– the approach of having only what is absolutely necessary from a commercial point of view. This is something that MUST be the same across the board, since anything else would be at odds with every business or entrepreneurial rule. Everything else, such as the separation of procedures by giving each process a separate status, additional fields, calculations, buttons and elaboration of existing formulas, in other words, the creation of the individual tailored suit, is part of the implementation.
Since this requires much more effort, what then are the pros and cons?
A major disadvantage is, of course, that the risk to decide in favor of an implementation is quite high, after all, the customer hasn’t seen much, if anything as yet. Since such a decision is usually taken commercially, not technically, it seems risky, and nobody wants to put his/her job at stake. This risk is quite valid and will linger, undoubtedly and unequivocally.
In addition, it seems logical that the effort now will be a big one, and the effort for introducing future versions will be just as great. Consequently, the project’s duration now will be very long and the total operating costs will be correspondingly high.
Interestingly enough, this is not the case. Since there are fewer dependencies within the system, fewer dependencies have to be taken into account. Moreover, at the moment everything is based on current and new technologies and, particularly, on a core that has been kept up-to-date. In other words, the required adjustments may be implemented comparatively quickly and easily. As a consequence, project periods are actually shorter and budgets lower. According to the Open Source motto “make it small, but make it efficient”, Odoo as a provider is capable of developing rapidly. This becomes obvious, if you google TinyERP 4.2, OpenERP 6.0or Odoo 11and compare the screens displayed. Whereas one had to work with a bulky, local client six years ago, a year later there was already a webfront end. Four years ago, there was only a webfront and for the past three years we have a new responsive and intuitive webfront end. Four years ago, only small and medium-sized companies considered Odoo as a solution, today the customer base also includes authorities and corporations.
So, what are the actual cons?
One actual con are the many questions that are asked during an introduction, since, as I already mentioned, the software only allows a certain tolerance taken into account at the very beginning. It is not sufficient to say, something is green, you have to describe exactly, which kind of green. Of course, this is also true to a certain extent for Option 1, but only to define the configuration or to protect the implementer. For Odoo, it takes a whole session just for definitions.
Another disadvantage, of course, is – make no mistake about it – the resulting dependence on the person or company who will set up the system, on his/their knowledge and expertise. If something goes wrong, all adjustment may be in your own hands, but a number of questions have to be asked and answered anew.
However, the following applies to both options:
The essential factor for the long-term design and implementation of a stable and upgradeable system lies in the understanding of all processes and in the ability to align them correctly with the existing components.
In the 3rd part of this blog series, I will go into further details and show, which building blocks are necessary for a project. In addition, I will define the general trend during implementation and where the actual cost drivers are.