The Spanish company is entering the U.S. market with Web-based software to help smaller companies make use of an enterprise resource planning system that reduces implementation time and provides long-term flexibility.
Version 3 of Openbravo’s Web-based platform includes an overhauled user interface and “workspaces” — which the company compares with iGoogle and Netvibes — that integrate data from sources such as CRM, content management, and business intelligence systems. The company is also pushing its philosophy of “agile ERP,” in hopes of striking of chord with SMBs looking for fast deployments that they can build upon over time, rather than an all-in, long-term project.
While the acronym alone might cause some owners and managers — especially of smaller firms — to break out in cold sweats, part of Openbravo’s mission is to alleviate the anxiety often induced by ERP implementations, not to mention ongoing updates to adapt to changes in the business. The company’s founders and key staff include alumni of companies like SAP, Peoplesoft, and other big names.
CEO Paolo Juvara is a 14-year veteran of Oracle. He said Openbravo’s team came together with the shared belief that the ERP business is “broken. Customers in general are not very happy with their ERP implementations and with their ERP vendors, and the adoption rates are very low — especially among [SMBs],” Juvara said in an interview. “When companies look at an ERP project, they always look at it with fear.”
Juvara added that the fear is caused by budget overruns, bloated project timelines, and — once the software is in place — complex, inflexible systems that don’t keep up when the organization grows and adapts to market conditions.