In the beginning was the… OpenERP

Odoo is a fully-functional ERP system. Core is an open source under LGPLv3. This is a high-performance system that works really great for particular types of companies. The new v9 brings a lot of changes. Let’s sort out whose version should we select.

ERP packages blossomed in the nineties to replace a set of custom-built software in big servers or mainframe. Now we see that companies are willing to move away from a set of disparate application packages covering various parts of their business. Just like running your operations with multiple software was tedious in the nineties, having multiple packages to run your sales channels, your marketing and your operations is now a major blocking point. We have the right solution to address that issue.

Odoo v6, 7, and 8 had no technical or functional difference between Community and Enterprise versions. Openerp SA was selling support and migration services only with Enterprise contract. That, however, has changed with v9.

Odoo SA (Openerp SA previously), a commercial organization, has developed a specific approach for monetizing software. Some additional functionality and services are available in the Enterprise package only. Core is absolutely the same in both versions. The whole proposition can be understood as illustrated below:

StackOdooCommunity&OdooEnterprise


The whole database and back-end applications, without limitations, are in Odoo Community


  • Basic Functionality is in Odoo Community

  • + (additionally) Migration to the next version by Odoo SA engineers is in Odoo Enterprise

  • + (additionally) Several Functionalities are in Odoo Enterprise

  • + (additionally) Support of the non-customized Odoo Enterprise by Odoo SA Engineers

  • + (you can install any moment) Apps from Odoo Store


This approach is not a surprise in open source world. Similar schemes can be found in Alfresco and Pentaho, for example.

High-level comparison: Odoo Community vs Odoo Enterprise

ERP is a multilayer system. Technically, Odoo Enterprise is Odoo Community + Additional Functional Modules. But these modules play a big game. Does it mean that the main difference between the two versions is just a few paid apps? All layer differences are covered below.

 

List of layers

 

Layer Community v9 Enterprise v9
Required hardware from 2 CPU / 2 RAM from 2 CPU / 2 RAM
Scalability The same load balancing The same load balancing
Flexibility The same modular architecture The same modular architecture
Community and Store Apps Can install any module Can install any module
Enterprise Apps Not available Included in the package
Localizations The same localizations The same localizations
Out-of-the-box* Requires more customization Includes nice UI and more functionality
Access Rights The same configuration The same configuration
UI Standard interface Nice and fast navigation
Support and Upgrades Not included Included by vendor
Price No license costs 20 EUR / user / month

 
 

Hardware

 

The same hardware is needed for both versions.

Odoo is an undemanding system. For 5-employee companies, a 2 CPU 2 RAM server would be enough, raising to 4 CPU 8 RAM for 20 employees. We would recommend splitting application and database servers for 90 employees. Load balancing (LB) of application server would be needed for a company of 250+ employees.


We would recommend splitting application and database servers for 90 employees. Load balancing (LB) of application server would be needed for a company of 250+ employees.

 

Scalability

 

Following the Hardware abstract, Odoo can be scaled up for companies of almost any size. We did it for 2k+ and global companies with huge geographical distribution. Proper infrastructure provider selection, applications load balancing and database replication can do magic with this open source ERP.

 

Flexibility

 

It is the most scalable business application in the world for two good reasons:

1. Open source
2. Modular structure: All functions can be customized via modules and database configuration.

If your company changes fast and experiments with processes, then Odoo should fit perfectly well.

 

Community and Enterprise Apps

 

There are free (~90%) and paid (~10%) applications (modules) in the Odoo App store. Odoo Enterprise already includes additional unique modules that will move the ERP experience to the next level.


Based on our analysis of implemented projects, we can conclude that Odoo covers Sales, Project and Warehouse Management processes pretty well. Also, specific changes in Finance module makes accounting management intuitive, if we can say it that way. All these makes Enterprise version a good choice for companies where sales and services are the key processes.

