Thursday, December 17, 2009

Open ERP Outlook plugin

A new plugin is now released and here is the link. I tried to install it unfortunately it does not work... and I could not find a way to save the settings.

So no major progress on that one.

Also, Axelor again annouces its Word plugin but no spec, download or price.

Plenty of good ideas there but...

Spring 3.0.0 is out !

Spring released its latest major release: 3.0.0.

The new features are there :

I have been quickly trough the list, at this stage it is hard for me to say that it is going to change my life as 2.xx did. But for sure I will spend some time looking at these new features.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Open ERP - training company project - end of pre-study

Yesterday I sent the result of our pre-analysis for this Open ERP project for a training/coaching/consulting company.

As I expected, training management is not an issue. The organization of the courses catalog and the subscription facility are quite good and I expect a lot of small companies to be able to manage their activities with this module.

Still the project requires a lot of modifications. I expected some of these but not so much.

So of course the budget is high (compared to the first expected figures). Will the customer sign for this ?

I Don't know.

One problem with Open-Source is that a lot of people think that every thing will then be cheap by nature.

So here is a summary of points that need to be addressed:

  • Sales commission / revenue recognition / performance management.
  • HR data, contract management (exists but too basic), competency management. Absence management (again it exists but it is too basic).
  • Multi-company. Open EPR is multi-company but implicitly. Here in an international context, the customer would like to be able to explicitly choose the company it will send invoices from.
  • More flexible invoicing. In clear a project will require multiple invoices with different sources and destinations.
  • International handling: internal invoices generation.
  • Intermediate accounting movement. Because they are used to request their customers to pay in advance, they need to write in their books 'deferred income' to indicates that they a have debt to perform some services.
  • Calendar management. The system need to be able to summarize the availability of multiple resources.
  • Time-sheets screens need to be enhanced.
  • Document management security need to be enhanced.
  • For accounting, the fact is that Open ERP has a lot of international features but does not in standard have all the output to provide legal statements in all the countries covered by my customer. So the solution would be to sync with an external accounting package.
These points are workable, but represent a serious budget. Are they acceptable? The latest point for accounting may be seen as an issue because one of the key result point of the project is the integration between their financial and their commercial systems.

On the pros side, the customer will get what is needed functionally and will then use a standard platform instead of a proprietary solution. They will have new functionalities and potentially will be later able to leverage more Open ERP standard modules - like stock management, direct mailing etc.

On the cons, they will have to train again their users and probably adopt new ways of working. Also globally the Open ERP interface is not necessary more user-friendly than what they are used to.

Next meeting with the customer is within two weeks...