It was interesting to read the latest blog from Odoo in which they shared their journey since 2015 when they took the hurried decision to change their business model in order to turnaround its €500k losses per month. Odoo started to come away from its Open Source heritage and instead focus on developing and selling proprietary apps. They needed to increase their profit margins and the only way which Odoo could see to achieve this was to focus on their Enterprise applications.

In 2006, OpusVL were partners with Odoo, but their diminishing commitment to open source during the 2015 pivot meant we had no choice but to move away, despite being able to see the value of Odoo as a company.

However, in their latest blog, Odoo has now committed to 80% of their development being open source, and this is a step in the right direction. Odoo hase gone through the reverse of many companies’ journeys. Many have started as proprietary and explored open source, yet Odoo was open source and explored proprietary, and are now making their way back towards an open source business model.

The open source business model depends on innovation and optional value add services, focused around the customers who want to grow and develop. Odoo should be asking what else they can do for the customer, as this is what makes an open source business profitable. We do hope at some point that Odoo will have the confidence to go 100% open source.

A potential barrier to this is that investors may not yet understand how the business model works. Although this is changing with investors starting to understand - IBM has acquired Red Hat for £34bn:

Odoo community has great value to OpusVL. Our own projects have increased year on year in this time and we have been implementing many Open Source Odoo-based projects for our customers, as it is very feature rich.

Odoo S.A must be commended for their transparency and honesty and the return of their commitment to open source. They have now come up with a better balance and if Odoo are recognising the value of integrators, as well as enterprise resellers, we look forward to further engagement.

Posted by Tony Clarke on 05/04/2019