The three-day event took place in the capital of Belgium, where one of the world’s most widespread ERP platforms had started in 2005.
– Having 7 million business users involved worldwide, the World ERP Platform Conference is an outstanding event. What activities took place in Brussels in those days?
– Odoo Experience is an annual Odoo event for companies from all over the world that develop and promote the system to meet and ‘synс watches’ – i.e., be the first to learn about system updates, equally understand the current strategy of its development, share the experience as much as possible, and share matters for the platform’s optimal response to market needs.
This time, according to their priorities, the participants could examine more than 200 reports and actively communicate with the platform’s core team and among themselves for three days. For this purpose, the organizers provided the most comfortable environment for panel discussions and informal networking.
The atmosphere of the very event was unique in its own way – the representatives of hundreds of companies invited to the conference felt so ‘belonged’ to Odoo as if they were not representatives of partner companies but directly Odoo employees.
– Did the BJet team have any specific goals for Odoo Experience 2022?
– Our main goal was to talk with the development company about the prospects for the development of the Odoo Enterprise professional platform with all the latest functionality in Ukraine (I’d like to remind that Odoo also has a basic free version, which is Odoo Community).
We want Odoo Enterprise in Ukraine to grow. Therefore, we talked about it with representatives of the core development company. We explained that the 1C market in Ukraine would be freed up gradually, and many current customers and 1C integrator companies were already looking for an alternative… And that factually, Odoo Enterprise had an opportunity to fill this market share and make a positive impact on the efficiency of thousands of Ukrainian companies.
In this context, being the CEO of a company developing Odoo-based products in Ukraine, it was essential for me to communicate two issues with representatives of the core Odoo team. The first is a high-quality Ukrainian interface localization, as the currently available one is incomplete and contains some mistakes. The second issue is the integration of the regulated accounting module for Ukraine, which we are developing, into Odoo Enterprise.
– Were you satisfied with the feedback?
– Yes, the position of the core development company regarding the development of Odoo Enterprise in Ukraine sounded quite optimistic. Among other things, colleagues reported that they were working on launching separate account management for Ukraine.
From our side, we initiated (and it has already been agreed) holding a series of webinars about Odoo Enterprise for companies that had so far developed the family of Russian 1C/BAS programs in Ukraine. By the way, the community of OSA Ukraine, together with the NGO ‘Odoo in UA’, with whom we jointly prepare webinars, have already been polling the Ukrainian market about issues of interest to them regarding Odoo. Market representatives can ask their questions for the webinar by following the link.
– What is your opinion of the announced changes in the Odoo ERP system itself?
– The platform definitely continues to be improved. That is obvious, and we, as Odoo providers in Ukraine, are very pleased with it.
Firstly, the system has strengthened again in the technical part. In particular, it provides an even faster response.
Secondly, the UI/UX has changed – entering data and saving updates have become even more convenient for users. Now, you don’t need to save each information change separately; it is done automatically, which significantly speeds up work with the interface.
A night theme of the interface and a series of other expected UI/UX changes have been launched.
Thirdly, the Knowledge module functionality, similar to the popular in business Confluence and Jira, has been presented. It is a system for storing company knowledge and project management. For us, this means that integrator companies, which will be involved in business software implementation in the future, can switch to Odoo safely and at a lower price. That’s cool for product development in Ukraine.
There are many important enhancements to existing functionality, but that’s a topic for a separate bespoke conversation.
– Does Odoo Enterprise have fundamental advantages over other Western ERP platforms that are also trying to become an alternative to Russian business software?
– Subjectively, I would first note the price – the announced new price policy of Odoo is as democratic and transparent as possible. Given the extreme conditions in which Ukrainian businesses have to work today, this is a precious advantage.
Although objectively, we understand: after the first impression of the price, the main thing for the user company is functionality, i.e., whether it can significantly improve the efficiency of the processes of the user company. And it’s fine in Odoo; the system does not lose to those large Western systems that follow the policy of high prices. After all, unlike startups that try to bring entirely new products to the market, Odoo has accumulated a deep understanding of business processes in companies of different types in different countries over two decades. And we see this experience perfectly realized in the product.
– Let’s dwell on the new price policy in more detail. What exactly is it now?
– The price policy has been significantly simplified – Odoo Enterprise has only three prices now.
The first package is free – for users who use only one of the Odoo Enterprise modules. Moreover, the number of users within one company is unlimited.
The second package is Standard. The number of modules is unlimited. For €11.90 per month, the user can use any modules from the powerful arsenal of Odoo Enterprise. As a result, the Standard package is the lowest price offer among ERP systems currently available on the Ukrainian market.
I think this package might, in perspective, become the most popular in Ukraine. In it, Odoo’s main focus is the needs of a client who wants to carry out a comprehensive digital transformation of their business processes and conduct the entire business in one system.
– Why, apart from the price, should Odoo Enterprise in the Standard package become the most demanded in Ukraine?
– There are several reasons for this…
Ukrainian business quite actively uses various digital systems. Moreover, over the years, each company has been collecting its individual mishmash of programs – sometimes not connected at all, and sometimes connected with the help of various ‘crutches’ individually ordered from integrator companies. All of these greatly complicate the information space for both company management and lower-level employees.
In addition, each of the used systems develops in its own way, so maintenance of even already-created integrations requires spending a lot of resources.
But in reality, most businesses only need to get the desirable, not the formalities. The principle is not a set of specific software but a set of their functionality. And Odoo Enterprise currently provides the maximal set of modules necessary for companies to automate processes. So, having been able to use any modules in the inexpensive Standard package, most companies objectively may no longer suffer from using and supporting the existing software mess from different developers.
– On the other hand, ‘most’ does not mean ‘all’. There will always be a business segment that will find it impossible to meet their needs with Odoo’s universal modules…
-– Yes, of course. And therefore, in addition to the Free and Standard packages, the new price model of Odoo Enterprise includes a third package – Custom. As the name suggests, this package emphasizes individual refinements. This price is also really democratic – €17.90 per month per user.
The company can use the Custom package if it needs to integrate Odoo ERP with many external systems. The Custom package perfectly suits the companies that cannot take advantage of the Odoo online infrastructure for any reason and needs to deploy the system on their own infrastructure.
The same – if it is essential to have a customized interface and if you need multi-company functionality (maintaining several companies in one system). The Custom package covers all these needs.
-– And what was your experience of networking with colleagues developing Odoo in other countries? Do you have any interesting findings from that communication?
– It was informative – communicating live during the three days of Odoo Experience 2022 with people developing the system in very diverse markets.
An important conclusion: the Odoo platform has reached a level of efficiency for clients, at which it began to be really appreciated by the most demanding businesses – North American and Western European. The number of users in the United States has doubled in a year! Europe is also growing a lot. It is pleasant that now Odoo considers the Ukrainian ERP market as one of the priority ones and is taking essential practical steps for successful promotion in our country. I am convinced that ERP systems based on this platform will soon seriously push Russian business software.
Photo: BJet, Odoo Experience 2022
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