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O2O Hong KongHong Kong has always been a vibrant market. Its location makes it a nice place to live, a city of trade and a touristic destination. For many years it was the door to access China’s production capacities. Nowadays, it is a place of fashion trends, luxury goods, art, technology and tourism.

On October 22nd, we hosted a presentation on O2O in Hong Kong, with Nanomatrix, Openbravo’s partner in Hong Kong. There was a great interest in multi-channel strategies, as retailers and brands want to take advantage of the new opportunities O2O offers. In a city built vertically like Hong Kong, Retailers are always limited by space to serve their customers. Online channels make it possible for them to extend and improve customer experience beyond the physical retail space.
Attendees were also very interested in selling more to mainland China tourists, using China’s main e-commerce platforms Chinese tourism accounts for 25% of luxury goods purchase worldwide, in front of USA at 20%. The proximity of Hong Kong, Visa waiver and the possibility to pay in Chinese currency makes it a very attractive marketplace. Chinese tourists are estimated to account for 28% of total retail sales in Hong Kong.

The integration of mobile payments is critical to attract Chinese tourism, as Aliwallet and Tencentpay are getting tremendous momentum. For the local Hong Kong market, the Octopus card (Hong Kong subway system payment method) is a must for every retailer. It is supported by Coffee Shops, cosmetics shops, vending machines, convenience stores and, of course, the MRT (Hong Kong subway system).
Finally, attendees were interested in understanding how the Openbravo Commerce Platform can help them run their business, support their traditional retail strategy, expand in Asia Pacific and open new channels, while keeping control of their Operations. A data driven approach, based on Analytics, to continuously monitor and improve each channel, as well as cross-channel conversions, convinced many that the Openbravo Commerce Platform can and will indeed support the success of agile retailers.

Categories: Retail | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Gartner SymposiumThis week I’ve had the opportunity to attend the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona. Great organization and in a lovely city!

Driving Digital Business” was the main theme in this edition, so we had the opportunity to enjoy a lot of inspiring presentations by leading keynoters, that went through different topics around how digitalization is changing the way companies do business, now and in the future, and how CIOs must be prepared to embrace and lead the change, that means to become real digital leaders within their organizations. Digital is already determining the winners and the losers, so it is critical each CIO moves it at centre stage of their strategies. Unfortunately, the agenda was so tight and my week so busy that I couldn’t attend all presentations that I would have loved to hear…

 

From a Retail perspective, I had the opportunity to attend two interesting presentations. Consumerization is clearly driving retailers strategies, and this trend will continue, showing a clear power shift from retailers to consumers. As a result, retailers are trying to be closer to their customers, which at the end creates an interesting dilemma to retailers: a stronger intimacy with customers can finally bring to higher competition, since some of these potential customers have already the means and technology weapons to finally become competitors. Another key message: the physical stores remain the hub of multichannel. The executional excellence in store will be the key multichannel differentiator. Great to see we are aligned with this vision!

From an ERP perspective, Gartner’s “Postmodern ERP” concept was central, which explains the evolution ERP systems are suffering, where “Hybrid ERP” is nowadays the norm, moving from monolithic ERP suites to a combination of core ERP systems and a set of integrated specialized add-on solutions that provides a much higher business agility to adapt to business model changes. This new reality is facilitating the emergence of cloud ERP players that are becoming a real threat for traditional vendors. A good scenario for Openbravo as well.

From a general perspective, the “CIO Agenda for 2015” presentation, was another great experience. A main message, and very visual, of “flipping” was presented, to succeed in today’s digitalization era:

  • Information and Technology Leadership: flip from legacy to digital first
  • Value Leadership: flip from visible to valuable metrics
  • People and Culture Leadership: flip from control first to visionary first

Are you ready for flipping? A lot of great information to process and digest during the coming months!

See you in the next Gartner Symposium in November 2015!

Categories: Industry Trends | Leave a comment

AppDynamicsLast week we had the opportunity to meet our partners again in a new webinar talking about Openbravo Performance Monitoring. The topic of course created  a lot of interest and we were able to count with the presence of Asier Lostalé, one of our Product Engineers who presented AppDynamics and Munin, the two tools used for Application Monitoring and System Monitoring.

