Most Powerful Open Source ERP

Executive - Is ERP5 for me?

Information on how to evaluate ERP5.
  • Last Update:2017-07-03
  • Version:001
  • Language:en

This page will help you to determine if ERP5 is the right solution for you. It will introduce ERP5 along with assessment criteria as well as highlighting key factors that can make an ERP5 implementation a success or failure.

What is ERP5?

ERP5 is an open-source ERP written in Python. It is part of the software stack developed and maintained by Nexedi that also includes Wendelin for Big Data & Machine Learning and SlapOS for cloud deployment and orchestration.

Whereas most ERPs are business field specific ERP5 uses a single model, called Unified Business Model, to describe all of its components. Because of its generic nature ERP5 has over the years been implemented across multiple industries around the world ranging from banking, government, automotive, tolling, trade to manufacturing and aerospace. Solutions are often characterized by a high high level of customization, security requirements, need for 3rd party software integration and scalability.

ERP5 can be used for ERP, CRM, CMS, DMS, e-commerce, e-business, finance, data analytics, Web publication, API publication, online office suite, appstore, and more. ERP5 cannot be used as a reporting tool (it can interface with PALO and others) or as a GIS system (it can interface with openstreetmap).

Is ERP5 for me?

The following criteria can help you assess whether ERP5 is a suitable solution for you:

  • You need a flexible, scalable or unified business platform for your own company
  • You need a flexible, scalable or unified framework to build a vertical solution
  • You are an executive and you are ready to supervise deployment of your business platform
  • You are a developer and your are ready to learn ERP5 in depth
  • You are a developer and you need a quick solution for invoicing and accounting
  • You need a unified business platform that can be fully accessed through APIs and run 24/7

Success Factors

The following factors will make ERP5 more likely to be successfully implemented:

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  • You are able to define priorities to better organize your company.
  • You are interested in the digital transformation of your company within 3 months by creating a spinoff.
  • You are willing to trust Nexedi to handle the technical implementation of an ERP5 deployment.
  • You already understand the benefits of Free Software (a.k.a. open-source).
  • You already know what GNU/Linux is and that Python is a very popular programming language.
  • You understand that 3 developers are capable to implement a complex business platform in a large company.
  • You are ready to train your staff after deploying a standard ERP5 setup.
  • You are ready to implement ERP5 using a joint team of developers trained by Nexedi during 2 years.
  • You can explain why you chose Nexedi based on technical facts and succesful track record.
  • You are not afraid to dive into ERP5 source code and unit tests for up to a year.
  • You only need to interface to ERP5 using a standard API to produce accounting and invoices
  • You focus on strategic or management consulting and rely on Nexedi for ERP5 implementations.

Failure Factors

An ERP5 implementation is usually prone to failure if any of the following factors is relevant:

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  • you are interested in a full ERP, deployed next month at low cost and without recurring cost for support.
  • you are asking a consultant to evaluate and select an ERP on your behalf.
  • you are asking to first define a detailed tender with all features you possibly need.
  • you are asking your favorite system integrator to deploy ERP5 with technical support from Nexedi.
  • You are expected to explain choosing ERP5 based on media coverage, beauty of website or community KPIs.
  • You have no in-depth ERP5 knowledge and plan to deploy a complex ERP5 configuration in less than 3 months.
  • you are interested in integrating ERP5 on-the-fly, not willing to learn what ERP5 is about.

Further Recommended Readings

For more information about ERP systems in general the ERP5 MOOC is a good reference. The origins of the Unified Business Model and the reduction to a the 5 class model are explained in this IEEE research paper. Further readings to consider:

  • Mourlon Neyers Memorieerp - reasons of the failure of ERPs and business appications in general.
  • Un Point De Vue d'Ingenieur Sur la Gestion des Organisations - explains why organisations take irrational decisions, such as selecting an expensive proprietary ERP that a team of 100 people will implement in more than 5 years rather than an Free ERP Software such as ERP5 implemented by a compact team in one year.
  • Myth - explains why organisations may keep on consciously taking decisions that look irrational.
  • Primer on Decision Making - provides a subset of the two previous documents based a behaviourist approach.
  • Théorie général des coûts - explains why the cost of something does not exist (as opposed to the price of something) and thus why ERP5 handles the different types of costs through reporting .