From the 5th to the 7th of October, some of us were back in Belgium, in the cozy town of Louvain-La-Neuve-Universite, for the Odoo Experience 2016. It’s the biggest Odoo conference in the world, with more than 2000 attendees of all kinds, from developers to end-users, wandering their way through the “Aula Magna” building to see as much as possible of the 150+ talks end events scheduled in these three days of workshops, bussiness cases, tutorials, good food and plenty of Belgian beer (and if you know us, you know how much we like beer and food. We even make our own beer.) We were “back” because we already attended the 2015 edition, but this time our party consisted of 5 “Monks”, three more than than last year, a consequence of our ever-increasing interest in Odoo, both as great software that can be offered and customized for our clients, a great opportunity for a software house; but also as a great tool to use ourselves for the management of our company.
The conference kicked off with the keynote presentation of the latest and greatest release, Odoo 10, which got unanimous approval as a fantastic improvement with lots of useful new features and load of performance optimization, and continued split between multiple rooms, based on the “profile” of the talks (developers vs functional vs success cases etc.) for 3 days (but with several breaks in-between, don’t worry).
The talks were many, too many to write about (but you can find the slides for most of them here, but I’d say the 3 key points that can be taken from them and from the Odoo Experience 2016 in general were:
Basically everybody at the conference agreed that the new release is a really great one, with improvements and new features spanning all the areas of an ERP and even beyond, features that no other ERPs have.
There has also been a great amount of less visible but not less important background work on code-cleanup and refactoring, performance optimizations, expanded and better documentation and improved extensibility, a testament that Odoo really is becoming a mature software.
You can find a nice condensed writeup of the most imoprtant new features and changes here, while the most exhaustive changelog of the new features is here.
I highly suggest you give a read at least to the first link, as you will find there is some great stuff in this new release.
2. The community: numerous, talented, and well-organized
The community is as strong as ever, with more than 20 partners sponsoring and having their stands the conference; the ever increasing numbers of attendees, and the similarly increasing number of modules and themes present in the Odoo “app store”, some of which were presented by members of the community at the conference itself.
This is particularly important, as one of the greatest strength of Odoo has always been the network of hundreds of partners surrounding it, ready to help companies implement Odoo in their processes in the best way possible, in order to save money, time and sanity 😉
3. Modularity of Odoo: unparalleled and open to infinite possibilities
The modularity of Odoo is unrivaled by any other ERP and makes possible all kinds of imaginable (and even unimaginable?) integrations and addons. When Odoo presented the new restaurant point-of-sale last year, many thought it was a great and top-of-the-line software on itself. But as an Odoo module, completely integrated with inventory, accounting (including payments and the printing of receipts), CRM, purchases? And completely free? That’s on a whole other level entirely, with, honestly, very few if any rivals.
Again this year Odoo showed us that “integrated modularity” is Odoo’s killer feature and they introduced several other modules seamlessy integrated with all the rest: Quality Management and Maintenance for production-oriented companies and Helpesk for service-oriented companies.
Another prime example of what the modularity of Odoo makes possible is the website of Odoo.com itself, which runs entirely on Odoo including the blog, the help forum (similar to StackOverflow), the events management system, the recruiting application, the (better-looking) Slideshare clone, the community mailing lists… all of these run on, and are modules of, Odoo itself.
All completely integrated, without the need of synchronizations, export/import, or other ways to share data between two or more system. It’s all Odoo!
Even runbot, a continuos integration tool that tests and builds Odoo instances, is actually an odoo module itself; which is actually pretty amazing.
That’s it for the 3 points that I think emerged from the Odoo Experience 2016. I have to mention Odoo Studio, probably the “biggest” feature of the new version, but unfortunately we missed its introduction so we didn’t get to see live demo and see what “all the fuss” is about; but it seems like a great tool to customize one’s odoo instance without having to know how to code or how Odoo works internally, which is great for using Odoo on the cloud (Odoo has a SaaS offering) where custom modules are limited.
The conference was great, and it was made even greater by the setting: the location, the fantastic Barbecue (with loads of beer!), the Odoo Band concert, the catering, the partners awards ceremony… even the weather, despite being October in Belgium, was not too cold and actually nice.
The Odoo Experience 2016 may now be over, but Monk Software work with Odoo is definitely not. Stay tuned for more
MONK-Odoo related news and see you at the Odoo Experience 2017!
If you have a company and you think you could be interested in Odoo, feel free to write us.