Friday, November 30, 2007

OpenSocial is cool

Have you seen OpenSocial, the latest API by Google?

If you haven't, and dig this stuff, do. It is awesome!

I believe that the first Open Source ERP to implement it will score a big one.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Gloablization , Customer Experience and Enteprise 2.0

Today while enterprises are increasingly going global in IT outsourcing, supply chain and customer services operation, there is a growing need to improve global productivity, collaboration and business processes. The Yankee Group calls it “Enterprise Anywhere” - the trend where global companies leverage their global resources to optimize their global operation.

So, where do Open Source Web 2.0 applications come handy in the enterprise world? It is by increasing global usability, collaboration and productivity. One specific area which seems like a natural fit is the Enterprise Global Customer Experience or CEM (Customer Experience Management).

One of the main customer experience challenges for global enterprises is to be able to capture and integrate all the customer experience history and intelligence from different information sources like ERP customer service module and CRM systems into one global source of Global Customer Experience Intelligent Unit. This unit can be leveraged to capture innovative product and customer service ideas and most importantly improve customer experience processes and customer satisfaction.

Another area where Open Source Web 2.0 applications can be very valuable is the ability to create or integrate to a Master Data Management (MDM - a master source of customer experience data that can be leveraged across the enterprise from both front end and back end ERP/CRM systems) to capture personalized customer experience and interaction intelligence data and use it to improve customer experience processes (CEM), customer satisfaction and loyalty.

By Amir Ben-Mordechai

Friday, September 28, 2007

Open Source ERP status as of September 2007

Doing a search of the projects tagged as 'financial' at, sorted by ranking, shows that the most popular ERP projects are:

The popular osFinancials (Rank: 84) could be considered a complete ERP system for several Small Businesses.

opentaps seems back on track to releasing the (quite elusive) release.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jive gets US$ 15 millon funding reports that Sequoia Capital has invested $15 million into Jive Software. This could be another sign of the Web Office starting to gain traction over ERP.

On the other hand, what big ERP investments have been announced recently?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Interview with Openbravo COO

Sean Michael Kerner published an interesting interview with Josep Mitjà, COO of Openbravo.

Openbravo is, along with Compiere, opentaps, ADempiere Bazaar, at the top of the OS ERP game but, being fully Web based, it might be the best headed for the future of ERP as we discussed in this post.

Plus, as Josep said:

We do have inquiries about Compiere, mainly because Openbravo's application dictionary originated from a 2002 version of Compiere, and as the application dictionary defines the contents of each screen, the two applications can appear to have some similar features.

Compiere's work was seminal and we are careful to duly identify any original and modified code. However, contrary to Compiere, we have a dedicated engine that delivers a fully Web-based interface. Our current code base is almost entirely comprised of original, continually evolving Openbravo-developed code.

You can read the full article here.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Web ERP vs Desktop ERP

Does anybody find any good reason to start development of a new OS ERP basing it on the desktop?

I feel that, with the success of AJAX and RIA's in general, the desktop does not hold any advantage over a Web platform for this kind of apps anymore.

Any counter arguments?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

On the Web Office and ERP merging

The concept of the Web Office is quite a new one, so its definition could be arguable matter. But, the way the proposed solutions are evolving, it all leads me to think that a company ERP and Web Office will start sharing the same framework and, ultimately, be one solution.

One obvious link is that both store and manage enterprise information. For example, all Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) must have a "Contacts" section. Independent of the nature of the Contact (Co-worker, Client, Vendor), they are all persons, so most of the data will be very similar. You could have corporate Clients and Vendors, also sharing attributes in its modelling. The synchronization of this data among several systems is a tedious and risk prone task, even when automated.

Other, more subtle, reason elicits from the collaborative nature of the Web Office. All enterprise work-flows would be better handled if defined on a single work-flow engine, instead of having different management for different systems. Much office work is subject for a work-flow process. Those are element that have been present in ERPs for a long time, that are now being incorporated into Web Offices.

Another common issue is to have two different systems (most times requiring duplicate input effort) for, say, project management and the accounting of absent and leave days.

As a commenter in the previous post pointed out, the Web-Interface (not a small matter in many cases, specially if you can extend or align the "Web-Interface" concept to a whole "Corporate Image"). He also mentioned report designer (Which I would extend to Business Intelligence engines) as something that could also be merged.

I will assume the Single Sign On issue does not need much discussion.

Common elements of ERP and Web Office

In short, we have identified the following as common framework elements:
  • Single Sign On
  • Contacts (Workers, Clients, Vendors)
  • Image Design and Standards
  • Work-flow engine
  • Tasks and Projects management
  • Business Intelligence and reporting engines
I am sure that further analysis should discover more of this elements.


Even though I am not aware of similar essays, I do acknowledge several companies developing solutions that have obviously identified this trend. Zoho, 37signals, and ShareOffice would be among those.