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Commerce_Retailers_Challenges_smallIn my last posts I tried to explain how we at Openbravo understand and approach the top 3 IT investment priorities for retailers: MobilityCloud and Cross-Channel. The three of them are key elements in the design of our Commerce Platform. Having already explained their benefits and challenges today I would like to introduce 6 other key technical characteristics that any retailer must also take into account when evaluating a Commerce Platform.

Adaptability. Higher competition demands differentiation so retailers need a platform that is able to efficiently adapt to very specific and unique requirements that provide a competitive advantage. Loyalty programs, custom pricing and special inventory replenishment procedures are just some examples that can require the system to be adapted. In fact it is known that a lot of retailers have very customized legacy systems and they consider it impossible to move to a new system due to the complexity it represents. A very interesting article I found some days ago illustrates this situation perfectly.

Maintainability. The ability to efficiently adapt to specific requirements is very important, but it is even more important to be able to easily adopt new common functionalities delivered by your vendor. So the platform should provide a straightforward process to upgrade your system to newer versions of the software without any painful migration process. And adaptability should not ever conflict with Maintainability. The solution to avoid that conflict is modularity. Adaptation should be done through modules that guarantee that the customization is isolated so the system can be updated frequently and smoothly. Both together Adaptability and Maintainability provide real agility to survive in this fast changing reality.

Scalability. The market changes very rapidly and so do retailers. They demand platforms than can adapted to any stage of growth. Supporting a growing number of assortments, products and transactions and having the ability to increase the number of stores or terminals very quickly as well, without impacting the platform performance are a must to achieve higher business agility.

Security. Ensuring secured system access but most importantly accurate operational control to avoid any fraudulent activity at the point of sale or in the online transactions is a must for retailers. This includes the capacity to configure how users can use the system or perform concrete actions as well as detailed tracking of executed actions.

Interoperability. One of the biggest concerns when adopting a new solution is the capacity to continue using existing systems in other areas that allow the leveraging of prior investments. More complex supply chains also demand the capacity to easily integrate with customers and suppliers´ systems. And with a growing number of new retail technologies it is mandatory that the platform provides proper tools that allow you to leverage them (new payment methods, digital signage, social media integration, location based marketing…).

Usability. With one of the highest turnover rates and facing frequent stationary situations that require you to constantly adapt to the available staff capacity, retailers and especially brick-and-mortar retailers need systems that can be used with minimum training and can empower employees for better customer service. Point of sale solutions that allow you to process new sales in minutes or tools that allow people to get trained rapidly.

What do you think? As a retailer, would you consider them to be important factors to choose your commerce platform? How do you rate your current platform on these characteristics? I am really interested in your feedback.

Categories: English, Industry Trends, Retail | Leave a comment

Openbravo Commerce WebinarLet me share with you these materials corresponding to the webinar I conducted this week about the Openbravo Commerce Platform.

This webinar is a great opportunity for all of you to know our vision about the Retail industry and its challenges, the main conclusions of our recent retail study about IT systems priorities with the demonstration of the key role of the physical stores during the coming years despite of the online retail growth and to experience the solution through a live demo.

 

During the demo I presented some of the key Commerce Platform features both functional and technical, such as user interface capabilities to increase staff productivity, business intelligence capabilities to achieve higher business agility or merchandise and supply chain management capabilities to progress in cross-channel amongst others.

Openbravo Web POSSee how retailers can be benefited and especially the physical stores by adopting a stylish full web and mobile POS that combined with a powerful backoffice component allows to easily manage multiple discount types and pricing policies (BOGO, packs, combos, scaled prices…), verified returns, product variants and product characteristics, flexible security policies with supervisor approvals at POS, accurate control of the store and terminals opening and closing procedures or mobile warehouse operations to improve both the store inventory and the whole supply chain management accuracy, amongst other functionalities.

Please let me know your opinions, questions or suggestions for future product webinars or videos.

Best,

Categories: By industry, By solution, Industry Trends, Other, Retail, Retail General Updates | Leave a comment

This blog post belongs to a series of somewhat informal conversations with key partners to talk about their real experiences with us and how they have developed their markets successfully.

Andrea Feraco, Openbravo business unit director at Extra (http://www.extrasrl.it/), Gold Partner and Official Localizer of Openbravo in Italy, talks to Xavi Anaya, Channel Business Manager at Openbravo for EU and USA.

