Thoughts from the Conference
Feedback and expectations going forward from the recently concluded ERPNext Conference
· 3 min read
Its almost three weeks now and time to take a quick stock of the first ERPNext Conference. Some thoughts in random order.
- The energy was good, people were excited, inspired and bewildered at the same time. Open Source is still a new concept in India, so people are still learning what it means to be a part of an open community.
- Customers who took time and presented, did so with their heart and it was seen in the quality of the presentations. It was great to contrast so many users stories in one event and it was good to know that ERPNext delivers actual value to these companies
and is integral to the way they work.
- Around a dozen or so had traveled specially for the conference, so there seems to be a great number of people outside of our circle of contacts who are following the product.
- Everything was more or less on time. Sessions were interactive, lots of questions were asked and everyone who attended seemed engaged.
- Attendance was lower than what we expected. Maybe there was some confusion in the communication and maybe we did not personally invite a whole lot of people. What lacked in quantity was easily covered up in quality!
- ERP is still not an exciting industry. Many people have fixed thoughts and learnings on how ERPs should function, what tools should be used and it is extremely hard for a new alternative to be taken seriously.
- Implementation and on-boarding is still a pain. It is very hard to start using a new ERP system and migrate all existing information into such a new system. Add to it, all the learning and un-learning that has to take place while the system is being implemented. This came across in a lot of conversations.
- There are a lot of well-wishers and we felt there was great good will among everyone!
- We came across as romantics, like people who are not interested in money etc. The shift away from capitalism is still hard to digest for most people and that is not always a good thing for business. Some feedback was that we project ourselves as a "typical" company and don't say things like we are just 8 people and not interested in money.
- Contributing developers are 1/10 of active developers are 1/10 of active users are 1/10 of people who have tried the product are 1/10 of people who know about ERPNext.
- People had apprehensions about upgrades. Understandable. We need to be more careful and document a bit more.
- What do we change taking in the feedback. Another hard one. People liked what we did and they were inspired by it. There were unimplementable suggestions (use Django) or general things like "appear more professional", but overall it seemed like a validation of the path taken and there does not seem to be any large reason for course correction.
- There are three sub-communities that need different attentions - users, developers and partners. I think we will need to juggle between these three because all of them are needed to build a successful ecosystem!
Rushabh is a software developer and founder of ERPNext. He usually writes about the startup experience, open source and the technologies he is working on.