Last week I wrote a post asking the Odoo community to try ERPNext and give their customers a choice, because
- ERPNext is a great tool
- Odoo is needs competition
My goal was that if ERPNext gets stronger, the community finally wins and Odoo will be forced to re-think its closed strategy.
Apparently, this message strong a strong emotional chord in the Odoo community.
If you are not aware, Odoo (the company) maintains the product and the forum but does not always act in the interest of the community, its stated goal is to be a billion dollar company and take out SAP (great for them!)
The Odoo community, people who believe in the Open Source / Free / Libre way of doing things and support the product as a community (like for example Linux) have their own organization, Odoo Community Association (OCA). OCA maintains their own quasi-fork (of fixes that is fully compatible with the main fork) and community modules that are fully open source and works to build alternatives for parts of Odoo that are closed.
Of the variety of responses I received to that message, including an angry PM from the founder Fabien, the most interesting was the invitation from the vice president of OCA Maxime Chambreuil to attend their board meeting which took place yesterday.
I was not sure what to expect. In one way we are competitors but in another way both of us believe in the community way of doing things, so I thought it might be good to at least know the people who are in the Odoo Community. To my surprise, I was greeted with great warmth and friendliness from the community. What followed was free wheeling 60 min chat on the community and ERPNext and Odoo and exploration of how we can work together.
It is hard to find something concrete to start with but all of us thought that both the communities can definitely share best practices and solutions to difficult problems. In that respect, members from the Odoo community are welcome to come and post queries here, and I hope you welcome them too! The Odoo community in return has welcomed queries on their mailing lists https://odoo-community.org/groups
If you look at the big picture, open source is still in its infancy in the ERP market and by helping each other we will only strengthen the industry. Even though we compete in the market, we hope to learn from one another in the race to build a better product and community.
So my message to the Odoo community is, we at ERPNext will of course do our best to win that race - (so there goes that challenge!) but we would be happy to help you build a better product too, so there is always strong competition.
May the better product win!