In this article we will try to highlight the key strengths of Odoo and why you should consider it for your business.
Comprehensive but User Friendly
To start off, here is the full version of the cover image. This image was taken from Odoo's homepage.
As you can see, Odoo tries to compare itself with popular software tools most notably the big names in the ERP industry such as Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft Dynamics. Business scope refers to how much business processes are covered. User friendliness is pretty straightforward meaning the ease of learning and usage. Single purpose apps such as Slack for chat and Trello for task management shines in this because they contain only the necessary features and minimal configuration needed for their niche. Odoo positions itself as able to cover a large business scope while maintaining to be a user friendly platform.
One of the greatest strengths of Odoo is the integration between its apps. Integration can mean a lot of things. One is data sharing and syncing between apps such as contacts, employees, products, and more. This reduces the time for encoding and ensures data integrity as updating a record in one app updates it for all others. Another is automatically triggering workflows based on an action performed in one app. A great example for this is the automatic creation of purchase/manufacturing order and delivery order when a sale order is confirmed. Once the delivery and invoice is processed, accounting entries are automatically generated. This greatly improves efficiency and reduces oversight. Lastly, all this apps can be used in by logging in into one application. No need to jump between different apps which is the case when you use a lot of single purpose tools.
Trustworthiness and credibility is very important in choosing a system. A credible company provides confidence and relief for its customers. Odoo was established since 2005 and has more than 4 million users worldwide. A lot of big companies use Odoo such as Toyota, Jamba Juice, and Hyundai. It has more than 2000 accredited partner companies worldwide that are ready to provide local on-site support for their customers. Odoo has also received various recognition such as the Deloitte award for being the fastest growing company in Belgium in 2013 and it was included in Inc. Magazine's top 5000 fastest growing private companies in Europe in 2015.
In a lot of Odoo's public statements, they emphasize how much they try lower their costs as much as possible. Comparing with other systems with the same business scope, Odoo is definitely much cheaper. Odoo also has a modular design which allows its customers to install and pay only for the apps they need and get more as they grow making their prices competitive with single purpose apps.
Odoo also has the Community version which is completely FREE except of course provisioning hosting for the server. If the app or feature your are looking for is already available in Community then this reduces the cost even more.
Wide Customization Capabilities
Odoo is open-source. This means that the source code of the whole system is available to you. Every feature you find in the system can be replicated or extended. To give you an idea of what customizations can be made in Odoo, you can just check their app store which contains more than 27k apps.
But even without touching the source code, Odoo can be customized through the UI itself. Especially with the app Odoo Studio app, adding fields, changing layouts, and designing reports are just as simple as dragging and dropping which makes it possible even for non-technical users.
Being able to integrate your Odoo system with other systems further widens the possibilities. Good thing Odoo is already prepared for integration out-of-the-box with its wide set of APIs that can be used for reading, writing, creating, and deleting any record. Aside from the built-in APIs, you can easily add more. You also can make them public or require authentication. With built-in integration with 3rd party authentication services such as Google, Facebook, and LDAP, you can quickly create external tools such as mobile apps.
Odoo is also known for integration with popular tools to further improve productivity such as foreign exchange services for real time conversion rates, Google spreadsheet and docs for flexible documentation, tax computation services, shipping connectors such a FedEx and UPS for shipping fee computation, and payment acquirers such as PayPal for online payment.
Documentation in any software is very important specially for those that are very comprehensive such as Odoo. It allows easy on-boarding for new users, and in case you forgot how to do something, it is easy to refresh. For problems and questions that you might have that is not in the documentation, Odoo have forums where you might be able to find similar concerns with the answer.
No Vendor Lock-in
You are not stuck with one company to implement and help maintain Odoo for you. Compared to closed-source platforms where only the company that owns it knows the system, Odoo knowledge is distributed. If your current provider is performing poorly or unfortunately goes bankrupt, you can find other companies or freelancers to continue support.
Web-based and Mobile App for Accessibility
Its web-based design makes it accessible through any device with a browser. For Enterprise, they have a mobile app for a native mobile experience. No need to install on each device and always have to carry that device with you to use the system. As long as your device is in the same network (which is usually the internet) as the Odoo server, you can use it anytime anywhere.
Odoo has a very large community of users and developers that share knowledge of the platform. They even created the Odoo Community Association (OCA) in order to promote and sustain the widespread use of Odoo. OCA is known for creating high quality and robust modules and helping users with their problems all for FREE.
On average, Odoo releases a new version every year. Every new version includes a load of new features and improvements in performance, security, and usability. They utilize the latest technologies and adapt to the new practices in the field of IT.