Openbravo: The Power of Agile and Innovative Retailing

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Marco de Vries, CEO Anyone with experience in trail running in the mountains has had the experience of seeing what appears to be the top of the hill close at hand. There are steep gradients, hiking, that are run “on any unpaved surface,” and bends in the trail wherein instead of seeing the top, runners come across seeing more trails winding upward. Reaching the top of a mountain, in the end, is as rewarding and exhilarating as it is challenging. Metaphorically, the sport also permeates through the business world. And, who better to exemplify this metaphor than Marco de Vries, CEO, Openbravo. Having explored unpredictable terrains where the risk of falling is real, de Vries (a trail runner himself) knows that it requires a challenging combination of technique, agility, and resistance to end up being fast. “For me, there are a lot of similarities between trail running and the day-to-day management of a company like Openbravo that competes in the hyper-dynamic and competitive retail tech market. Our success depends on our ability to have a sharper focus and be more agile than our competitors. It entails moving extremely fast sometimes, yet at other times balancing our efforts and addressing the setbacks,” says de Vries.

Overcoming adversity on their atypical paths to success, de Vries and his team at Openbravo are redefining omnichannel retail with increased agility and innovation in the cloud. “On the road to uncover the secrets to thrive in the retail industry, omnichannel has moved to the center of all forward-thinking retailers’ strategies,” says de Vries. An avid leader with zeal in dealing with highly complex business challenges for technology-enabled businesses, de Vries brings to the table his two decades of experience that helped him have an in-depth understanding of today’s hyper-dynamic retail environment and the need to provide more personalization across the ecosystem. He asserts, “Today’s retail management systems must be able to deliver in the ever-changing scenarios within retail landscape including new payments and delivery methods, data-powered personalized offers and services, and greater agility and focus toward business innovation and differentiation.” Openbravo also addresses the growing omnichannel complexity that propels IT teams to adopt mobility or cloud technologies while requiring stores to deliver more digital-like experiences such as IoT, augmented reality, endless aisle, self-checkout, and mobile payments.

Bringing out Business Relevance

It’s no secret that retail CIOs are under higher pressure than ever before to increase the added value and capacity of the IT function to achieve greater business impact. As a proactive approach toward achieving this, CIOs must adopt solutions that can deliver the benefits of these technologies, to support their mobile-first strategies and their move to the cloud. “The key to the success of these deployments lies in its integration capabilities with other systems, which will help to protect prior IT investments as well as facilitate future integrations,” explains de Vries.

To succeed in this dynamic market, Openbravo offers retail CIOs a modern retail management solution, which is mobile-enabled, cloud-ready, built in a fully open source stack and provides a comprehensive set of omnichannel capabilities that—thanks to the flexibility of the platform—can be easily extended and adapted to fit customer needs. Openbravo’s superior integration capabilities enable clients to easily integrate with existing systems and to connect to complementary solutions like e-commerce platforms or payment processors. Already available connectors include ERP connectors like the certified SAP connector, eCommerce connectors like with Magento and Prestashop or payment connectors with AliPay, WeChat, SumUp, CHASE Paymentech, Ingenico, and Cetelem.

“Thanks to Openbravo’s modular nature, the comprehensive omnichannel solution offers greater adoption flexibility since most capabilities can be simply switched on or off according to business needs,” adds de Vries. Besides, all existing functionality can be easily extended to support retailers’ most specific business requirements.

For the physical stores, Openbravo offers a modern responsive web and mobile point-of-sale solution to deliver more personalization and enhanced customer service owing to a broad set of assisted sales capabilities.

Thanks to Openbravo’s modular nature, the comprehensive omnichannel solution offers greater adoption flexibility since most capabilities can be simply switched on or off according to business needs

The solution brings in information for store associates about applicable discounts, complementary products or services to increase up-selling and cross-selling opportunities, a powerful search feature using product characteristics to recommend products based on customer’s personal preferences, integrated loyalty or real-time visibility of inventory quantities across locations to inform customers better. With support to RFID, mobile payments or a stylish self-checkout solution, users can deliver a faster and more convenient checkout experience. The solution also supports execution of a variety of omnichannel scenarios such as BOPIS, BORIS, or ROPIS by leveraging Openbravo’s integrated OMS engine as well as existing connectors with eCommerce platforms like Magento.

