Openbravo executives open up on the ERP solution

GoodGearGuide gets behind the scenes of this successful business, with some of its key executives. They discuss the project, where it’s headed and what makes it so popular with developers, partners and end users.

GGG: You estimate Openbravo has 350,000 downloads. As many people can use each installation, there many thousands of people using Openbravo. How many successful implementations do you think there have been?

EUGENI VIVES: Since Openbravo ERP is Open Source and therefore can be downloaded freely (by end-users, partners, and developers who have internet access); it is difficult to know with precision how many successful implementations have been done. Today Openbravo estimates, based upon information collected through end-users, partners and activity in open discussion forums, that there are over 100 successful implementations in SMEs. These numbers are growing at a high rate since they grow exponentially with the number of partners acquired and they are expected to triple by the end of 2007.

GGG: What industry sector makes up your largest customer base?

Currently we have mainly mid size enterprise customers in four key industries: manufacturing, distribution & logistics, professional services and media.

GGG: So mid size enterprise is your largest customer base. Is this your target market?

Our largest customers are mid-size enterprises (Over 100 employees). Our target clients are small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs), let's say between 10 and several 100 employees who have the need for an integrated management system, but felt a standard solution was not for them. We are not focusing now on micro companies (SoHo) (with less than 5-10 employees), which usually can't afford an ERP or large corporations, which are completely served by major players like Oracle or SAP.

GGG: What are some of your most recent customers?

EUGENI VIVES: One of our newest customers is a company focused on the sales of food products and logistics to professional clients like hotels, restaurants, and the like. Active from three locations, it belongs to a large Spanish retail chain with around US$8 billion (AU$8.87 billion) in revenues. Another new customer is a Spanish consulting company focused on implementing open-source software solutions and outsourcing to final customers with more than 200 employees and Euro 20 million (AU$31.6 million) in revenues. And there is also a media company that focuses on economic and market information about companies and industries in Spain that has recently started using Openbravo.

GGG: How much is the market worth and how much is it likely to grow?

JOSEP MITJA: The global SME-market size is around US$50 billion (AU$55.4 billion). It offers a tremendous growth opportunity given the currently low average adoption rates of only 20-50 percent depending on countries and sectors.

GGG: Approximately how many people have developed on top of Openbravo?

PAOLO JUVARA: It is difficult for us to estimate how many people, outside of Openbravo employees, have developed on top of Openbravo. We currently have 350,000 downloads and that number increases at a pace of about 1,000 downloads per day. If you think that every ERP implementation requires some form of extension to adapt the product to the unique requirements of the final user, you can imagine that the number of developers must be quite big and increasing.

GGG: What aspect of third party work is particularly unique or important?

I would want to recognize all of our localizers. Localization for an ERP is both essential and very difficult (it is not only translation but it is also adapting the software to meet legal requirement for accounting, taxation, etc.). We have a very vibrant community of localizers that is working on 41 localizations and eight of them have already been completed.

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