This video shows the evolution quite well since they once decided to actively seek  a world-class Opensource ERP Platform. Andrea explains how they found an opportunity in the SME market through a reliable and yet affordable solution.

Today the situation has evolved and Andrea explains the importance of the Openbravo Extra business. Potential customers actually demand Openbravo solutions which makes the sales process quite a bit simpler.

Clear roadmaps, new modules, better solutions, web based, subscription model, affordable, easy to deploy, usability, Opensource, java, cost of integration, global but localized are some of the words used by Andrea in this short video… nothing to add.

Finally about the partner program, Andrea highlights the chances to easily collaborate with other partners (they do so in Spain, UK or Bulgaria), access to international projects, the importance of training and the most important thing to me, that due to our great relationship they recommend other companies to start partnering with us. Thanks Andrea, thanks Extra.

See below the Italian version Xavi and Andrea took the time to record.

And a 3rd video below compiling the best outtakes… sorry guys I couldn’t help it :)

By the way, please, don’t forget our webinar on the 22nd of July in which Andrea will elaborate on his experience with Openbravo to show how to make a business profitable by having Openbravo in your portfolio. Click here to register!

Categories: Company News, English, Other | Leave a comment

Close up shot of entering credit card numberToday I finish the blog post series I started 3 weeks ago discussing the 3 top IT investment priorities for retailers. After my previous posts talking about Mobility and Cloud, I’ll cover Cross-channel today.

Retailers no longer need evidence that cross-channel capabilities are critical for success. Consumers today expect a seamless shopping experience across all channels. Their expectations at this level include:

 

  • Price and product information consistency across channels
  • Consistent assortment across channels
  • In-store, ability to book out-of-stock items and get them shipped home from another store
  • Track order status from home and receive notices about any changes
  • Buy online and pick up in the store or buy online and return in store, as typical cross-channel scenarios

However, this does not mean that all retailers are ready for this new reality and most of them have a long way to go to become true champions in this field. Retailers face several challenges to achieve full cross-channel operation:

  • Lack of a Single Platform. A single platform would facilitate seamless cross-channel scenarios but the reality is that by the moment retailers´ transaction platform will be a hybrid of multiple channel specific platforms. It is the natural result if you take into account how they made their large prior IT investments. An interesting aspect to consider is whether in the future the primary transaction system will be POS or E-commerce. At the moment, only big retailers can afford to progress in this field and we are starting to hear about new Order Management Systems that are trying to orchestrate the fulfillment process across different channels to provide a seamless omnichannel experience. Home Depot new COMS (Customer Order Management System) is a good example.
  • Lack of Embedded Visual Analytics. Retailers need actionable customer intelligence that allows them to react quickly to customer behavior changes or evaluate the efficiency of any go-to-market strategy. Retailers require visual and role-tailored decision-making tools that communicate key performance indicators in simple terms and allow you to drill down when immediate action is required. In fact, based on our study. 71% of retailers think that cross channel initiatives are still low due to the lack of proper actionable analytics
  • Poor Merchandise Management Agility and Supply Chain Management Efficiency. Merchandise Management Agility and Supply Chain Management Efficiency are considered two of the most important building blocks for a successful cross-channel strategy.

With retailers facing fierce competition today it is critical for them to be agile when managing a huge number of products, assortments, promotions and discounts across all channels. The information is getting more and more complex in order to offer more personalized products but the need for data consistency remains the same.  Flexible and solid platforms are required to allow you to adapt to very specific requirements and distribute information to all channels in the shortest time to ensure strong information consistency.

Cross-channel operation does have an impact as well on Supply Chain Management. Retailers need an accurate vision of their inventory at every location to minimize out of stock situations while minimizing the inventory costs. Detailed and real time visibility about the stock at each physical store and warehouse would for example allow to fulfill online orders from stores and this way to reduce distribution costs and provide better customer service since online orders can be actioned in a shorter time.

What do you think? As a retailer what is your cross-channel strategy?  Are you ready for these new challenges?

Categories: English, Industry Trends, Retail | Leave a comment

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La semana pasada tuve la oportunidad de participar en el OpenExpo Day 2014, un encuentro de la comunidad del software libre organizado por OpenExpo que se está convirtiendo en los últimos años en un referente en el sector en España. A través de distintas presentaciones y talleres sobre temas de actualidad, los asistentes tienen la oportunidad de entrar en contacto con distintas empresas hoy en día desarrollando su negocio alrededor del software libre.

