OpenERP Offers ERP in the Cloud

Paul Ferrill

Updated · Jan 20, 2011

OpenERP has released the latest version of its open source ERP software, and the company is also offering a SaaS version for $39 a month per user.

Version 6 of OpenERP offers a wide range of business applications — CRM, purchasing management, manufacturing, warehouse management, project management, accounting and human resources — and the company offers open source community and paying users the same software.

The open source community contributed more than 800 suggestions, enhancements and fixes to the software after it was made available as a release candidate, and innovations from the OpenERP community played a key role in version 6 throughout its development.

Paying customers for the onsite version get features like security and migration support for $3800 a year for 25 users, while online customers pay $39 a month for the hosted service.

OpenERP COO Marc Laporte said the company’s goal is ERP software that is easy to use and implement.

“One thing we really work hard on is making the software easy to use,” Laporte told eCRM Guide. “When it comes to ERP solutions, this is a real challenge.”

OpenERP’s target market is companies with 50 to 500 employees, a market that Laporte said big names like SAP and Microsoft Dynamics haven’t had much success in. OpenERP also boats some larger companies in telecom, retail and e-commerce.

Laporte said customers can start an ERP project and see the benefits in a few months. “You don’t have to change all your processes at once,” he said. ‘You can go a piece at a time.”

The company and community have also worked to approve usability. Laporte said users can find information in just a few clicks, improving software acceptance, and the software also gets a new user interface.

Navigation has also been simplified, and each OpenERP application allows a user to perform a complete process while remaining in a single application. For instance, a purchasing manager can create a new supplier, send an order form, check the receipt of the materials and validate the supplier’s bill in a single application.

Other new features include marketing campaign management, talent acquisition and manufacturing scrap management.

Asked if the software offers business intelligenceand analytics capabilities, Laporte said users frequently add open source business intelligence offerings like Jaspersoft and Pentaho, and OpenERP’s search views can also be used for analytical capabilities.

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Paul Ferrill
Paul Ferrill

Paul Ferrill has been writing for over 15 years about computers and network technology. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering as well as a MS in Electrical Engineering. He is a regular contributor to the computer trade press. He has a specialization in complex data analysis and storage. He has written hundreds of articles and two books for various outlets over the years. His articles have appeared in Enterprise Apps Today and InfoWorld, Network World, PC Magazine, Forbes, and many other publications.