Last week, while still in Cannes, I read an article about SAP’s point of view on the impact of open source in ERPs. Henning Kagermann, SAP’s current CEO, declared in Computer Business Review that “Open Source is an option for operating systems and databases but not at the business application level”. This point of view does not surprise me since it is not a new statement coming from a top software executive. In the past, important executives such as Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer also disregarded the Open Source opportunity/ threat in the operating system world. But … you know … what really strikes me is the main rationale that Henning was using to support his point of view. He argumented that Open Source successful projects are those where developers like to work for “fun” and literally said “I have never seen anyone who likes doing that (referring to altering applications to cater for legal or regulatory changes such as Sarbanes-Oxley or Basel II). That is not fun. There is no choice. The boring bits are a strength of SAP” .
I am really astonished … Can we imply that SAP’s strengths against open source competitors are only built upon boring pieces?. Does Henning see open source competitors failing on their purpose because there is no fun on building ERPs?. If that was the name of the game … and you are working at SAP … please tell your boss that our growing community encompassing now more than 50 employees and more than hundreds of individuals working for IT companies around the world is really having “fun”!!!!. But please tell him that we are not having fun for the sake of fun. And here it comes the true reason why open source will make it in the world of ERPs: Fun for the sake of building Openbravo, the leading open source ERP Company in the space. At the end experience tells us that everything that can be built on open source, is finally built on open source (see other similar projects that are building business applications successfully with open source @ the Open Solutions Alliance )”.
Anyway … I am convinced that we will see Henning in the future adapting its pitch as many others (read Gates and Ballmer) have done it. Don’t you think?
Next Sunday I will be travelling to France on behalf of Openbravo to accept the “Top 100” award, presented by Red Herring. I am extremely satisfied with the award since it not only recognizes the work and results achieved so far; but also it points out to what I truly believe is one of the most differential elements that we have as a Company: the capacity to innovate! Opening ERP’s future and becoming the leading ERP in the space is a huge project requiring innovation toward building a solid and thorough business approach. And guess what … Openbravo guarantees this continuous innovation with one of the most professional teams that I have ever had. Allow me to celebrate with a big open applause or better yet, a big open bravo for our team. Guys … let’s make it happen!!!
Today we have received the official confirmation that Openbravo is a winner for the acclaimed Red Herring 100 Europe 2007 award. The prize recognizes the 100 most promising start-ups driving the future of technology.We are obviously very honoured to re…
The current challenge behind in-class software instruction is not content explanation; rather the issue is managing trainees who are on an extremely tight schedule. Often times, trainees will fly in for an intensive session, and then bounce back to wo…
I think it is time to start my own blog and share with all of you the experiences, thoughts and ideas that I have as the CEO of Openbravo. It has been already more than a year since I joined this fantastic company and had the idea to start my own blog from that day onwards.
The idea was so strong that I was about to launch the blog the night we published our code in SourceForge. We had such a heavy workload that I judged at that time that the blog could wait. Today, almost 10 months after, we can not wait anymore and I would like to open this blog with the article I prepared at that time. The title of the post was obviously “Openbravo has gone live” and I continue to believe and feel strong on the reasons why Openbravo will make it happen!. The post prepared said the following:
Today is a great day for all of us, employees and community, since very early in the morning at 02:00 a.m. www.openbravo.com went live!. This website is the corporate website of a company that is committed to change the world of ERPs for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). But how come?. The answer is quite easy: combine a great product with open source and a great professional services company and you will get it … the future of open source ERPs opened!.
We know that this will not be as easy and simple as it is to say it but we know that 1) the arguments for change are too powerful to fail and 2) we are ready to make it happen!.
- Arguments in favour of a management system really adapted to the needs of SMEs, in favour of not charging for functionalities that aren’t really used, in favour of recognising the critical role of IT services companies (often named as distributors by proprietary software firms), …
- Our company background with more than five years of history, our vision and plans for the future and our people combining the right set of skills and excitement make us believe that we are ready!.
To finish this first article in our blog, I want to once again share our excitement with all of you; opening-up our ERP to the world; making it available to the community; building-up a professional services company; and directly delivering value to IT integrators and indirectly SMEs really thrills us up!. At this stage, we hope that you share our excitement and YOU JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!
Welcome to Openbravoing.
My name is Galder Romo. I joined Openbravo as an ERP consultant a couple of years ago.
I have been thinking about creating a blog for a while and well, here it is. It is not easy to define the topics of this blog, but I will try to manage weekly blubs about […]
In a couple of weeks I will participate in a roundtable on the next edition of the LinuxWorld which will be held in New York, NY. This time the event is dubbed Open Solutions Linux.The rountable will be the official presentation of the Open Solutions A…
Last Friday I had the pleasure to participate in a roundtable to discuss about “Ideas, Enterprises and Open Knowledge”. The roundtable was part of the Powerful Ideas Summit (see my previous post).
A number of powerful ideas (honoring the name of the event) were put forward, but I would like to single out here one of the thesis of John Perry Barlow (a real character and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) about the benefits of sharing.
He talked about the dynamics of intellectual property as opposed to physical property, and highlighted an interesting difference. Whereas with physical goods, its value increases with the scarcity, with intellectual property exactly the opposite happens. The value of an idea increases with its diffusion. Obviously there are many businesses based on owning ideas (call it licenses, patents or copyrights). And very profitable businesses indeed: software and pharmaceutical companies among them. However, these businesses are still successful because their ideas have reached a wide dissemination: Windows and Office for Microsoft or Aspirin for Bayer to name a couple of examples
In my keynote, titled “Building Global Open Source Enterprises” I also presented a similar argument: “Sharing your assets, strengthens your business”. This is a counterintuitive argument to many, but I can tell you that every day I see more tangible evidence that the statement is true. What other, more powerful, mechanisms exist to spread an idea than freely sharing it (with the help of the Internet, I might add)?
For me, being an entrepreneur who is trying to build a successful business following this concept, the beauty of it is that sharing is not an attitude easily replicated by your competitors. Many businessmen are not prepared (or even afraid) to embrace this concept, or they don’t know how to do it (Should I share all or just a part of my knowledge? What tools should I use to ensure that sharing is an activity that works both ways in and out of the company?)
Next Friday 26th I have been invited to participate on the Powerful Ideas Summit. The event has been beautifuly organized under the direction of Adolfo Plasencia by the University and Science Department of the Generalitat Valenciana and the Valencian Institute of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (IMPIVA).
The objectives of the summit are the following:
This Meeting has as a main objective to be a meeting point for sharing different visions, expertise, best practices, ways to see and do things differently in the world, joined by a common interest that cannot be given for granted: that of imaginative creative intelligence that boosts business creation, and which will be the shearest measure of its liveliness and high standard on a long and short term basis, as well as one of the most significant data for its future configuration.
In a keynote speech I will talk about Openbravo’s experience delivering an open source application to small and midsize enterprises worldwide. Later I will also join a very promising round table to discuss about open source business models with:
– John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
– Juan Tomas García, blogger and MonoLabs founder and CEO
– Alfredo Romeo, Blobject.es founder and CEO
– Julio Yuste Tosina, Vivernet managing director and creator of LinexEmpresas
– Juan Reig, President of the Malaga’s Open Source World Conference
There are also a number of high profile participants, who will account for a very interesting gathering of ideas. I really look forward to positive energy that this type of events generate. I will keep you posted with my conclusions.