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Journey of Odoo from TinyERP to OpenERP to Odoo

Let’s take a look at how Odoo evolved ever since it was conceptualized in the form of an ERP software in 2005. It will give a better idea about an ERP system that led to the inception of Odoo. It all started when Fabien Pinckaers came up with the idea of launching a fully open-source ERP system. Up till then, the market was dominated by proprietary ERP systems. Hence, this idea from Fabien was bound to be a game-changer in the ERP market. His first product was a brand new ERP solution called TinyERP. So it is evident that his mind was set on revolutionizing the world of Enterprise Management systems with open source ERP tools that will add immense cost benefits to the clients.

Let’s see how this vision led to the birth of the popular Odoo software.


The inception of Odoo – The backstory 

Fabien had a simple approach to meeting the goal of developing an open-source ERP system. He wanted to build a commercially viable solution. At the same time, he took on one of the biggest global players in ERP systems – SAP. The first step was to take a domain, and over the course of the next seven years, he eroded the value of a $77-billion company. In order to inch closer towards his goal, he took some concrete steps. First off, he renamed TinyERP to OpenERP to enhance customer outreach. After that, he spent the next three years strengthening the TinyERP solution by adding multiple modules to enrich the functionality offered by the tool.

They had one more constraint – he couldn’t juggle time between service delivery to customers and product development. As a result, he pivoted to a software publisher organization. This helped the company to focus more attention on R&D tasks.

To achieve success in this format, they needed a partner network and maintenance offer, and this step could be cost-prohibitive. In this phase, he got partners on board for developing modules while he freed up time to focus on the research process. The outcome was that version 8 was power-packed with features like eCommerce, marketing, and POS. This solution was bundled with a fresh cloud offer. In this approach, they gave the clients the freedom to create their own websites for free.


The launch of Odoo

With these many features bundled into the solution, Fabien felt the need to market it under a completely refreshing name. This led to the inception of Odoo in 2008. The rationale behind using the name was that its value extended far beyond being an ERP solution, with CMS, BI, and online retail functionality added in.

Are you interested to know what does Odoo stands for? It is an abbreviation for “On Demand Open Object.”

This is the story of the inception of Odoo.

Today, it enjoys a reputation as an MNC with 1250 partners globally. One person’s vision led to a company’s growth that progressed from a handful of employees to being a global conglomerate.


The initial days of Odoo

Odoo enjoyed an interesting few releases in the initial phase post inception. Versions 1,2,3m and 4 were marketed as TinyERP. The next four version releases were marketed as OpenERP. The name ‘Odoo’ came up only from version 9 onwards.

The names brought with it a wide range of updates. For example, we can compare OpenERP version 5 and the latest Odoo version 12.


OpenERP V5 – Feature List

With the OpenERP V5 launch, users were able to integrate it with Google docs. It also offered easy social media integration with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It also benefitted clients by adding a timesheet module. This helped maintain a tab on worker performance and overcame the wastage of time needed for this task.


Odoo version 12, 13, 14 – Feature List

Now, let’s check out Odoo ver12. One of the hottest addition was the Odoo IoT box. It helps connect various smart gadgets to the core. The Odoo ERP solution helps use a Wi-Fi affiliation to connect IoT box with Odoo. Plus, the version has enabled users to store and upload documents with the help of document management. It also offered industry-leading features like multi-website support and ODOO Leave Management. Users also benefitted from another update – the presence of an Odoo chatbox. This functionality helped users in an AI-based conversation.

Open ERP V5 rolled out in the market in a standalone version. On the other hand, Odoo v12 was launched in two variants – community version and enterprise version. Both versions utilize PostgreSQL for the database. On the scripting language end, the two versions used different solutions. OpenERP used python2.6 while OODO Python3.6.

There are more differences, though. OpenERP lacked a comprehensive accounting functionality. This prevented users from benefiting from insightful dashboard and analytics views. But when we look at Odoo 12, it supports online accounting. With Odoo 12, users also have the freedom to plug in their own third-party accounting software. The power-packed solution also presented a robust dashboard view and analytic function

It is clear that app support was a major deterrent to marketing OpenERP. Odoo 12 overcame these lacking features and presented improved Application support.

We see the while OpenERP didn’t supper Android or IOS apps, Odoo12 offers total support to these mobile operating systems.

Lastly, on the performance front, too, Odoo 12 scored way above OpenERP. ERP5 suffered from slower performance and lower productivity. But, Odoo12 was powered by smart buttons, shortcut access, drag, and drop buttons. These features helped to boost its speed rate up to 3X UI.

Odoo 13 – Blazing fast performance 

Odoo 13 was marketed as being 5x faster than Odoo 12. Odoo 13 offered users nine new apps to span many more business use cases and processes. These features were added, but yet the user experience skyrocketed as compared to the previous Odoo version.

Take the case of the Accounting module. Odoo 13 brought about extensive changes to this process. The team examined every screen and every process to make it the best possible Accounting solution. This scrutiny helped them present better reconciliation and higher UX. Its new features spanned Journal entries, new reports, consolidation, asset refactoring, simpler tax configuration.

The other area that underwent a dramatic update was the Odoo Field Service Management. It brings users all features to help them plan, schedule, manage, and track appointments. It allows field staff to add in work time and build custom reports with personalized worksheets.

