OpenERP, the open source ERP and business applications provider since 2005, today announced the new version of their offering giving customers choice between on-premise and SaaS options. The new version OpenERP v6, a major upgrade from the previous version that makes implementation and use of a comprehensive set of business applications (CRM, Purchase Management, Manufacturing, Warehouse Management, Project Management, Accounting, Human Resources) much easier and affordable. This version has implemented fixes/suggestions from OpenERP community showcasing the open source advantage.
What’s new in this version?
There are many new improvements in this version but some of the key features include:
- Much better control over the deployment. An organization can start with a single app and then expand to a complete suite as their needs demand
- This version overcomes the complexity associated with ERP implementation. Also, the new user interface makes it more intuitive for users
- Now users can either deploy OpenERP on-premise or use the cloud based ERP solution offered by them
- Many community led features like extended multi-company functionality, marketing campaign management, push and pulled logistics flow, etc. are added
Why is it interesting?
This is interesting to me from two important angles:
- Matt Asay and many other analysts (including myself) have been arguing that, unlike what Richard Stallman wants us to believe, Cloud offers a compelling business model for open source software. OpenERP’s use of cloud for monetization validates this argument
- Many thought ERP is the final frontier for SaaS. With OpenERP taking the cloud route, the last piece of resistance is also crumbling down
It will be interesting to see how OpenERP evolves in the coming years.