Openbravo Application Monitoring Tool based on AppDynamics

The Openbravo Application Monitoring Tool is a commercial module based on a third party solution by AppDynamics. It includes a license to use AppDynamics software and delivers a pre-packaged configuration to work with Openbravo. It can be installed like any other commercial module and it only requires an extra set up in the Openbravo server after installation.
This strategic alliance with AppDynamics allows the delivery of Performance Assurance to Openbravo customers by:

  • Monitoring Application Performance
  • Alerting when there are problems, and
  • Helping to pinpoint root causes

As another commercial module this tool is acquired as a commercial module (yearly subscription) for each Openbravo server (JVM) that requires application monitoring. It is included for free for 1 server for Openbravo Enterprise Edition customers and offered as an option to Openbravo Professional Edition customers.

For the third year in a row, Gartner has positioned AppDynamics as a Leader in its 2014 Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring, so we are very happy to join forces with such a big market leader.

AppDynamics Screenshot 2 AppDynamics screenshot 3 AppDynamics screenshot 3

Openbravo System Monitoring based on Munin

Munin is another monitoring tool with a different focus, complementing AppDynamics with system-level monitoring. In this case it is a free tool that you can use in your Openbravo installation, which is not only geared towards  performance and typically also provides  helpul metrics like the evolution of Database size over the course of a year or server disk space usage for capacity planning amongst others, and for daily, weekly, monthly or yearly periods. By creating user-defined thresholds it also allows you to be alerted when some conditions are met.

Shared materials

For all of you who want to know more about these solutions, find below the the slides and the recorded sessions (after the last slide), both in English and Spanish, where you will get additional details about the benefits these tools provide and in the case of AppDynamics watch a demo.

   

Enjoy it!

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Demo Some weeks ago, we wrote about the new Product Tour, which has been available on the Openbravo website since September 15th 2014. The Product Tour is a great way to get a first impression of our solutions, as it provides guidance while maintaining the user’s interactivity, so that the user can use the software to execute some specific processes. For those who want to continue with the product exploration, we recommend using the Online Trial as a second step.

The Online Trial is a self-service environment equipped with sample data and allows going into detail with the product exploration on your own. It provides access to all standard features included in the Professional Edition (*). There are two different Online Trial environments, one for each solution:

Openbravo Commerce Platform. It provides access to both the store Web POS application and the back-office, in which we can test the following processes:

  • Merchandise, Supply Chain and Multi-channel Management
  • Web Point of Sale
  • Enterprise Management
  • Reporting and Analytics
  • Mobile, Web and Cloud Platform
  • Technology Partners

Openbravo ERP Platform. It provides access to all core management business processes such as:

  • Master Data Management
  • Order to Cash
  • Procure to Pay
  • Financial, Inventory, Project and Service Management
  • Production Management

Here you have some useful documentation that can be used for guidance when using the Online Trial environments:

  • Quick Guide. Step-by-step instructions for executing, with a simplified approach, the core back-office processes of both the Openbravo ERP Platform and the Openbravo Commerce Platform.
  • User Guide. Detailed instructions to execute each one of the business management processes supported in the Openbravo ERP Platform.
  • Web POS User Guide. Detailed instructions on how to operate the Openbravo Commerce Platform Web POS.

In addition, for those who want to have an assisted product demonstration, you can request it here and one of our expert consultants will prepare a personalized product demonstration for you.

(*) Online Trial environments do not include additional commercial modules.

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Glowing LED bulb and simple light bulbsIt is funny to watch those TV programs in which contestants have to look for some object placed in a completely dark room full of obstacles. Spectators can see, thanks to a special camera, how contestants bump into those obstacles and move around and around the targeted object without finding it.

Managing the performance of your applications without a proper monitoring tool is a -not funny- version of this game.  Users report performance issues they are suffering from and the support team try to guess from the information provided what the problem could be.

 

For users it is very difficult to report with enough detail how to reproduce the issue, even more so if it is a problem related to concurrency. For the support team it is difficult to gather enough information about the issue. Finally, it is not funny because it leads to the frustration of everyone: the support team –they feel they are wasting their time working on false root causes- and more importantly, the users, because performance issues are solved at a very low pace if solved at all.

The bigger the size of the application and volume of users, the more difficult it is to pinpoint performance issues so the bigger the frustration generated.

