By implementing Odoo, an open source solution for enterprise resource planning (ERP), the University of Coimbra in Portugal can expect to save more than 70 per cent over the next five to six years compared to the costs of a well-known proprietary ERP solution, says ThinkOpen, a Portuguese ERP consultancy. The university is using Odoo (renamed in May from OpenERP) for its five stores.
New legislation motivated the university to include the stores in its existing ERP system. Comparing the costs for new licences and required maintenance for proprietary solutions for point of sales and other ERP solutions, it decided to switch to Odoo. The data from Odoois easily inserted into its proprietary ERP system. Next to point of sales systems, Odoo provides the campus stores with customer, product, inventory and sales management solutions.
"Open source gives the university more features, more flexibility and lower costs", says Luis Antunes, one of the managing partners at the Odoo specialist. ThinkOpen also helped the university implement the system, and provided training to IT staff and users. "Next year the costs will already be 30 per cent lower and after five or six years, the difference with the proprietary system will be 70 to 75 per cent."
The big advantage of using open source, and not being tied to the IT vendor, is that the university IT department can take care of updates and maintenance, explains Antunes. "The IT department will also take care of adapting the system, by for example adding new features or when required by law", he says.
He expects the success of Coimbra's switch to Odoo will motivate other public administrations to consider similar projects. "We are being approached by many public administrations from large central government institutions and municipalities", says Antunes. "They do the math and they see the enormous financial gains that are possible."