 

En este caso nuestra participación puede decirse que fue doble. Por un lado una mesa redonda sobre ERPs en la que Openbravo estuvo presente a través de nuestro partner Vitalinnova, con la participación también de representantes de otros productos como Odoo y Dolibar.

 

El inicio de Openbravo
Y en segundo lugar en una ponencia presentada por mi de título “Evolución de Openbravo con la evolución de los mercados”, en la que a través de un breve repaso a la evolución de nuestros productos desde el lanzamiento de Openbravo, pude explicar algunas de las nuevas tendencias y retos actuales de las empresas en la adopción de ERPs y nuevas tecnologías, y la forma en la que nuestros productos, la Plataforma para Comercio y la Plataforma ERP  ayudan a las mismas.

 

Aquí tenéis algunas fotos durante mi presentación y del resto de la jornada.

 

Este tipo de eventos son también muy propicios para el networking y la identificación de nuevas oportunidades, que en nuestro caso nos permitieron entrar en contacto con empresas interesadas en nuestra Plataforma de Comercio como integradores de Magento o Prestashop o proveedores de pasarelas de pagos, y en general otras interesadas en evaluar la posibilidad de convertirse en nuevos partners de Openbravo. Ello no hace más que confirmar la oportunidad que Openbravo representa para este tipo de empresas en un momento además en el que estamos de forma muy activa buscando ampliar nuestra red de partners con empresas de experiencia probada en la implantación de ERPs y de sistemas de gestión en el sector minorista.

 

Por el número y nivel de asistentes claramente se demuestra que la industria del software libre vive un gran momento y que cada vez son más las empresas que deciden adoptar este tipo de soluciones. No es de extrañar si incluso vemos como antiguos enemigos del software libre como Microsoft están ahora también cambiando sus posiciones. Sin duda nos espera un futuro brillante!

 

En definitiva un evento muy recomendable para todos aquellos interesados hoy en día en conocer más de cerca lo que significa el software libre, celebrado en una excelente localización y con una perfecta organización,  contando en todo momento con el apoyo de las personas de OpenEXPO.

 

Gracias OpenExpo y hasta la próxima!

 

Categories: By solution, Company News, Spanish | Leave a comment

Cloud ComputingMy last blogpost about Mobility was the first one of a series of three to explain Openbravo’s take on the main 3 IT priorities for retailers identified in this study. Today I am elaborating on the second one in the list: Cloud computing.

Cloud is a disruptive technology for all businesses in all industries, it is transforming how companies invest and manage their IT assets. This is especially relevant for retailers who need to embrace technology that will allow them to react faster and be more flexible to succeed in today’s super-empowered consumer age.

As our study has revealed, 68% of retail executives plan to adopt cloud technologies into their business strategies and operations. With higher confidence in business benefits and an increasingly proven security, it is not difficult to think that these numbers will continue to grow.

The financial advantages of the cloud, primarily the ability to move capital to operating expenses, may initially drive cloud adoption for many retailers, but there are more benefits and they are commonly related to IT efficiency, IT agility and business innovation.

For a more detailed explanation about its benefits and challenges let me share with you two very interesting documents, Leveraging the Cloud from RIS and Methods and Practices: Cloud in Retail from IDC.  Based on these some benefits that can be mentioned:

  • Higher business agility: the cloud provides IT departments with the ability to provision and deliver solutions faster which is very attractive to retailers facing common seasonal situations that require constant capacity adjustments. Faster time to market is also achieved making, for example, geographic expansion easier, without the expense of developing traditional IT infrastructure.
  • Lower cost: the cloud provides more attractive pricing models compared with traditional offerings. Cost efficiency is also improved since cloud adoption allows to reduce idle time for IT assets
  • Better integration capabilities: The cloud offers unique opportunities for integration given that the information is more easily accessible from other solutions and in a highly secure way.
  • Leverage other technologies to further improve business outcomes: in combination with mobile, social, and analytics technologies, cloud platforms will continue to add agility, efficiency, and cost savings to projects while enabling options that are not otherwise viable.

What do you think? As a retailer, what is your experience with cloud technologies? Are you considering it for your IT strategy?