Recently Openbravo has reached an agreement with AppDynamics to include their performance monitoring tool in the new Enterprise Edition of Openbravo products. The Professional Edition and all existing customers can also benefit from this agreement since they can buy it at a very convenient price. It is delivered as a pre-configured Openbravo module specially adapted to monitor Openbravo instances. Managing performance this tool is like turning on the light in the dark room, suddenly you see what is going on.

AppDynamics runs a permanent agent in your Openbravo instance that records all its activity in full detail. The agent is very light so it creates insignificant overhead on the instance (less than 2%), needed for the key objective of permanent monitoring. It allows the support guy to see in full detail what happened on the performance issue reported by the User as if it were a policeman watching a security camera recording. With this information it is possible to identify  the root cause of the problem immediately and provide a quick solution  to the problem, to the  full satisfaction of the support team and more importantly to the great satisfaction of the Users.

The ease of pinpointing performance issues so you can provide an agile response to performance issues is critically important, but it is just reactive management. There are several other key capabilities of AppDynamics that allow real proactive management of the performance of your Openbravo instance.

The first one is alerts. You can define alerts with very precise detail, so you can notify  your system administrator  before the issue impacts the operation.

But what´s more relevant, it allows continuous analysis and so continuous improvement of the performance of your instance. Through the concept of Business Transactions it simplifies the analysis by grouping together different requests into meaningful groups for analysis. Openbravo provides a preconfigured definition of those Business Transactions specially designed for Openbravo instances, and it can be extended –temporarily or permanently- for customer specific requirements.

Analysis is always more powerful when it can be done with a reference. With AppDynamics you can use three interesting references for three different purposes:

  • Compare Business Transactions in the current situation. It allows to identify what are the top transactions that create most of the workload, both individually and cumulatively. With this analysis you can define where to focus your attention for optimization (logically there is more potential for improvement on those top transactions)
  • Compare Business Transactions with a benchmark provided by Openbravo from other Openbravo instances. It allows a quick audit of the health of your instance. If your instance performs slower than the Openbravo benchmark there should be a good explanation or it should be fixed.
  • Compare Business Transactions with historical data. It allows to measure and understand how changes in the system affect performance, and take action based on it.  For example, to have an objective measure of the value delivered by some performance optimization, to confirm that some recent update improves –or at least does not degrade- instance performance, to verify that some new functionality or integration performs as expected without impacting other business flows, etc.

There is even more value that you can take from this permanent monitoring of your Openbravo instance. From this information you can understand how your staff are using the system, and it can lead to very interesting insights on how to optimize your business processes. I will be elaborating on this concept in a future blog post.

Do not hesitate, turn on the light and enjoy managing the performance of your Openbravo instance with AppDynamics!

Categories: Company News, English, Other | 4 comments

logo hostelco

Sin duda esta puede ser una de las principales conclusiones tras nuestra participación en Hostelco junto a EPSON, en Barcelona los pasados días 20 a 23 de Octubre. Nada sorprendente de acuerdo a las tendencias actuales, sino una confirmación más de la influencia que las tecnologías móviles tienen y van a tener en el futuro en todo tipo de actividad minorista.

Si bien hace un tiempo la posibilidad de utilización de dispositivos móviles en restaurantes o tiendas era prevista por grandes minoristas o cadenas, el fenómeno ahora se extiende también a pequeños negocios que buscan ofrecer un servicio diferenciado a sus clientes. En este caso además, toma mayor importancia la posibilidad de adoptar una solución de coste reducido, de fácil despliegue y mantenimiento.

Asimismo si bien aún existen dudas entre algunos compañías sobre el uso de la tecnología Cloud, ésta se convierte en un elemento clave para el acceso a medianas empresas a soluciones mucho más ágiles y asequibles.

ippEsta nueva realidad, dominada cada vez más por tecnologías Cloud y móviles, requiere también del uso de dispositivos y periféricos que aprovechen al máximo sus beneficios y ofrezcan a los clientes máxima libertad y flexibilidad, permitiendo el uso de soluciones a su vez modernas e innovadoras. Un claro ejemplo de ello es el resultado del uso de nuestra solución de punto de venta con las impresoras inteligentes de EPSON, como la TM-T88V-i,  ideales para el uso de soluciones de punto de venta cloud y móviles,  gracias a la ayuda de su exclusiva tecnología ePOS-Print integrada.

