and as a result of our growth we have successfully closed our second financing round. A round which was planned from the day we acquired our first investors in Jan 2006 . And a round that does not only give us additional resources to invest on our products and community but also strengthens our Board and gives even a more international profile in line with the nature of our opportunity.
  • My second obvious message is a logical one and is for you: Thank you so much for your interest on our products, your decisions to adopt them, your willingness to contribute your experiences and above all your willingness to be successful in opening the world of ERPs. We will continue to be faithful to our vision and continue to improve all the things we do with professionalism and emotion as we have done from day one.

Talk to you soon!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Open Source rocks and Openbravo does not stop!

First my apologies to all the readers for not having posted any messages since quite a long time already. My only, hopefully valid, excuse is the enormous workload we had to close the year 2007. Now, what can I say that has not been said by other bloggers, analysts and press in the last days?. Three short comments that have attracted my attention over this period:

  1. I think we all will agree by now that Open Source has consolidated as one of the most important forces that today is changing the software industry. Just look at some of the transactions that the industry has had in the last weeks ranging from Zimbra, Xensource, MySQL or Trolltech. By the way … isn't it strange that with the latest news of Microsoft bidding to acquire Yahoo, Zimbra could become part of Microsoft? I am curious to see what will the implications would be.
  2. Further, the initially successful Netsuite IPO has brought even more attention than there already was into our space: the world of ERPs. Specially proving that there is a huge opportunity for the company or companies that are able to deliver something new and compelling to midmarket companies.
  3. Openbravo has had a marvelous 2007!. I would suggest that all of you read the round up press release that we just published today. We are proving that there is a better and more efficient model to satisfy the hundreds of thousands of traditionally under-served small and mid-sized companies around the globe.

2008 looks incredibly promising for Openbravo. I have no doubts that with our product, community and hard and good work we will continue to advance very rapidly. Bear with us my friends!

By the way, do you know that we have been presented with yet another award, this time in the Open Source Meets Business Conference?