Day 2 plenary session was about Odoo's plans for the future, which I have detailed below. However, what I found interesting was that whilst product features were mentioned, the main focus for the coming year is more partner and market focused. This is definitely a sign of a tech company's maturity and probably a welcome relief for customers and partners who have had to deal with consequential demands of the rapid pace of development of Odoo.
2015-16 has been a good year for Odoo financially, which is good news for everyone. The division in the product to community and enterprise has been largely responsible for this. Often the move to divide an open source product like that can lead to forks in the repositories as various open-source advocates prefer to stick to the AGPL licence. However, Odoo have managed to keep the community onside as evidenced by the growth and excellent contributions from the Odoo Community Association (OCA). So it is good for everyone that Odoo has found a viable and profitable working model, because the community needs a strong Odoo and Odoo benefits from a strong community.
There has been a 52% growth across all revenues in the last 12 months. 50,000 new databases are being created each month making Odoo the most installed ERP type system in the world. There has been a 20% growth in community apps and there are now 4648 community modules.
The opinion of industry leaders with respect to enterprise applications user experience, as reported by Fabien, is: Mobility (Tim, Apple), Cloud (Larry, Oracle), Real-time analytics & cloud (SAP). To test this Odoo sent a questionnaire to their users and the results were:
15% Mobility (Tim, Apple)
9% Cloud (Larry, Oracle)
9% Realtime analytics & cloud (SAP)
67% Simple & Fast (Odoo)
So Odoo's focus is on making Odoo simple, fast and customer centric. "Simple" is easy to say but hard to achieve, however that is their goal.
Fabien also mentioned "cheap" (sic) but I would have said "good value". He indicated that in many ways this has already been achieved and indeed Odoo is a already a market disrupting product as it very price competitive, Odoo implementation are significantly less across all company sizes (see slide) and Odoo is a global company. He made an interesting comparison between the Odoo SaaS costs per month to supplying cups of coffee to your employees - I think we will use this one in our marketing!
Fabien then made the same announcements that Xavier did yesterday regarding the new knowledge base, e-learning and certification for partners - please refer to yesterday’s blog.
New training material will be available at http://training.odoo.com
For a complete list of Odoo V10 features please see here.
I next went to the session on the new help desk module, which looks quite comprehensive. This is to be expected since Odoo developed it for in-house use first, so unlike the new MRP module which has had limited real world exposure, the help desk module has been tried and tested. Here are some of the main features:
Multi channels for ticket creation - website forms, email alias, live chat, api, regular user/portal
Productivity - assign tickets automation, canned answers, automated mailings, SLA tracking
Customer satisfaction - automated close and follow-up survey.
Posting of best or common answers to knowledge base
Reports - info gathered automatically, graph views and kpi, can be shared with customers
Support teams - Dashboard for each team with stats and summary. Config for each team with own alias email addresses for communication
Live chat to help desk- eg "/helpdesk help" - creates a new ticket "help"
Tickets can be assigned randomly or balanced or manually
Tags used for ticket categorisation
Ticket type: question, issue, or user configurable types
Drill down button on ticket to all customer tickets
Automate action email when change stage - configurable by stage. E.g. asked for rating from customer
Canned responses definition
SLA configuration - defines response times for teams and ticket type and priority
Highlights of the remaining day were:
Full demonstration of the new Odoo studio building a reasonably complex module. This product looks like it is still a work in progress, which they will be improving incrementally over the coming months. However, in its current form it is quite functional.
A session with the author of the wonderful mis_builder module. This is a powerful GL report writer, which also allows creating of almost any financial KPI. Results can be viewed dynamically, printed, placed on a dashboard, or downloaded to excel. Although quite technical it is a must-have tool for larger companies. I had a chance to meet the author Stephane Bidoul from Ascone and congratulate him on his great work.
There was a session on the risks of large ERP implementations, which was very informative, however one of the slides made me laugh - its so true:
The final session was on a business requirements gathering module by Eric Claudal from Elico which we will definitely be trying out in the near future.
Lastly, and certainly not least, was the nomination of WilldooIT for APAC partner of the year award again – our 4th year in a row of which we have won 2. Unfortunately we did not win this year – that honour went to Elico from China.
So the end of day 2 and I am enthused by the direction Odoo is taking and the level of activity and enthusiasm by Odoo staff and the community. The future looks bright in the Odoo world!
--Jon Wilson 2016.10.07