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.

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