Despite the contracting economy, open source ERP vendors are steaming full ahead, never looking back. In this news roundup, Openbravo attracts two new top leaders and Compiere reports strong growth for 2008 and wins a huge customer.
Openbravo announced two new senior management recruits. Jesper Balser, one of 3 Navision founders, joined Opnebravo as a board member. Balser co-founded Navision, a danish ERP solution for the SME market back in 1984. In 1992, Navision was acquired by Microsoft for about 1.5B US$, and the Navision solution was integrated into Microsoft Dynamics, the business management suite (Navision was later renamed Microsoft Dynamics NAV). Balser brings a huge amount of experience into the table, from building, to expanding and then selling a successful ERP for the SME market. It’s not clear yet if Balser also invested his own cash in the company.
A related Openbravo recruiting was announced a couple of days prior to the Balser announcement – Cees Poortman, a former managing director of Navision Netherlands and director for Microsoft Business Solutions, was appointed as VP of Global Commercial Operations. In his new role, Cees will be responsible for Openbravo’s ever growing partners network, as well as for Opnebravo subsidiaries.
As I wrote before, developing a strong partner network is the single most important aspect for open source ERP going mainstream and successfully competing with proprietary ERP. I’m still dreaming about an announcement from Accenture on delivering an open source ERP solution!
Compiere released several interesting growth related figures. As Compiere is a privately held company, we do not have official revenue figures, but growth is strong, despite contracting global economy. In Q4 2008, subscribers grew 116%, and partners 67%, compared to Q4 2007. Compiere also announced a deal with a huge customer, probably the largest open source ERP customer to date – french company La Post, a 27B US$ company. This is a great win for the entire open source ERP industry. The success of this project will be a key factor in the perception of open source ERP as an enterprise-grade solution. We look forward to hearing more good news on the project and on other large customers.