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Openbravo Should Avoid VMware’s Mistakes

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Virtualisation at 3:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chess game trap
Human Resources 101

Microsoft is approaching a Spanish Free software company (again). This time it’s Openbravo where Microsoft employees are being put, potentially to influence decisions in favour of Microsoft technologies, which is always the unfortunate side effect.

The Var Guy writes about this as though it’s a positive thing (probably not for GNU/Linux):

Two Microsoft Business Solutions veterans have joined Openbravo, a fast-growing provider of open source enterprise resource planning (ERP) and point of sale (POS) software. The moves signal growing momentum for business-centric open source applications. The news also highlights Openbravo’s continued investments in its IT channel partners.

A company which we already see being hijacked by Microsoft from the inside is VMware. We wrote about this before and now comes a more convincing article from Forbes Magazine. Watch the headline: “Bringing Microsoft To VMware”

Last summer, Paul Maritz was only hours into his new job as chief executive of VMware when he called Tod Nielsen, his former Microsoft colleague.

Nielsen, formerly Maritz’s right-hand man at Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT – news – people ) and chief executive of Borland Software (nasdaq: BORL – news – people ), talked with Maritz about Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulatory rules.
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“Paul was essentially the No. 3 person at Microsoft, in charge of all system software,” Nielsen says. “I was responsible for all the interactions with the developer community, for marketing and launching and evangelizing.”

How foolishly they let go. EMC is partly to blame, but being Microsoft’s partner of the year for 2008, it may feel the need to 'give' VMware to Microsoft. That’s just corporate diplomacy.

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  1. jacktheripper said,

    February 2, 2009 at 7:54 pm


    Don’t worry Roy, unlike VMware, there is nothing to hijack anymore in Openbravo. I know it right from the inside and it’s it’s just a million dollar funded bubble waiting to burst, cause there is nothing real inside. To be clear: Openbravo doesn’t work, the marketing team is spending their days faking some success (e.g. bigger is better, get it?), but it’s not real. Google for yourself, they have almost no real success story (only downloads and caught beginners on their forums to show…). I doubt they even have some profitable third party success story, quite annoying when the post you mention says they are making 80% of their small real money by hijacking their so called partners.


  2. Colin Rooney said,

    February 3, 2009 at 10:34 am


    OpenBravo is one of these so called “commercial” open source projects. They’ve had a number of multi-million dollar VC funding rounds which seems to have been spent primarily on marketing. But if the software is important to you then the Adempiere project –with zero VC funding (so it has no flash websites) but instead a real, 100% open, community of developers, users & profession services companies implementing it– is the project to look to. It has the same origins as OpenBravo (i.e. Compiere), but Adempiere is open to all with no “paid-for” partnerships attempting to control the services market place around the project. The truth is that in the OpenBravo/Compiere model the sol called “partners” ARE the customers!

  3. Josep Mitjà said,

    February 10, 2009 at 7:47 pm


    Dear Roy,

    On behalf of Openbravo, I would like to clarify a number of statements above to avoid any misunderstandings.

    First of all, Microsoft has not approached by any means Openbravo. Rather, we have convinced two leading Navision executives (who later became Microsoft employees) to join our company. I think the addition (“conversion” I could say) of these veterans in the team is a good sign that open source enterprise applications are also poised for mainstream use. Our team also includes alumni from Accenture, IBM, Oracle, Epicor, Scala or Baan, and we feel their experience greatly enhances our team.

    Openbravo has been, is and will continue to be 100% committed to building a reference Open Source ERP, as a solid and viable alternative to proprietary software. It is our belief that the open source collaborative approach results in better products and that it is at the core of all things we do.

    I would like to emphasize my previous statements points with the following data:

    Since the registration of the Openbravo ERP project in SourceForge in April’06, Openbravo has:
    - Kept its development trunk open and transparent for everyone [1]
    - Nurtured a single bug repository also open and transparent [2]
    - Ensured all documentation is available for free [3]

    The activity trends in all these fronts have been growing significantly and steadily, and in many cases these indicators (eg. monthly download rate) have the maximum rate of activity of any open source ERP. All this is public data that you can verify independently.

    Similarly the company has remained faithful to its open source manifesto [4], and any change in company practices has been towards increased transparency. Release status [5], for example, is updated regularly so that everyone can be informed of progress and participate regardless of its affiliation with Openbravo.

    Openbravo does indeed offer commercial services, like consulting, training, or support subscriptions (ie. Openbravo Network) that interested parties can decide to purchase if they want to. They can as well implement the product themselves with total freedom without the need to pay for anything.

    Finally, although there are some misinformed (malicious I should say) comments to this post, the most of our investment has been put in product development (which is the largest team in the company by now). Success stories across the world can also be easily found on our website [6].

    I would like to remind everyone that the beauty of open source is that code is publicly available for inspection and the product can easily be downloaded for evaluation. So it is very simple: Try all available software and decide for yourself what is the best alternative to suit your needs. No hard feelings, superior technology wins.

    I really hope this clarifies Openbravo’s position and I suggest we focus on working together to build real and diverse alternatives to proprietary software rather than arguing with our fellows.


    Josep Mitjà

    [1] https://dev.openbravo.com/websvn/openbravo/trunk/
    [2] https://issues.openbravo.com/
    [3] http://wiki.openbravo.com/
    [4] http://www.openbravo.com/about-us/openbravo-manifesto/
    [5] http://wiki.openbravo.com/wiki/2.50_Release_Status
    [6] http://www.openbravo.com/customers/

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 10, 2009 at 9:26 pm


    Josep, I like OpenBravo and I’m sure you know what you do. Please, just be careful…

    Also familiarise yourself with what Microsoft calls “schmoozing”.

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