Entries by Holle Nester

Intuitiveness

It is, of course, open for discussion whether or not you think that purple is a pleasant color or whether the combination of purple and green is appealing. But however you feel about Odoo’s color scheme, anyone who has ever worked with Odoo or seen it has noticed the system’s intuitiveness and how quickly you can find your way around it.

The secret of Odoo’s intuitiveness

Odoo is an ERP system. ERP systems are designed to map complicated processes for planning and analytic purposes. Essentially, complexity and intuitiveness have the same contrary relationship as security and user-friendliness. As soon as you start working with the software, you will quickly realize that even Odoo cannot change much about this basic fact. The devil lies in the details, after all, and in Odoo, there are some hidden fields and interdependencies you need to know. However, if you compare Odoo to the many other systems, the software designers have ensured that there is only a consistent minimum of fields and functions. And it is precisely this minimalism that makes the Odoo interfaces neat and easily manageable, supporting the impression of a straightforward and intuitive system.

Walled in

Anyone getting involved with classic software systems should be aware of the risks involved. These include:

1) Right of use

The most significant risk is probably the right of use of many mainstream services, further exacerbated by the dismantling of local infrastructures in favor of cloud solutions. This has naturally attracted many manufacturers to make their systems available as cloud solutions. The risk of in-house operation has transferred to the manufacturer, who – after all – should know his system best and should be able to operate it more securely. Moreover, this solution has the added advantage that there is no need to finance a license package. Instead, the user may switch to a subscription model usually associated with such a license deal, which is also – if looked at by month – much cheaper.

Data Quality

We have already touched on this subject in our last blog. In this entry, we would like to discuss it in more detail.

If you add up our collective IT experience, you will probably get a result of several hundred years, maybe even a whole millennium. During all this time, in all our discussions, one topic was always sure to pop up: Data – and not because data are a classic!

What makes Odoo different?

Although we have covered many of the differences between Odoo and other systems in previous blog articles, there are a few essential features where Odoo uses a novel approach. That is sufficient reason to highlight some of these features. In some cases, these elements even replace classic functions, and you may not immediately find specific functions in Odoo simply because they look looks unfamiliar. In other instances, Odoo uses approaches that are fundamentally different. In this blog, I would like to concentrate on Integrated Communication and different View Types of a process, and the option to flexibly combine Groups and Filters.

What you need to know about the Import / Export features in Odoo

I have to admit that I needed time to get used to working with these features, but it did not take as long as I expected. With a little knowledge of Excel and the Import/Export function, you can do pretty much anything. If you are still on the look-out for mass-update modules, you have obviously never worked with these features either, because, in combination with Excel, you have a real winning team!

Odoo is able to save a vast amount of data. Consequently, the field lists are incredibly long. Since none of the data are saved redundantly but are interlinked, a lot of information is distributed to sub-records. But there is almost unlimited access to both import and export – which does not shorten the field lists though.

But with a few little tips on handling (which we want to share in the course of this blog), the underbrush will clear up rapidly.

A short How-to regarding the change of value-added tax rates in Odoo

The VAT rate decrease has been announced. Currently, are probably a lot of newsletters and other information on how to implement this change in Odoo. First of all, however, we would like to point out that it is difficult, if not impossible, to find a “one size fits all” solution. After all, the type of adaption very much depends on the individual set up. Connections and links have to be considered, price calculation, and, of course, the effect on online shops or POS systems.

We are currently reviewing all our set-ups to discuss the ideal implementation and the necessary steps within the relevant parameters. This clearly shows that there is no such thing as THE standard solution or THE best way for this task. Nevertheless, we can distinguish two basic approaches to tackling this requirement that are feasible almost independently of the individual Odoo versions.

People first, machines second

It is hard to tell whether it is the fault of Odoo or the policy of the respective partner. Perhaps it is just one’s personal view on one’s own development or a reflection of what all the projects have in common when you take them over. Maybe it has to do with the fact that, when you receive them, some of the requests or specifications already contain precise functional descriptions. Or maybe it is only a question of a partner’s maturity once he gets involved.

We are quite familiar with this kind of approach from past experience. Quite often, decision-making bodies are present during the workshops, either discussing supposedly missing functions or planning processes and their optimization at the very beginning of an implementation. One of the reasons for these discussions is that the clients are familiar with the processes of the previous system that they regard as the “standard” and are now looking for a new and better “previous system” that covers the standard in the well-known way.[1] Consequently, they now face a situation where implementations, if successful, are more than a little bumpy, consume a lot of support for „remedies“ and, in retrospect, are very difficult to scale.

[1] In a previous blog, we have already discussed our views regarding the definition of the term „standard“, what it is and what it is not.

What makes IT tick – or an answer to the question of why less is more

The comparison may be valid or not, but it is a sad fact that people seem to compare Odoo and Microsoft Navision all the time. There is always at least one Navision partner in each bidding round of a tender.

In conversations, someone is bound to point out that „the other systems appear much more sophisticated when you look them in detail.” Much the same happens when we are processing or answering questionnaires or tenders that only inquire after a software’s features. Naturally, it is possible to replicate many of these functions, but they are simply not part of the Odoo Standard. The answer to the question of whether they are available, therefore, is a definite “no.”

Our recurring argument is that, in the long run, the software will be more cost-efficient and will offer more security since the Standard is the responsibility of the manufacturer. Thus, all risks of the implementation are already included in the license fee.