Sin necesidad de drivers, y con posibilidad de conectividad WiFi, simplifican enormemente las tareas de configuración y despliegue, y permiten además una gestión centralizada de todos los periféricos del punto de venta,  con la posibilidad de instalar en la propia impresora aplicaciones que por su naturaleza ofrezcan beneficios al ser ejecutadas en modo local.

Durante las próximas semanas esperamos también iniciar pruebas con modelos portátiles de EPSON como el modelo TM-P80 Wifi , ideales para entornos de venta asistida móvil en tiendas o restaurantes.

tmcp80_left_with_receipt

Os mantendremos informados.

Para acabar, otro dispositivo que tuvimos oportunidad de probar junto a nuestra solución de punto de venta en el stand con EPSON. Se trata del proyector  EB-1430Wi, ideal para transformar salas de reuniones o sesiones formativas en una nueva experiencia interactiva. En este gif animado (clic para verlo), procesando un ticket en nuestra solución. Realmente impresionante.

gif Hostelco

 

 

Categories: Other, Retail, Spanish | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Marco de Vries PresentingEvery company, whether it has 2 employees or 2,000, has to arrange general meetings as a regular part of getting things done.  But when the volume of this is large enough to have offices in different countries,  a good dynamic within the company is essential, as well as  a Company Meeting at least once a year to share the status of the company, analyze the numbers, see the new faces, inform the company about employees who have left and discuss any extra topics of importance.

Last Wednesday  the Openbravo Company Meeting took place at our offices in Pamplona, Spain, where different topics were discussed, such as:

 

  1. Business Update
  2. Staff satisfaction survey
  3. Marketing: social media plan

Year after year, it becomes increasingly difficult to find a good time zone for all of our employees, so this year’s meeting took place at 13:00 at our offices in Pamplona and Barcelona (Spain), 6:00 a.m. in the Mexico DF office, 17:30 in the Kolkata office (India) and 20:00 in Shanghai (where some of our employees were at that time).

The meeting was led by our CEO, Marco de Vries, who was responsible for communicating all the news and results regarding the future of the company. Then, our head of Human Resources, Marta Moncosí, was responsible for publishing the results of the latest Staff Satisfaction Survey (with very positive results, it must be said). Finally, it was my turn, I had the opportunity to communicate the new Social Media Plan, to try to motivate  employees and  actively involve them in the social outlook of the company.

The truth is that the employees gave good feedback about the meeting, allowing some of them (like me) to get to know  the rest of the team, so we can create a better business climate, something I hope will be repeated in future meetings.

Company meeting attendeescompany meeting socail

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Equipmag2014-booth-3The Chinese retail market is very dynamic: with a 13% growth rate in traditional offline and 40% in online e-commerce, there are many opportunities. Still dominated by local brands, the market continues to attract new international brands every year.

Visitors at Equipmag Shanghai, an annual trade show that caters to retailers in mainland China, were a good sample of this dynamic landscape. Mid-size successful retailers are looking for solutions to support their growth. Some are looking for ways to better manage omni-channel distribution. As for new players in the market, they are looking for solutions which are well fitted to the Chinese market, flexible enough to allow for extensions, and compatible with international standards.

 

The crowd at Equipmag came from a very large range of industries: cosmetics, furniture, fashion, luxury goods, electronics, sporting goods, food & beverage, toys, gardening equipments, etc. There was also interest from a shopping center, looking for solution to drive more traffic, better manage their relationship with brands, offer added value services and increase customer loyalty towards the shopping center.

The Openbravo China booth, hosted in partnership with Bluecom, attracted a lot of interest for its Commerce Platform solution. Indeed, the mobility of the solution, demonstrated on tablets and mobile phones, sparked visitors’ interest. In a very competitive environment, every advantage a retailer can leverage is highly valuable. Openbravo’s inherent flexibility has already proved how critical it is to the success of retailers.

The recent partnership between System-in-Motion, Openbravo Master Distributor on greater China, and Alibaba, who controls more than 75% of mobile payments in China, is an example of how Openbravo can adapt to fast changes in the industry. This partnership aims at the integration of Alibaba mobile payment solution, alipay mobile, with Openbravo Web POS. Retailers see this as an opportunity to attract more customers, by offering new and modern payment means.

