Thursday, November 8, 2007

Does Openbravo deserve to be on the Wikipedia?

In case you didn't notice, Openbravo does not have an entry in the English edition of the Wikipedia, the fine community driven encyclopedia.

For some reason, the word Openbravo has been "blacklisted" and any attempt to create an entry about Openbravo gets automatically deleted.

The Wikipedia relies on a complex set of rules and policies which are enforced by the voluntary editors who are responsible for the quality of the site. Thanks to them, the Wikipedia remains an objective and dependable source of information. However, the "politics" in the application of these rules are, in many occasions, difficult to understand to an outsider. At least, this is my case.

I have opened a thread of discussion about the inclusion of Openbravo at
the talk page of a comparison of accounting software article. I have also requested it at the technology's requested articles page.

I would like to request the help of those of you knowledgeable about the inner workings of Wikipedia's community. If you believe Openbravo deserves an entry in the Wikipedia, can you show your favorable opinion in that threat? Can you help getting Openbravo out of the blacklist?

I know this is an argument Wikipedia editors accept, but I cannot understand why other fellow open source project are there and we are banned?


Thursday, October 25, 2007

See you at the first international Openbravo community event

Openbravo Get Together banner
There is no doubt that Openbravo's community is growing very fast. The strength of the product -which has been in production since 2001-, and a truly open company vision, which places the community at the core of everything we do (from development and testing to documentation) is no doubt helping.

Born on April 19th, 2006 (the date when Openbravo's code was first was published in SourceForge) the following indicators clearly show Openbravo's community has enjoyed a remarkable activity:

  • More than 350,000 accumulated downloads (today we have more than 1,000 average downloads a day)
  • 1,400 bugs reported
  • 41 registered localization projects
  • 7,500 messages in 11 forums, with
  • 172 individuals participating every month (17 are Openbravo employees)
  • 67 registered developers in (31 are Openbravo employees)
  • 933 registered in the wiki (30 are Openbravo employees)
Right now I am getting the final confirmed attendants in our first international community gathering in Barcelona: the so called Openbravo Get Together and they look great! We have confirmed the attendance of almost 200 participants coming from 31 different countries representing all continents.

We will cover several topics, including business and technical aspects. We also will show case one of the first tangible results of the Open Solutions Alliance: the Common Customer View project's single sign-on.

For all of you attending ... THANK YOU and a WARM WELCOME TO BARCELONA! I don't have any doubts that you will enjoy the event and will help bring Openbravo's community one step forward.

For those that you can not attend, don't be sad: we will post the different presentations and summaries of the different sessions.

This is only the beginning!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Green Openbravo becomes Red Hot

Today we have received the official confirmation that Openbravo is a winner for the acclaimed Red Herring 100 Europe 2007 award. The prize recognizes the 100 most promising start-ups driving the future of technology.

We are obviously very honoured to receive such an award, together with a host of very talented entrepreneurs. Our friends at BitRock for example are also on the list.

Starting up an ambitious company is not an easy task, and is obviously plaged with many doubts and uncertainties. This is the kind of thrill that makes the journey wortwhile but you certainly need, from time to time, that indepedent judges tell you are on the right track.

Receiving this prize is clearly a positive feedback for all the team at Openbravo and a good tribute to the hard work we are putting to achieve our goal of transforming the dynamics (sorry Microsoft, no pun intended) of enterprise software.

Let's hope this is only the beginning!

Friday, March 16, 2007

SAP's carpet

Today I am in Hannover, where Openbravo is participating in the largest European tradeshow, CeBIT.

The show is breathtaking for its gigantic size. There are 25 halls dedicated to IT categories such as telecommunications equipment, consumer electronics, solutions for financial services or the public administration. More than 6,000 companies are exhibiting there. The largest area is dedicated to Enterprise Software and spans across 8 halls.

SAP has deployed a flabbergasting booth (jumbo booth I should call it), which occupies almost half a pavilion. The infrastructure is a tribute to the sheer power of the company, and must have required a millionaire budget to set up. Even the carpet of the whole area has been specially manufactured to sport the SAP logo on it!

Ultimately, these marketing dollars all come from the bills paid by SAP's customers. This brings me to the point I wanted to make in this post: Can a different business model enable a more efficient use of those resources? Proprietary licensed software benefits from large economies of scale that require tremendous marketing effort. Open Source, on the contrary, focuses on development and leaves marketing mainly to the positive word of mouth derived from a good product.

No matter how successful Openbravo becomes, I don't think it will ever have a customized rug. On the other hand, I don't believe Openbravo will need one to convince its customers about the quality of its product...

