My name is Kiril Vangelovski. I help organizations work better using free software. This might sound a bit simplistic but that is the point. The usual jargon for what I do would be ERP software consultant and developer which is fine if you are familiar with what is ERP software. If you look up the wikipedia page for ERP software you can get overwhelmed and think that it is something usefull only for large corporations. An ERP is simply a computer program or a set of computer programs that have a centralized data repository and help in various areas of the organization. This can be in the Sale or Purchase of goods and materials, Tracking Stock, Manage Leads, Website, etc. While it is true that the more complex the organization becomes (has more people and keeps track of more data) the need for such a system will grow, though even small teams and individual enterpreneurs can benefit from having a set of data integrated computer programs that will enable them to work faster and be more effective.
I choose to work with free software, that is computer programs which can be inspected how they work, modified and can be shared without the need for approval of the original author. For different reasons, authors of nonfree computer programs tend to make changes which are not in the best interest of its users. This can be in the form of making certain features pay only or by collecting the user’s data. In either case when choosing to use nonfree software for your organization you are putting trust in its provider, both in the quality of the program and under which terms it will be provided (licence costs, restrictions of use, etc.). With free software it is not necessary to have this kind of trust in the original author. Because of its licence, authors of free programs can’t restrict you in how you use the program. This means that if the program doesn’t completly work as you need it, you are allowed to make changes to it. In the context of free software free stands for freedom not free of charge. While it is viable for an author of a free program to sell it for a price, in most cases when someone wants to professionally work with free software they find different ways how to make money using it. Usually this is selling services that help clients make better use of the program (I do this), but also crowdfunding campaings where selling services is not so viable.
Odoo (known as Odoo Community Edition, formerly OpenERP / TinyERP), developed by the Belgium based Odoo S.A., is a free ERP program which is extendable through modules (apps). Over the years it grew in scope and usability. Today, apart from the core ERP features like: Accounting, Warehouse, Sales, Purchase, etc., it also has modules that add: CRM, Website publishing and eCommerce, Project Management and other features accessable through a web based user interface. Odoo is licensed under LGPLv3 which allows for both free and nonfree modules to coexist and be used together. Odoo’s extensibilty and permisive license created a diverse ecosystem with thousands of modules from different authors including a separate set of modules named Odoo Enterprise which are released by Odoo S.A under a proprietary license. One of the biggest contributors to the free and open-source Odoo ecosystem is the Odoo Community Association (OCA). It’s members and contributors collaboratevly work on projects that together with the Odoo Community Edition create a solid standalone information system and provide a quality base for developing other company specific modules. Some of the projects under the OCA are: Point of Sale (extensions), Management Information System reports, Accounting & financial tools, Connector framework, and many others. The OCA with its active community and high quality standards, plays a crucial part in keeping Odoo to be a viable free ERP alternative and therefore I am actively contributing to it as much as possible.
I approach Odoo implementations by reusing what is available in the community first. This results in a more maintanable project since a large part of the code base will be shared and improved collaboratevly. I’ve been working with Odoo for quite a while (+5 years) and have acquired a feeling on what works best and what doesn’t. Even though I focus on using mostly Odoo because of its rich ecosystem, I am skilled with other technologies (languages / frameworks) and the Linux system and I know when to use another “tool” or combine it when it fits the purpose better then Odoo. I prefer to use an “agilish” approach and I try to create solutions that can be used in matter days or even hours. This is a result of regular communication where the real requirements are discovered by active participation of the users as early and as often as possible. I work on an hourly basis at a rate of 40 EUR/h and give estimates on the needed effort so that the client can control his budget. If you prefer to work in a different way, like fixed price, let me know and we will probably find a way to make that happen.