 

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At Openbravo we know about the importance of innovation. Innovation drives growth and allows us to provide state-of-the-art products to the market. This is especially important in Retail where a lot of technologies are flourishing and where technology flexibility and low cost become essential. Keeping this in mind we are starting a series of blogs today where we will regularly present some of the things we are evaluating in our labs to you. These won’t always be converted into new publicly available capabilities but we think it is important for you to know about them.

And today let me start with a cool use of Openbravo: Web POS, our POS included in the Openbravo Commerce Platform, with the popular card-size computer Raspberry Pi which potentially provides important benefits in some business scenarios as I’ll explain later.

The Openbravo Web POS is a web based application that requires a special component, the Hardware Manager, to interface with all the supported POS devices like receipt printers, customer displays, scales, … In a typical deployment environment the Openbravo Web POS runs on mobile devices like Android tablets or iPads and the POS devices are connected to a computer that runs the Hardware Manager. The following picture depicts an example of this scenario:

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The requirements for the computer that runs the Hardware Manager are very low. And to demonstrate this we wanted to try it with one of the smallest computers, the popular card-sized computer Raspberry Pi.

Although it still can’t be considered an officially supported hardware, the use of a computer like this would potentially result in huge benefits in terms of reduced space and low cost. One of the most advanced models costs just 30 €. This could make it ideal in multiple retail scenarios but especially, for example, in reduced retail spaces like kiosks where both aspects become critical. Combining this solution with a tablet, you have a POS solution in a reduced space, which is very cheap, without losing any of the advanced capabilities offered by the Openbravo Web POS. The steps to follow are very simple, but you will need advanced technical skills to complete successfully the process. Let me guide you through the process.

Installing the operating system

The operating system I am going to use is Raspbian, a Debian derivate optimized to run on the Raspberry Pi. Raspbian also includes Oracle Java SE 7 for ARM needed to run the Hardware Manager. To download and install Raspbian, follow the installation guides provided by the Rasberry Pi Foundation that can be found in the Raspberry Pi Downloads page.

Installing the Hardware Manager

In this example I am using an Epson TM-T88V receipt printer and a development build of the Hardware Manager that includes USB support that makes it easier to configure and run USB receipt printers and customer displays. This functionality will be released in 3.0RR14Q3, but it will also work with the current 3.0RR14Q2.1 version.

Installing the Hardware Manager is done the same way you do in other systems, just copy the zip file to the Raspberry Pi and uncompress it to a local folder. To copy the zip file, the best way to do it is using the scp command. Set up ssh in your Raspberry Pi, and execute the command:

scp poshw-1.0.1800.zip pi@raspberrypi.local:/home/pi

To uncompress the zip file just copied, log in into your Raspberry Pi using ssh and execute the commands:

mkdir poshw-1.0.1800
unzip poshw-1.0.1800.zip poshw-1.0.1800/

To execute the Hardware Manager you do not need a monitor connected to the Raspberry Pi. But in this case you have to configure the Hardware Manager to run it in headless mode. Open the openbravohw.properties located in the poshw-1.0.1800/ folder and set the property application.ui to false. You can use nano to edit the configuration file.

nano poshw-1.0.1800/openbravohw.properties

Running the Hardware Manager

On the Raspberry Pi you need to write permissions on the device file of the USB, so you can run the Hardware Manager as root or configure udev to give your user write permissions when the device is attached. You have more information about this topic in the usb4java FAQ page.

Connect the printer to the Raspberry Pi, go to the folder the Hardware Manager is installed in and execute it:

cd poshw-1.0.1800/
sudo sh start.sh

This is the output of running the Hardware Manager successfully on my Raspberry Pi:

Ry4c6s

Configuring the POS Terminal and testing the printer

Now you need to configure the POS terminal you want to use with the new Hardware Manager configured on the Raspberry Pi. Start Openbravo, go to the POS Terminal window, select the terminal to configure, and in the field Hardware URL write the URL address for the Hardware Manager running in the Raspberry Pi. In my example: http://raspberrypi.local:8090/printer.

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Finally, login to the configured POS terminal and print some sample receipts.

In this example I used the Raspberry Pi connected to the store network using a wifi dongle. This option reduces the number of wires and makes it easier to place the receipt printer in the store.

DXpWCM

And that is all. I hope you have enjoyed, as I have, playing with the Openbravo Web POS and the Raspberry Pi, a modern and powerful technical combination which minimizes hardware space and costs.