Thursday, February 1, 2007

LinuxWorld Open Solutions Summit

In a couple of weeks I will participate in a roundtable on the next edition of the LinuxWorld which will be held in New York, NY. This time the event is dubbed Open Solutions Linux.

The rountable will be the official presentation of the Open Solutions Alliance and will be moderated by Collabnet's Founder and CTO, Brian Behlendorf. I will be sharing the panel with executives from participating alliance member companies, including:
- Kim Polese, CEO, SpikeSource
- Tom Manos, CTO, Centric CRM
- Javier Soltero, CEO, Hyperic
- Barry Klawans, CTO, JasperSoft
- William Soward, CEO, Adaptive Planning
- Andy Astor, President & CEO, EnterpriseDB Corp.

I would love to see you there. This is Thursday, February the 15th at 10:15 am. You can find the details for the session, at "Open Solutions AllianceForms to Promote Interoperability Between Open Source Solutions"

Sunday, January 28, 2007

To Share or Not To Share

Last Friday I had the pleasure to participate in a roundtable to discuss about “Ideas, Enterprises and Open Knowledge”. The roundtable was part of the Powerful Ideas Summit (see my previous post).

John Perry Barlow at Powerful Ideas SummitA number of powerful ideas (honoring the name of the event) were put forward, but I would like to single out here one of the thesis of John Perry Barlow (a real character and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) about the benefits of sharing.

He talked about the dynamics of intellectual property as opposed to physical property, and highlighted an interesting difference. Whereas with physical goods, its value increases with the scarcity, with intellectual property exactly the opposite happens. The value of an idea increases with its diffusion. Obviously there are many businesses based on owning ideas (call it licenses, patents or copyrights). And very profitable businesses indeed: software and pharmaceutical companies among them. However, these businesses are still successful because their ideas have reached a wide dissemination: Windows and Office for Microsoft or Aspirin for Bayer to name a couple of examples

In my keynote, titled “Building Global Open Source Enterprises” I also presented a similar argument: “Sharing your assets, strengthens your business”. This is a counterintuitive argument to many, but I can tell you that every day I see more tangible evidence that the statement is true. What other, more powerful, mechanisms exist to spread an idea than freely sharing it (with the help of the Internet, I might add)?

For me, being an entrepreneur who is trying to build a successful business following this concept, the beauty of it is that sharing is not an attitude easily replicated by your competitors. Many businessmen are not prepared (or even afraid) to embrace this concept, or they don’t know how to do it (Should I share all or just a part of my knowledge? What tools should I use to ensure that sharing is an activity that works both ways in and out of the company?)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Powerful Ideas Summit

Powerful Ideas SummitNext Friday 26th I have been invited to participate on the Powerful Ideas Summit. The event has been beautifuly organized under the direction of Adolfo Plasencia by the University and Science Department of the Generalitat Valenciana and the Valencian Institute of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (IMPIVA).

The objectives of the summit are the following:

This Meeting has as a main objective to be a meeting point for sharing different visions, expertise, best practices, ways to see and do things differently in the world, joined by a common interest that cannot be given for granted: that of imaginative creative intelligence that boosts business creation, and which will be the shearest measure of its liveliness and high standard on a long and short term basis, as well as one of the most significant data for its future configuration.

In a keynote speech I will talk about Openbravo's experience delivering an open source application to small and midsize enterprises worldwide. Later I will also join a very promising round table to discuss about open source business models with:
- John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Juan Tomas García, blogger and MonoLabs founder and CEO
- Alfredo Romeo, founder and CEO
- Julio Yuste Tosina, Vivernet managing director and creator of LinexEmpresas
- Juan Reig, President of the Malaga's Open Source World Conference
There are also a number of high profile participants, who will account for a very interesting gathering of ideas. I really look forward to positive energy that this type of events generate. I will keep you posted with my conclusions.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Community built slideshows

Hafed Benteftifa at blidainfo has created a handful slideshows to describe some of the basic operations with Openbravo. He has made them available to the community and posted them in (see

Topics currently covered include:
- Creating a new vendor invoice document
- Creating a new material receipt
- Creating a new purchase order
- Creating a new sales invoice document
- Creating a new sales order document
- Creating a new shipment document

The slides are really good, and frankly pretty useful. Again, yet another example of the nice things that happen when you share your software with the community. :-)

Hello world

I have to recognize keeping a blog updated will be a very important effort for me. I hate writting, and I have a ton of things on my to do list. However, I thing spreading the word (or evagelizing, using an out of favor word) is an important task.
I hope I can use this space to share my thoughts with you and, most importantly, be able to get your feedback firsthand. Please, feel free to comment my posts.
Anyway, here we go. Let's see what happens...