Their ability to do more like raising invoices helped field teams to amplify high-quality experiences to customers at any time, at any place. The field team further benefitted from the reliable map view to help them reach the right location at the appointed time.

Then there is the new Rental app bundled with Odoo 13. It helps you do all activities associated with a rental app from a single window. Users get the freedom to develop a rental order, schedule, deliver, return, and invoices in a blazing fast time. They can monitor accessibility with an overview of all the products. This USP will help them sift out the financially profitable products from the rest.

When it comes to marketing, Odoo already had a powerful suite of marketing tools. These included Marketing Automation, Email Marketing, SEO, web and blog content, surveys and forms.

But with the launch of Odoo 13, this module became more powerful. Its power was driven primarily due to two key additions – SMS Marketing, and Social Marketing.

On the HR front, too, there were some interesting developments. These helped enhance the staff recruitment process. This was mainly due to the Odoo Referral app. This app helped to make referrals a key source for hiring candidates. The new app lets your employees develop a team of superheroes through referrals. As a result, these referring employees are rewarded suitably to help smoothen out the recruitment process. Since the organization will look forward to quite a few referrals throughout the year, a tool like the Odoo referral app will make the entire process smooth and glitch-free. It consists of a wholly automated onboarding plan, that manages everything with a single click. Then whoever is in charge of each step of the plan gets an alert.

Another excellent tool to check out is the Learning Management System (LMS) feature. It helps teachers, coaches, and academic institutions to share knowledge in an efficient manner. Its easy-to-use interface helps users to utilize a host of features for its LMS. Users can create integrated quizzes, apply gamification, and award certifications at the end of the course.

In Odoo 14, users saw many interesting updates. Take the case of the Website Builder. The developers have made a lot of efforts to thoroughly scrutinize every block and every screen. This has helped us roll out the module as one of the best updates to Odoo 14.

Users see much more defined ease of use in creating websites with minimal effort. They get a lot more options, customizations, widgets, and blocks to work with now. As a result, they can easily create interactive pages that amplify the engagement factors, keeps online users hooked for long, and gives immense potential to convert to loyal customers for the organization.

Odoo 14 has gone ahead and upgraded the looks and appearance of the MRP and Inventory apps. This has resulted in adding many more menus to help the users in carrying out a range of tasks and guide actions better within a process.

Odoo has also taken cognizance of the need for a mobile POS. Hence their Odoo Point of Sale is now completely compatible with mobile devices. Plus, it now offers users the chance to update a POS’ architecture in an open session.

Odoo 14 also allows you to build live tracks. Users can then transmit them online through YouTube. Added functionalities include the provision of integrated quizzes at the end of the discussion. Further gamification can be achieved by showing a leaderboard of the best answers to the quizzes.


Now, let us look at the newest version, Odoo 15.

This version is expected to be launched at the Odoo Experience 2021 conference. Here are some notes about this version.

Odoo 15 Expected Feature Blog
Odoo 15 Expected Features Sheet
Odoo 15 Features Videos youtube Channel


Awards and recognition

Before OpenERP was re-branded to Odoo, it won many awards like Trends Gazelle, Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Award and the Infoworld’s BOSSIE Award 2013 . After its rebranding as Odoo, it won consecutive BOSSIE Awards in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

  • Won INSEAD Young Innovator Award in 2010
  • Recognized as Highest-ranked Belgian company in the Deloitte Technology Fast50 Benelux with growth of 1,549% in the past 5 years in 2012
  • Won Bossie Award for the Best Open Source Solution in 2013
  • Recognized with Trends Gazelles Award in 2013
  • Linux New Media Award for The Best Open Source solution compatible with European Accounting Systems in 2013
  • Bossie Award for the Best Open Source Solution in 2013
  • L’Entreprise Prometteuse by Ernst & Young in 2013
  • Bossie Award for the Best Open Source Solution in 2015
  • Fabien Pinckaers is elected “Top Manager of the year” by Le Soir in 2015
  • Trends Gazelle Award – SME category in 2018

Version history


Odoo – Current USP Landscape

  1. Currently No.1 in Open – Source ERP.
  2. Being the most installed software in the world with more than 1000 installations every day,
  3. Providing the users with more than 3000 other useful modules from the community
  4. Over 500 working partners distributed in 60 countries.
  5. Over 1000 active explorers in the world.
  6. Support over 20 languages, including Chinese.

Odoo – How the Landscape Looks for the Next Few Years

Odoo has managed to fortify its market share with more than 2 million Odoo users. There are many factors that have contributed to Odoo becoming the leading open source ERP solution globally.

Its open source architecture and Python coding makes it a universal favorite with business users. This allows Odoo to integrate well with most of the new technologies that are continuously being released in the market.

Be it a startup or a multinational company, Odoo offered an immense value proposition as an integrated system for an organization. This USP reduces the complex multi-solution architecture and helps the team to be more efficient at its work.

Users have one more plus point about Odoo to celebrate. The solution can be adapted quickly as per the specific business requirement of the user. For companies, this can be an opportunity to create a competitive differentiator by capitalizing on the immense flexibility of the solution.

To conclude

This was an interesting snapshot of how Odoo has evolved over the years, right from before its inception till its current avatar, as the world’s best business management solution. Its loyal fan base ensures that Odoo keeps getting better with the passage of time.


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