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.