Further improvements

You can also make your own improvements using the Raspberry Pi and the Hardware Manager. For example, you can use a mobile receipt printer and power the Raspberry Pi with batteries. This way you can have wireless printing capabilities in your store easily.

See you in my next post!

Categories: English, Other, Retail, Retail General Updates, Retail Tech Updates | 1 comment

Last week our CEO posted an interesting article where he shared our vision about the huge opportunity we see in Retail with the Openbravo Commerce Platform. In this post he referred to a recently released study , which states that 82% of retailers were planning to increase their IT budget and 79% were planning to increase their stores´ IT budget.

According to this study Mobility, Cloud and Cross-Channel are within the top IT investment priorities for retailers. This is quite aligned with our vision and I wanted to elaborate on our take on these three capabilities through a series of 3 blog posts. Let us start with Mobility.

Mobile-enabled operation is a priority for retailers. Its impact on the enterprise is transformational. The many possible applications of mobility in retail are extensive and varied but retailers invest in mobility mainly to enhance the customer´s experience and to improve business efficiency.

This transformation impacts the whole organization, but the retail area that is most benefited from mobility is store operation.

Commerce_Be future StoreAs stated in a very interesting RIS article, mobile POS penetrates deeply into the critical realms of the shopping experience and customer satisfaction.  Common retail functions like “save-the-sale” tools, upselling and cross-selling features, cross-channel capabilities or customer management features, when directly operated from a mobile device, are changing the way in which store associates service their customers. The interest in mobile POS is especially important for speciality hardgoods and softgoods retailers for whom an interactive assisted sale everywhere in the store makes all the difference. All these trends explain why both customers and sales associates consider the use of mobile solutions as a way to provide a better shopping experience and why the adoption of mobile POS has tripled according to our study.

Mobile POS provides higher agility as well especially if it is a Mobile Web POS which only requires a browser to be run as the Openbravo Web POS. Retailers can rapidly add and replace terminals, start processing sales or opening new stores.  Mobile Web POS also provides independence from the mobile technology (iOS, Android and others) for more flexible deployment options in regards to the hardware to be used.

Store backoffice operations can also benefit from mobility. A clear example is the facility to manage the inventory more efficiently. Goods movements, goods receipts or inventory counts managed from mobile devices provide higher accuracy and help to process information in real time.

There are several aspects that must be properly considered by retailers in the definition of their enterprise mobility strategy to address the specific operational challenges they face, like security and cost of the infrastructure.

One decision retailers must take is the use either of consumer-grade or retail hardened devices. ROI and appearance arguments can be considered depending on the use these devices will have. Preferences on the vendor (Apple, Android or Windows) will also influence the final choice.

Doing business the modern wayAdopting wide mobility will also require analysis of the capacity of the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure. This is especially important in the stores if retailers decide to provide free Wi-Fi access which is one of the strategies followed to embrace showrooming. However, this can be an expensive decision and some retailers like JC Penney already decided to eliminate free in-store Wi-Fi last year after having offered it previously.

Security is also another important and especially challenging concern with regards to BYOD policies and the growing adoption of consumer-owned devices within the enterprise which in­creases the importance of mobility management.

What do you think? I would love to hear from you to enrich our vision. As a retailer, what is your company strategy in regards to mobility?

 


Categories: English, Industry Trends, Other, Retail | Leave a comment

Retail IT Systems Priorities_Infographic_Horizontal

According to a recent market study on the state of the retail sector that we have released at Openbravo, almost 82% of today’s retailers were planning to increase their IT budgets this year which clearly shows a trend change that would continue in the coming years. Top priorities in retailers’ IT spending are focused on cross-channel, cloud and mobile capabilities, and 79% of retailers will invest specifically in their store systems, where the number of retailers using mobile POS is expected to triple in the next year. This shows a positive market outlook for vendors of innovative solutions and systems targeting retail.

What the same study confirms as well is that despite the rapid growth of online retail, physical stores will continue to be the main driver of total retail sales for several more years to come. This is especially true in emerging markets due to different infrastructure, legal and consumer behavior reasons. To add a bit more color to this statement, note that the study revealed that over the coming years, 89% of total retail sales in developed countries like the USA, and a whopping 95% on average in emerging markets like Mexico or India will still be realized in physical stores.