Odoo Modules Community Version Enterprise Version (Community+)
Finance ManagementAccount Payable

Account Receivable

General Ledger

Bank Statement Reconciliation

Dynamic accounting reports

Bank Interface US / NZ / Canada
Sync your bank feeds automatically*

Plaid Connector
(get bank statements from your bank and import them through plaid.com)

Import bank statement in .qif files and .ofx formats

SEPA payments
(register your payments using “Single Euro Payments Area”)

Payment follow-up management
(automate emails for unpaid invoices)

Batch deposit
(group received checks before you deposit them to the bank)

Project ManagementProjects

Tasks

Issues

Timesheets

Customer Portal

Forecasts
(Tasks multi-planning and Gantt charts similar to MS Projects)

Timesheet app for Chrome/Android/iOS

Sales and CRMCRM

Sales Management

Address Book

Pricelists

VoIP (Asterisk) integration

Digital signature

Customer portal
(enable customer portal to track orders; delivery and invoices)

Sell digital products
(provide downloadable content on your customer portal)

Send documents by regular post
(using docs away service)

Manage subscriptions and recurring invoicing

Human Resources ManagementEmployee Directory

Expenses

Vacations

Recruitments

Mobile app to track time activities
(offline tracking mode)

Appraisals
(periodical employee evaluation)

Departments dashboard
(high-level overview)

Inventory and Supply Chain ManagementInventory Management

MRP

Purchase Management

Barcode scanner support
(connect barcode scanner to the system)

Shipping Connectors
(UPS / Fedex / DHL / USPS / Temando)

Multi-company flows
(transactions between several holding companies)

Website and E-commerceWebsite Builder
(Full eCommerce)

Blogs

Presentations

eBay connector

Form builder
(create and customize forms)

A/B testing and versioning

Amazon Connector
(coming soon)

Point of SalePoint of Sale
(offline mode)
POS Restaurants Loyalty cards
(loyalty program with points and rewards for customers)
MarketingEvents

Expenses

Email Marketing

Live Chat

Lead Scoring
(Lead automation. Adding weight to each potential customer)

Email Marketing Templates



*View supported banks – https://www.odoo.com/page/accounting-features

Let’s highlight the most significant features from the Enterprise version.

 

Multi-company internal flows

 

This module allows chaining transactions between several holding companies. For example, it allows you to have a Sale Order created automatically when a Purchase Order is validated with another company of the system as vendor, and inversely. SO, PO and invoices/refunds are supported at this moment.

 

Dynamic Reports

 

Odoo Dynamic Reports

This feature allows to generate all main accounting reports (P&L, BS, Trial Balance and etc.) on the fly. Also, after preview, it can be exported to Excel with a click.

 

Follow-up payment management

 

Odoo Payment followup

This module automates emails/letters for unpaid invoices, with multi-level recalls based on specific rules.

 

Manage subscriptions and recurring invoicing

 

Odoo subscriptions and recurring invoicing

You can create and edit any subscription, modify one with sales orders, and generate invoice automatically at fixed intervals.

 

Forecasts: Multi-tasks planning and Gantt charts

 

Odoo Gantt Charts

Understand it as MS Project built-in into ERP now. Delivery date of group of task or project is being calculated based on resource availability. Use Gantt view feature to adjust your results and reschedule deadlines.

 

Lead Scoring

 

The module calculates “score” of your potential customers based on the info they left on your website. The system calculates the score of lead automatically. Odoo sorts out your lead automatically and considers the most important first. This provides significant improvement of the sales team’s performance, as there can be more than 50 leads in the pipeline.

Odoo Lead Scorring

You can also define rules based on customer locations, company size, budget, etc. Leads can be assigned to the appropriate sales teams automatically.

 

Digital signature

 

Odoo Sign

It’s a fast way to sign, approve and send documents. You can drag and drop blocks with your signature, name, company name, etc., to the necessary place in the contract. Specific fields can be completed by the parties via portal. You can submit signature requests and track status of sent documents as well.

 

Localizations

 

Any localization can be installed as additional package on both versions. Around 50 localizations are available at this moment. The ones that are ready are for EU and US countries. Additional configuration for accounting and payroll modules is needed in most cases.

