Profoss / Events / November 2008 ERP / Speakers / Fabien Pinckaers / Fabien Pinckaers interview

Fabien Pinckaers interview

What's your daily job, and how is it related to open source ERP?

I manage the Tiny Group (Belgium, Canada, India) which is the editor of, an open source enterprise management software. As the CEO, I do lots of different tasks. I have a technical background so I invest a lot of time in the R&D of Open ERP.


Both companies are editing, an open source enterprise management software. We have about 100 of employees, including 75 developpers working on our free software product.


When did you start TinyERP, which became OpenERP recently?

The product started in may 2002 and the first customer has been integrated in 2003. The project started to growth very quickly in 2005, when I finnished my studies. At this time, we opened the partner network and started to communicate on the open source nature of TinyERP.

Was it a specialised development you turned into a product?

Yes and no. As the finance the beginning of the product, we started to sell it throught dedicated market which are the Auction Houses. But the product has always been developed as a generic ERP system. since the beginning, we started to build a strong framework and developped the business logic some months after.

Was it hard in the beginning to convince companies to use your open source solution?

No. Since the beginning, we have too much customers requests on the product that we can manage. In 4 years, we growed from 4 to 100 employees due to this. Today, we continue to reply to only 10% of requests we receive as there is a bigger demand then the current offer on the product.


How has market perception evolved?

The market growed very fastly since the last 2 years especially. 2 years ago, we had lots of requests from SMBs for such a product. Now, the market changed in the way that we began to have lots of requests from big companies and governments. We've seen some big adoption of OpenERP recently. What impact does it have on the evolution of OpenERP? (development, strategic orientation, ...)

As Open ERP is very modular, each adoption produces new modules. So they can be installed optionaly or not, depending on the need of each enterprise. We have currently 300 modules of different kinds: accounting, finance, stock management, manufacturing, services management, crm, document management, direct marketing, ecommerce, point of sale, payroll, ...


With our new adoptions and contributions, we produce about 20 new modules per month ! As an editor, we validate (means we offer fixed price maintenance) about 10 new modules per month.

Which companies do you target with OpenERP?

We splitted our offer into 2 products:

  • Open ERP On Demand: a SaaS offer
  • Integration of Open ERP : service market


The first one is dedicated to small enterprises (<30 employees). It's a self-service and low-cost offer with a unique price that include: the hosting, maintenance, support, training, Open ERP modules and migrations.


The second one is a service offer. We have customers from 20 to 2000 users on this offer. As an example:

  • Government: Financial Administration of Vaud
  • Education: ENA (Ecole Nationale d'Administration)
  • CRM: Chamber of Commerce of Belgium
  • Industries: Whirlpool
  • Food: Groupe Costes

Is there competition with other open source ERP solutions?

Today not. There is some others open source ERP's but we and they are too small to have a real competition on such a big market.


Currently, our real competitors are proprietary softwares:

  • On the service offer: Axapta, SAP, Navision.
  • On the On Demand offer: Sage


But I imagine that in some years, we will begin to have competition between open source enterprise management actors.