It is clear then that physical stores will continue to play a key role in the retail space. Retail dynamics are changing though and that needs to be taken into account by retailers themselves in their strategies, as well as by solution vendors like Openbravo to continue to support retailers for enhanced competitiveness. Back in 2010 we made the strategic decision to develop a new point of sale solution, fully web and mobile. At Openbravo we were well positioned to do so since today’s mobile point of sale is an evolution of our tremendously successful previous point of sale solution, the Openbravo Java POS that was downloaded close to 1 million times! Our entirely new point of sale was launched in 2012 embedded in the new Openbravo for Retail solution.  Today we can still proudly say that it is a differential product in the market and this has allowed us to achieve great results especially in emerging markets where open source affordability plays a key role.

After two years of continuous functional and technical innovations already tried and tested  by important clients and with rapidly growing market traction we have achieved maturity. Now we have a better solution, and we are more solid and clearly prepared for future challenges in the retail industry. And, of course, every day we continue to invest in further evolving our solution to stay in the vanguard.

Building on the promising results achieved to date we find it the right time to further strengthen our positioning and expand our presence as a leading solutions vendor in the retail market. Recently we started communicating our ambition to become the preferred Commerce Platform for agile retailers through our Openbravo Commerce Platform, an evolution of the Openbravo for Retail solution.

The Openbravo Commerce Platform as we envision it is much more than a closed retail solution that comes, let’s say, “out-of-the-box”. Our Commerce Platform combines all the great things of our retail solution, including of course our leading mobile point of sale as well as extensive retail specific functionality in the back end. Yet it’s much more. The Commerce Platform more effectively than ever leverages the unmatched flexibility of the Openbravo Platform, with superior interconnectivity, interoperability, and customization capabilities allowing agile retailers to connect complementary technologies like for CRM, payment terminals or similar. A flexible Commerce Platform that can be adapted as the retailer’s business evolves and grows, ultimately helps retailers to stay competitive. And that’s what matters for us at Openbravo. So I think this is a good moment to share with you some insights on how we are making this possible.

From a product perspective we announced early this year a new roadmap, more complete and solid where mobility, analytics, platform flexibility and usability are the key pillars, all aimed at effectively responding to industry trends and new challenges. The new roadmap came with a new Release Policy with quarterly releases that will help us provide ever higher quality and will be key to better manage the way customers decide to update their systems.

From an organizational perspective we know about the importance of industry specific knowledge and therefore we are adding new talented people to our product development, product management, channel management and services teams.  We have done a partner program overhaul to appeal to best profile Partners with a proven track record and experience in the sector which we are proactively seeking through new partner acquisition campaigns that shall help to expand the footprint of our global Channel retail profile.

From an offering point of view now the Openbravo Commerce Platform is one of our two pillars together with the Openbravo ERP Platform thus resulting in a very targeted and clear value proposition. New services such as 24x7x365 support that are a must for retailers are also offered.

Targeted marketing efforts are not only limited to our clear messaging on our website, but are also centered around a very rapidly growing number of customer success stories among retailers around the globe, market analyses like the study on the state of the retail industry referred to above, and of course through extensive presence, often with our official Partners, in some of the most important retail conventions like ANTAD in Mexico, Equipmag in France, IRF in India or Retail Asia Expo in Hong Kong. All these and many other focused activities we are putting in place are extending our presence in the market, confirming and strengthening our market positioning, as well as giving us the opportunity to get direct feedback from the market.

So as you can see it is not only a matter of a new state-of-the-art product but also the confirmation of a firm strategic decision. Now this is a great new step forward in our trajectory as leading open source software vendor, with strong energy and confidence based on customer successes obtained to date. The Retail opportunity is huge for retailers, retail systems integrators as well as for Openbravo today and in the future. Ready to join us?

Categories: Company News, English, Industry Trends | Leave a comment

Bandera_de_MéxicoMéxico se encuentra en un momento importante tras años de lento crecimiento, motivado por una gran irregularidad en el comportamiento de la productividad en las empresas del país, como se ha analizado en distintos estudios, uno de los últimos La historia de dos Méxicos: crecimiento y la prosperidad en una economía de dos velocidades de McKinsey.  Siendo México uno de nuestros mercados más importantes me pareció este un tema de interés para tratar desde el prisma de los beneficios que puede aportar el uso de la tecnología, y en particular la adopción de un ERP, en las medianas empresas, verdadero motor de la economía mexicana junto a pequeñas empresas, que de modo conjunto y según datos del INEGI suponen el 99.8% de las unidades empresariales en México, el 52% del Producto Interno Bruto (PIB) y el 72% del empleo en el país.