Bank integrations are available mainly for US banks and corresponding branches.

 

How functionally-rich the “out-of-the-box” system is

 

As described earlier, all service-related processes are well supported in all Odoo versions: Community, Cloud and Enterprise. Companies in Software, Engineering, Service, Retail and Wholesale Industries with less than 15 employees can select any version. Any one of them would perform great with a little amount of customization.

Odoo Enterprise is the most preferred choice for middle enterprises of 50 to 300 employees. It contains modules that dramatically improve company performance, like multi-tasks planning, finance dynamic reporting, and advanced contract management. It has intuitive and clear UI that increases system adoption. The Enterprise version is more ready to be used out of the box from this point of view .

Access Rights

There are no differences here. Both versions have generic access rights with rules that are good enough for small and medium companies. However, for companies with complex organizational structure, basic access rights functionality is not enough. They should be ready for additional configurations.

 

User Interface

 

The most obvious difference between the two versions is the new UI of Odoo Enterprise. Odoo adopted the latest Google, mobile and web UI / UX trends to meet the high expectations of modern users. If your colleagues are using modern applications a lot, then they should feel very comfortable with Odoo Enterprise interface.

Odoo9EnterpriseHome

Each module is accessed as a separate application through the single dashboard. And each module provides access to one ERP application, which automates a particular business process. Under the “Contacts” icon you’ll see all your prospects, customers, and partners. Website app allows you to build your own website without coding. Odoo Enterprise interacts with a customer on intuitive level and familiarity with the ERP happens organically.

Odoo9EnterpriseCRM

The new UI is built in a responsive design so that it’s interface can readily adapt to the resolution and orientation of your tablet or smartphone.

Odoo9CommunityCRM

The Community edition inherited the classic corporate design from previous versions of Odoo. It has standard left column navigation structure and typical list and form views.

 

Support and Upgrades

 

System stability is vital for much bigger companies. Odoo Enterprise SLA covers all native Odoo applications. Odoo SA engineers will fix bugs, improve stability, and upgrade to the next versions at no additional costs. We highly recommend Odoo SLA for companies with employee size of 20+.

Be aware of Odoo’s flexibility and related specifics. Most likely your company will request additional customizations from integration suppliers like Xpansa. Note well that Warranty by Odoo SA is provided on non-modified core and Enterprise modules only. However, there should be no problem if the integration company meets these two requirements:

1. All customizations are done in separate modules. This is required so that the Odoo Enterprise code can be isolated by the supporting engineer to search for the issue.

2. The integration supplier is an official Odoo partner with deep relationship with the vendor. This way, both technical companies can interact fast and smoothly to support the whole system.

 

Price

 

The Community version is open source and has no license costs. So you can use Odoo as is or customized by system integrator without support of the vendor, next updates, and additional improved apps for free. It’s a good choice for a small company that doesn’t need additional services and complex customizations.

The cost of the Enterprise version is 20EUR/user/month. For this price, a customer gets all additional apps + vendor support + future updates (Odoo 10+, for example).

Hence, it would be most reasonable to pay for the Enterprise if your company has more than 20 employees. However, the main indicator for a company to choose the Enterprise package is industry and speed of internal changes.

 

Summary

 

summary odoo community vs enterprise
Profile of a company where Odoo would fit perfectly:

  • Fast and changing company
  • SME with up to 500 employees

Operating in one of the next industries:

  • Internet Software & Services
  • IT Services
  • Software
  • Biotechnology
  • Life Sciences Services
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Trading Companies & Distributors
  • Commercial Services & Supplies
  • Professional Services
  • Media
  • Distributors
  • Retail ( e-commerce platforms to be integrated additionally)
  • Health Care Providers & Services

The system will work on bigger companies, as well, it’s just that it requires much more customization and adjustment of the processes. Application can be scaled up to any size. The Open source code of Odoo allows full flexibility in the selection of versions and integration of the system.