Categories: Company News, English, ERP General Updates, Industry Trends, Retail | Leave a comment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALas diferentes reformas fiscales que han tenido lugar en México durante el 2014 han llevado a las empresas hacia una nueva forma de llevar su contabilidad e interactuar con la autoridad fiscal.

La reciente regulación, la contabilidad electrónica, establece que a partir del 1 de julio de 2014 están obligados a llevar contabilidad electrónica y enviar esta información al SAT (Servicio de Administración Tributaria) las personas morales, incluidas las personas morales con fines no lucrativos y las personas físicas con actividad empresarial.

Por ello, las empresas deben llevar la contabilidad en medios electrónicos e ingresar mensualmente su información contable en la página web del SAT, mediante el buzón tributario. Así a partir de enero de 2015, los tres elementos que deben enviarse en formato XML son: el catálogo de cuentas, la balanza de comprobación y las pólizas contables.

Esta regulación, junto con la obligación de la emisión de facturas electrónicas y otros cambios, conlleva que las empresas reconsideren seriamente sus actuales sistemas de gestión y se planteen dotarse de soluciones empresariales que cumplan con las normativas vigentes pero que a su vez sean lo suficientemente ágiles y flexibles para adaptarse con rapidez a nuevas normativas futuras.

Si usted se pregunta: “Y ahora, ¿cómo lo hago?”

Desde Openbravo, con la contribución especial de nuestro Partner localizador Tegik y la colaboración del resto de nuestros Partners en México, queremos compartir con usted toda la información sobre la adecuación de nuestras soluciones a esta nueva realidad mediante una demostración de perfil práctico que responda a todas sus preguntas en esta materia.

Entraremos en el detalle de los procesos que hacen posible esta adecuación y daremos respuesta práctica a sus cuestiones. Ahora es el momento de actuar!

Reserve su sitio en nuestro webinar gratuito del día 29 de Octubre a las 10am hora local.

 

Categories: Company News, ERP General Updates, Other, Retail General Updates, Spanish | Leave a comment

As many of you may know, we recently launched our bright new website. We wanted to provide users with a better experience by facilitating access to resources and descriptions of our products. But undoubtedly, what  gives this new website a higher level of quality is the possibility to access a demo of our products (Openbravo ERP Platform and Openbravo Commerce Plataform) in a self-controlled way. To further facilitate the Openbravo products learning, we divided the demo into two different parts; Product Tour and Online Trial.

The idea of the Product Tour is to guide the user through an interactive tour to get a first impression of the product. This is intended for people who have not yet experimented with our products, as they go through this tour first they will be able to:

  • Have a first hand experience of the product
  • Explore some of the main product features

Our Product Tour consists of 3 different circuits, one for the Openbravo ERP Platform, and two for the Openbravo Commerce Platform.

Product Tour ERP

  • Openbravo ERP Platform exploration: For about 10 minutes, the tour will guide the user through a simulated end-to-end functional process in a food and beverages enterprise, where they will learn how to:
    • Prepare a sales quotation for a prospective customer
    • Confirm the Sales Order
    • Prepare the picking
    • Generate the Sales Invoice
    • Check the accounting entry

All of this, putting ourselves in the shoes of two different employees of the company:

  • Sales representative
  • Finance Manager

At the end of the process, the user is given the opportunity to strengthen these concepts with the help of one of our experts with an assisted product demonstration.

  • Openbravo Commerce Platform: The tour here is divided into two distinct parts; Web POS and Back Office.
    • Web POS: In about 5 minutes, the user will perform a sales process in a sports store with a tablet. He will role play a Sales Assistant making an assisted sale to a customer from the product selection right through to the payment.
    • Back Office: Now we will be in the shoes of the Merchandise Manager at the headquarters. With an 5 additional minutes, the user can learn how to perform different back office processes such as:
      • Ship one pending order
      • Generate picking list
      • Create the Goods Shipment document
      • Create a new purchase order
      • Send the purchase order to the supplier

Once the users have completed the Product Tour, they are encouraged to access to an online trial, a self-service environment equipped with sample data to go into detail on the product exploration. We will go into this topic further in future blog posts. It is also possible to request an assisted demonstration with the personal guidance of someone from our team at the end of both tours.

Product tour WebPOS

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

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