Dada su importancia en la economía mexicana, no es por tanto extraño pensar que también las grandes empresas de México estén muy interesadas en la mejora de su productividad, lo cual permitiría a las grandes empresas un ahorro muy importante en costes logísticos debidos hoy en día a un elevado porcentaje de productos importados. Así en el caso de fabricantes de componentes del automóvil, el 70% del valor de sus productos exportados depende de sus productos importados, dato muy importante si pensamos que México es uno de los líderes mundiales en este sector que cuenta además con la presencia de plantas de producción de algunas de las marcas más importantes del automóvil a nivel mundial.

Es por ello que tras varios días preparando este nuevo blogpost y el documento que lo acompaña, sin duda la jornada del lunes México, reformar para crecer organizada por EL PAÍS en Madrid que pude seguir parcialmente en directo a través de la web me resultó muy interesante.

La participación de Enrique Peña Nieto Presidente de los Estados Unidos de México, dentro de su visita a España, así como de otros miembros del gobierno y empresarios, me permitió escuchar de sus propias palabras el proceso de cambio en el cual se encuentra México para volver a la senda de un mayor crecimiento, a través de un ambicioso paquete de reformas estructurales que buscan elevar la competitividad de la economía, fortalecer el régimen institucional y ampliar los derechos sociales. Según Luis Videgaray, secretario de Hacienda y Crédito Público de México, “El fin común de todas las reformas es eliminar barreras, frenos y cuellos de botella que impidan el crecimiento económico”.

En palabras del propio Presidente uno de los pilares de las reformas del gobierno es la competitividad de las empresas mexicanas con iniciativas para la mejora del mercado laboral, una reforma financiera para disponer de mayor crédito especialmente para las pequeñas y medianas empresas, o la reforma energética y en telecomunicaciones. La creación de un clima mucho más favorable a la inversión extranjera gracias a los esfuerzos en materia de seguridad, se identifica también como un aspecto muy importante que ayudará a la entrada de más capital.

Y si hablamos de un aumento de la competitividad, claramente una mayor productividad de las empresas se convierte en un aspecto clave, estando esta en el origen del lento crecimiento los últimos años como he comentado anteriormente. Y aquí sin duda el papel de la tecnología es determinante. Podemos identificar el uso de múltiples tecnologías pero evidentemente en este caso me referiré a los sistemas ERP y cómo estos pueden ayudar a la mejora de la productividad de las empresas mexicanas.

iStock_000016519692SmallEn el whitepaper “Adopción de un ERP de software libre para la mejora de la productividad en la mediana empresa mexicana” empezamos con una breve introducción a la situación de la economía mexicana para presentar posteriormente qué características debe cumplir un sistema de este tipo para ayudar a las medianas empresas mexicanas. Entre ellas cabe destacar de forma importante la asequibilidad, un muy fácil uso y una alta capacidad de adaptación a cambios futuros necesaria para soportar un rápido crecimiento o nuevas necesidades. Entre los beneficios podemos destacar una mejora global en la gestión, reducción de costes operativos y el fomento de una mayor colaboración con el resto de actores. A estos beneficios generales debemos añadir en el caso de una ERP en software libre profesional una mayor seguridad en la inversión por disponer del código desde el primer día, mayor independencia del proveedor y mayor neutralidad tecnológica que ofrecen finalmente mayor libertad futura.

El documento completo puede descargarse de forma directa aquí.

Al tratarse de un tema muy localizado en México espero poder contar con las opiniones de aquellos de vosotros conocedores de la realidad allí, aunque toda participación en el debate es bienvenida! ¿Cómo valoráis el nivel de adopción de sistemas ERP en las medianas empresas mexicanas? ¿Creéis que un ERP puede ayudar al salto esperado a nivel de productividad? ¿Qué problemas principales consideráis encuentran este tipo de empresas en México para adoptar este tipo de sistemas? ¿Destacaríais alguna característica clave o beneficio por encima del resto para que su adopción sea un éxito? ¿Creéis que las grandes empresas podrían ayudar a fomentar el uso de estos sistemas en estas empresas? ¿Cómo?

Espero vuestro comentarios!

Categories: By Language, Industry Trends, Other, Spanish | 1 comment

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