The main factors for selecting the Enterprise are:


  • Companies with more than 20 employees shall have necessary guarantees and appropriate SLA from the vendor

  • Requirement of fast adoption to make full use of the benefits offered by the modern UI

  • Highly loaded operational departments that will dramatically cut operational cost if ERP would have dynamic reporting and multi-task planning


 

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ODOO 10? WE WOULD BE HAPPY TO HELP

 

Photo by Mariusz Kluzniak

Oleg Kuryan on FacebookOleg Kuryan on GoogleOleg Kuryan on LinkedinOleg Kuryan on TwitterOleg Kuryan on Youtube
Oleg Kuryan
- 13+ years of experience in Software Engineering and Maintenance
- 6+ year of experience in Management field, Managing Software Outsourcing projects in Software Maintenance area
- Various projects related to Data Mining in Medical Sector
- Products and applications in e-Commerce, CRM, ERP, DMS and other business solutions
- Knowledge in Java (6+ years), C# (2 years), Python (3 year)
Roman Gurinovich on FacebookRoman Gurinovich on GoogleRoman Gurinovich on LinkedinRoman Gurinovich on TwitterRoman Gurinovich on Youtube
Roman Gurinovich
- Managing Business Software and Data Analysis company
- 9+ years of experience in consulting and systems integration
- Experience in enterprise scale projects implementations based on Oracle E-business Suites, Oracle JD Edwards and Odoo
- Main project roles: Architect, Project Manager, Functional consultant
- Defining and Implementing business strategy
Vitaliy Eremeev on FacebookVitaliy Eremeev on GoogleVitaliy Eremeev on LinkedinVitaliy Eremeev on TwitterVitaliy Eremeev on Youtube
Vitaliy Eremeev
- 5+ years of experience in online and direct marketing
- 4+ years of experience in web and mobile project management
- 3+ years of experience in B2B marketing (IT companies, ERP/CRM systems)
- Main project roles: Marketing Manager, Project Manager, Product Owner, Consultant
- Primary objectives: Increase sales and brand awareness; implement marketing strategy; achieve objectives and goals

7 Comments

George Keradinidis
Clear, complete and truthfull. A great article. Thank you
    Vitaliy Eremeev
    Vitaliy Eremeev
    Hello George, thank you! We are planing to write new articles soon. Feel free to subscribe on our news. Thanks.
Dare
Nice write-up; detailed and informative!
Roberto
Odoo Open Source is dead! The fact that the 'good' UI goes to the enterprise version means that there is no such thing as community edition. After all, everyone wants a great UI and in the today's world the old UI of Odoo means lost deals and no adoption. Ergo, the community edition is useless down the road - a betrayal by Fabien and company. For us this was enough to abandon Odoo and go to Apache's Open For Business.
    Vitaliy Eremeev
    Vitaliy Eremeev
    Hi Roberto,

    I see no problem to use Odoo community without new UI. It's still powerful Open Source solution. Let's look at Pentaho (BI Open Source) and Alfresco (DMS Open Source) systems. They have both versions as well and they are the most popular solutions in the industry.

    In the article, we tried to show industries who really can try or even should use Odoo enterprise. We showed why it might be reasonable.

    Regarding the UI. If you like a new material design theme from Odoo 9 Enterprise I recommend using special backend themes from the store. We like themes from 8cells team - https://apps.odoo.com/apps/themes/9.0/material_backend_theme_v9/

    There's always a choice. Thank you for the feedback.
      Patrick Fogarty
      Vitaliy,

      After reading your reply I was all set to agree with Roberto. This is especially true because, while there is always a choice, as you say, most often your choices become restricted to those beyond the product you have invested in.

      I've seen too many open source products butchered to where the community version has no more value. The UI/UX in Odoo Enterprise is significant in a mobile/tablet world and, being missing from the community version, is crippling. I say that because I do not particularly like the mobile native apps for Odoo, so a responsive web UI is critical. Then I followed your link. The efforts by 8cells breathe life back into something left bare by the Odoo team.

      Thank you.

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