Hi Odooer , I recently read about the Is Odoo really SAP/Oracle Killer? , been following Odoo since  2006 at the time of tinyERP , i have some thoughts , my response are as follow ,

1) Odoo is not Business Solution. It is Business Framework.

Agreed some how , but i do think that Odoo is a solution, in fact a very flexible and good solution, but “not” off-the-sheft solution, instead it is an proper ERP solution, it is still cannot look simple even when Odoo is trying to hide it’s complexity, it does improve , because of the underlying ERP workflow nature, where all modules are integrated , so GIGO  ,Garbage In, Garbage Out principle apply , a lot of SME , when they come on board , they are having some difficulty to adapt their existing flexibility in excel files or business processes into ERP workflow , of course it also depending on so many factors to get the data to be correct . Most SME are experiencing culture shock of ERP !

However i do think Odoo is an ERP solutions but not off-the-shelf simple non customizable solutions.

2) Consequence of the previous point is that Odoo is very good product in terms of available set of functions/features (SAP and Oracle, BTW, has much more). Also Odoo is good in easy customizations (SAP/Oracle not so easy, but in most cases not needed). But Odoo is not good in closing end-to-end business processes (SAP/Oracle does). 

When you are buying Odoo – you are purchasing a LEGO box. And you need to put serious effort to put “bricks” together to make the same picture that is drawn on the box =) 

Yes , it is a LEGO box and to build it to something that is ready for business , it need someone who is good at Odoo workflow , structure and it’s framework, not just any python developer. Now it also need to have javascripts, CSS competency in order to customize UI or for community version to at least have a good command of HTML and XML , who know how to use XPATH for customization of the reports which most of the users from Odoo community is commonly complaining . Still python coding for the logic for the report is a MUST ,we never really try out Enterprise , i think this truth stay the same even in Enterprise version of Odoo !

But again – this is just fact that needs to be accepted. All customers want Odoo to close 100% of their needs and want to have fully automated solution. But reality is that in some cases for them it is OK to have partially ready solution, but that is always long discussion with customer and integrator’s business analysts. 

Agreed and i wander when will our local SME be able to see the value  of paying for cost of performing the Gap analysis and understand a fixed price project can only be determined when we have a blue print of the whole business process map to the business workflow ?  When it comes to software development cycle , the develop, testing , training , deploying , feedback iteration loop which resources in our time /cost are usually challenging to include into the project.  This generally  make the SME feel that cost is unacceptable. 

3) As a consequence of the previous point – Odoo is 80% ready solution. In every place and in every module. That means that where you need it to be 100% perfect (aka fill left 20%), according to the “Pareto principle”, you have to spend 80% budget (time/money). This is both for Enterprise and Community. 

So will the 80% of cost to implement the 20% of gaps in Odoo for every SME be able to be lower ? (please take note that Odoo own onboarding fee is charing thousands of EURO per session ) Not forgetting that Odoo is upgrading every year ,v12 , and now at my point of writing , v13 is going to come out the next few month, is this going to be business friendly ? Take for example , like Ubuntu , they have LTS , Centos is a branch of the idea of LTS for Redhat Enterprise Linux ,  to implement ERP , must take the route of methodology of ERP implementation NOT the route of off-the-sheft software which usually do not take more than a week to roll out . if we choose to implement ERP like any off-the-shelf system it will simply not going to work out ! 

To be honest  , the challenge for my case with years to assist local SME in their Odoo implementation, they generally are overly but also genuinely cost conscious vs over our cost in implementing Odoo , especially helping them to fully close 100% of their gaps in the default Odoo’s features , my personal view regarding about slow acceptance in my region , like we  been the first partner around this region , including Indonesia and Singapore, whereas those countries have grown to have more than 10 partners and Malaysia still struggle to even break through 10 partners, here is my thoughts , do explain some difficulties that is hard to be included as part of the implementation cost for client , they are as follow ,

1. Culture & Infrastructure  , other part of the world , such as bigger cities or US or western Market , are generally having a pretty good infrastructure , in my country , can u imagine that at my home , i am still using 4mbps , yes  “four” mbps , not to mentioned a lot of factories that is out of good connectivity and have to resolve to “on premise” for their Odoo system , there is not an issue to install on site , but the cost to develop on site, site travelling , to maintain it on site and  do a proper remote support or training is difficult and usually is higher cost on the developer end , 

i think our local SME culture here by referring to the Pareto principle are been treated as “since Odoo is FREE, open source,so cost of implementation for the missing 20%, should be 20% and expecting the other 60% should be free of charge (20%+60% is 80%), so ERP solution providers should be covering the 60% cost,  it needs to be free or low training cost , free or low cost to maintain the quality of the customized modules, can’t charge overtime cost and expect to deliver task quickly etc” it is definitely not widely acceptable that ,we will get pay for the extra works or scope of works changes when the user requirements evolved during the implementations. In one way we will try to give and take , in another way , we as developer will struggle where our work on time spent is not been paid for or justified.

2. Political or government statutory stability , another things about local is our government policies keep changing , for example our GST , good & services tax , which we have spent a lot of time to develop ,to get even certified but it only get implemented not more than 3 years and completely been replaced by another TAX system , SST, sales and services TAX , when the changes of the tax system , it allow business to generally to have a more flexible distributed system , as such they can use one for stock , one for accounting , one for point of sales , all running separately . this actually change the landscape of the software expectation by the SME too , now SME have more choices to run some simpler app , even they have to key in seperately or duplicate their entry ,SME are ready and prepare  to go for anything that is cheaper or can lower their cost operation. 

3. Education & training , people over this region are still in the transition phase , where they are still struggling to understand what can Cloud solutions offer in terms of advantges for thier daily operations and most are doubting Cloud solutions is safe to even use it ,the SME generally feel more secure to keep their own data in their office or offline server, and they may have been using a simple accounting system that they do not require to understand Double entry and will have problem to even create proper accounting journal entries ,the local simple accounting system is pretty user friendly that is able to help them to achieve most of their works, say 80% 🙂  , so the 20% of their pain points is coming from when they are growing. It is important to get SME to have knowledge to realise that the 20% of the pain point is the stumbling block of their FUTURE 80% grow in their business and to be able to compete in the global knowledge economy.  They will need to invest in good , flexible system to manage thier business operation like Odoo / SAP or any ERP solutions, this  is especially true to those that have multi-locations , employees need to go on fields/sites , in order to cut down cost and increase productivity , which result in increase their profitability.

At the end of day , every business seek ways to grow and to be profitable. So whether SAP or Odoo , if any application can help to grow their business and be able to clearly calculate the ROI ,I am very sure that be it Odoo or SAP , SME will see it is still worth investing in it. For us ERP consultants or developers ,before our market reach maturity ,we will then need to cope with our local transitions and be wise to decide what is best for us, most important is finding our own market position.

I learned one thing about ERP implementation , it is definetly not wise if we are going to trade our competency and experiences by lowering our cost beyond our bottom line both in our cost and quality of our services.

we need to find out “BLUE OCEAN”. We still odooing and preparing something for our local and international SME . stay tune , Cheers !