Executive Summary

  • This is the Brightwork Research & Analysis software rating series.
  • We rate both the software and estimate the risk of implementing each application.

MUFI Rating & Risk for OpenERP

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: OpenERP (Select For Vendor Profile)


OpenERP is the most significant open source ERP vendor. As would be expected OpenERP is very well priced. Open source ERP has a tremendous upside in that it is inexpensive to customize. It can be purchased at no cost, which is something quite desirable if one is interested in customizing the application, or it can be run as is through using their SaaS delivery method. In this case, there is a per user per month charge. Although when customization is required, it will no longer be feasible to use the SaaS-based delivery mechanism of the software, and instead the software and data will need to be migrated to one of the implementing company’s servers.

Application Detail

When is an ERP system not an ERP system? When it is an open source ERP system. This is a problem with the definition of ERP. The large and even midsized ERP vendors both offer a type of software, as well as engage in specific business practices that are designed to benefit the ERP vendor, but not its customers. OpenERP is an open source ERP application that does not employ any of the problematic business practices of the large to medium ERP vendors. It follows an open system approach and does not try to steer customers into purchasing other non-ERP software from OpenERP.

OpenERP Product-1

OpenERP offers a 15-day free trial. Here I am setting up a product. All of OpenERP’s transactions allow you do in and add the master data (such as a product), which is something that ordinarily cannot be done in the ERP systems that I am used to using. This applies to all the master data that I checked, so anything from product data to financial data.


I was able to create a bill of materials in OpenERP very easily. The bill of materials screen is quite easy to use. However, I would recommend using a system like Arena Solutions to perform the bill of materials maintenance and then bring in the BOM into OpenERP.

OpenERP Manufacuring Order-1

We are now creating a manufacturing order with the finished good product and bill of materials – and raw materials – that I just previously created. Again, while we can create a manufacturing order in OpenERP, we would prefer to create the order in the advanced planning system, and then have the manufacturing orders brought over into OpenERP. This is for some reasons, which has already been explained. Even in cases where the manufacturing/production order is created manually, it is preferable to make the adjustment in the actual production planning system.

OpenERP Scheduled Production Order-1

 Now we can view the manufacturing order that we just created.

OpenERP Account Receivable

Unlike Fishbowl, OpenERP has its financial system. Although not a person with a finance background, we found it very easy to use. Above we have created accounts receivable account called “Standard Account Receivable.” As you can see, we had any number of accounts to choose from.

In testing OpenERP, many of the actions we performed would have required some specialized training in SAP ERP.

OpenERP along with ERPNext are two of the most accessible ERP systems to implement. Neither of the systems deployed by the major consulting companies, which allows the applications to go live quickly, and much of the consulting hours is remote and intermittent greatly reducing the costs.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

MUFI Scores

Search for the vendor in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table. Shortening Key: 
  • Ma. = Maintainability
  • Us. = Usability
  • Fu. = Functionality
  • Im. = Implementability
Average Score for Big ERP5. ERP
Average Score for CRM6.
Average Score for Small and Medium ERP8.386.78.5Small and Medium ERP
Average Score for Finance8.88.888.8Finance
Average Score for Demand Planning7.67.277.1Demand Planning
Average Score for Supply Planning6.76.976.8Supply Planning
Average Score for Production Planning6.86.976.9Production Planning
Average Score for BI Heavy5. Heavy
Average Score for PLM77.26.87.3PLM
Average Score for BI Light7.78.798.3BI Light
Arena Solutions Arena PLM 10101010PLM
AspenTech AspenOne48107Production Planning
Birst 88.5108BI Light
ERPNext10107.510Small and Medium ERP
Delfoi Planner866.57Production Planning
Demand Works Smoothie SP910710Supply Planning
Hamilton Grant RM1098.59PLM
IBM Cognos2.731.53BI Heavy
Infor Epiphany7865CRM
Infor Lawson8767Big ERP
Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions9959Finance
JDA DM97.588Demand Planning
Microsoft Dynamics CRM2322CRM
NetSuite CRM6433CRM
Netsuite OneWorld7788Big ERP
Oracle BI4436BI Heavy
Oracle CRM On Demand4535CRM
Oracle Demantra533.54.5Demand Planning
Oracle JD Edwards World4136Big ERP
Oracle RightNow6745CRM
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS10101010Production Planning
Preactor8737Production Planning
QlikTech QlikView99109BI Light
Rootstock9899Small and Medium ERP
Sage X38878Big ERP
Salesforce Enterprise88.597.5CRM
SAP APO DP3432Demand Planning
SAP APO PP/DS2243Production Planning
SAP APO SNP3484Supply Planning
SAP BI/BW1.5242BI Heavy
SAP Business Objects32.573BI Heavy
SAP ECC336.53Big ERP
SAP SmartOps4475.5Supply Planning
SAS BI6.5796BI Heavy
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting7897Demand Planning
Tableau (BI)9101010BI Light
Tableau (Forecasting)10859Demand Planning
Teradata86.39.76BI Heavy
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)7897Demand Planning
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)56107Supply Planning

Vendor and Application Risk

OpenERP has many of the same features of ERPNext, except it is not as easy to implement and user adoption is a bit more challenging.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Likelihood of Application Implementation Success and Failure

Estimates are for a typical project. A specific implementation requires details from the project to make a project-specific estimate.

Search for the application in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table.
ApplicationProb of Implementation SuccessProb of Implementation Failure
SAP Smartops0.390.61
NetSuite CRM0.460.54
Sugar CRM0.620.48
Base CRM0.910.09
SAP CRM0.350.65
Salesforce Enterprise0.720.28
QlikTech QlikView0.820.18
Tableau (BI)0.980.02
SAP Crystal Reports0.460.54
SAS BI0.760.24
Oracle BI0.350.65
IBM Cognos0.230.77
Infor Epiphany0.580.42
Microsoft Dynamics CRM0.260.74
Oracle RightNow CRM0.410.59
Oracle CRM On Demand0.360.64
SAP Business Objects0.320.68
SAP BI/BW0.250.75
SAP PLM0.290.71
Hamilton Grant RM0.890.11
Arena Solutions0.960.04
Delfoi Planner0.70.3
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS0.960.04
AspenTech AspenOne0.550.45
SAP APO PP/DS0.270.73
Demand Works Smoothie SP0.930.07
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)0.820.18
Demand Works Smoothie0.960.04
Tableau (Forecasting)0.90.1
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting0.820.18
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)0.860.14
JDA DM0.570.43
Oracle Demantra0.330.67
SAP APO DP0.280.72
Intuit QB Enterprise0.80.2
Microsoft Dynamics AX0.40.6
SAP Business One0.490.51
Sage X30.620.38
Infor Lawson0.580.42
Epicor ERP0.40.6
Oracle JD Edwards World0.310.69
Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne0.360.64
SAP ERP ECC/R/30.320.68
NetSuite OneWorld0.650.35

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

The only specific challenge to implementing OpenERP that stands out is OpenERP’s somewhat limited functionality. This can be a problem if buyers think that OpenERP is less than it is. But on the other hand, different from many other ERP software vendors, OpenERP does not have a team of salespeople over-promising functionality to buyers. Therefore, as long as some time is spent with the OpenERP trial it should be quite apparent what OpenERP can and cannot do.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the Small and Medium ERP software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for OpenERP.