Moreover, Openbravo provides centralized customer management, ensuring unique customer view across channels, which helps in mitigating the challenges in implementing successful omnichannel marketing, engagement, and inventory strategies. “Presently, warehouses all across the globe are leveraging new technology as well to gain real-time inventory visibility across locations and supply chain management procedures,” adds de Vries. Aligned with this trend, Openbravo renders retailers a broad functionality to increase the efficiency of their inventory planning and management operations. The centralized system facilitates real-time tracking of goods movements, inventory status and quantities across all channels and locations, supported by robust warehouse and management capabilities from mobile devices that help to optimize all types of supply chain operations. The solution also provides advanced demand forecasting and planning capabilities, as well as integrated procurement to keep proper inventory levels in each location, at any given time.

Simplifying Business through Modularity

The Openbravo platform is a truly modular platform providing the core set of technologies that allow Openbravo to be extended to fit business needs, support retailers mobile-first strategy, and facilitate their cloud migration. The solution’s modularity empowers clients to rapidly extend and change existing components or to introduce new capabilities required to support fast-changing business demands and to enable a higher focus on continuous innovation and differentiation. Additionally, Openbravo’s decoupling extensions dramatically simplify system maintenance, updates, and upgrades, resulting in a significant reduction in system maintenance costs.

Openbravo Cloud, a single-tenant Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) option offers retailers the same level of freedom they enjoy in an on-premise deployment, including support to advanced configurations, like multi-server or high availability options, delivering the highest levels of security, availability, and performance. “With Openbravo Cloud, retailers can free themselves from the complexities and costs of managing hardware for their Openbravo solution, which can be scaled up or down based on growth or changing business needs,” adds de Vries.

A Milestone in Retail Success

The success of Openbravo’s revolutionary offerings can be attributed to a solid track record in delivering a cloud-based omnichannel solution designed to innovate more rapidly and accelerate business change. “One of our most important customers today is Decathlon, the largest sporting goods retailer in the world boasting over 13bn USD in annual turnover, and 1,400 stores in more than 40 countries,” says de Vries.

After focusing on B2B initially, Decathlon started targeting B2C stores in India after the company won government approval for 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail in 2013—the first sporting goods company to obtain this approval in the Indian market.
Thus, Decathlon launched an ambitious growth plan to build up an extensive physical store network across India in a 5-year timeframe, and therefore looked for a software solution, which was ready to support this ambitious expansion plan. Openbravo is used today in all 81 Decathlon stores across India.

Following the positive experience in India, Openbravo was subjected to a strict internal verification process and officially certified by Decathlon as a POS solution to support its expansion into other countries, providing the required capabilities that would help deliver an enhanced shopping experience while ensuring optimized IT operating costs.

"With Openbravo Cloud, retailers can free themselves from the complexities and costs of managing hardware for their Openbravo solution, which can be scaled up or down based on growth or changing business needs"

Openbravo provides Decathlon with a single solution that was quickly and easily deployed and adapted to support different country-specific needs, from fiscal regulations to integrations. Faster innovation at the POS was also possible thanks to Openbravo’s flexibility, which made it possible to quickly adopt innovative technologies like RFID, mobile payments (Alipay and WeChat integration for Decathlon China), or a new self-checkout solution, which was launched in less than three months. Out-of-the-box Openbravo mobile POS capabilities open up additional possibilities for enhanced in-store customer service, such as assisting customers from anywhere in the store or the reduction of waiting times at the terminal.

As per the Decathlon team, “With the efficient integration to Decathlon systems and new technologies like RFID or mobile payments, Openbravo helps our store staff in terms of check-out process efficiency and reduces time spent on training. We believe this innovative solution will help us with the digital transformation of our business.”

Aside from India, Decathlon currently uses Openbravo POS to manage store operations in a growing list of countries in Asia, including Australia, Cambodia, China (280 stores in Openbravo Cloud), Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam. And more countries will follow shortly. As a result, Decathlon will soon run Openbravo in a total of 400 stores out of their 1,400 stores in the world.

Preparing for the Future

The Openbravo Cloud offering has generated a lot of market traction with new and existing customers alike. Openbravo’s culture fosters strong collaboration and intimacy with customers to build long-term beneficial relationships, with the entire staff dedicated to helping them achieve their business goals. “2018 has also been very positive in terms of new iconic customers such as Toys “R” Us whom we will support in their revamp in Spain and Portugal. These types of agreements confirm our strategic success and further strengthens our market position as a reference retail software vendor,” says de Vries.

2018 has also been important for Openbravo’s international growth with two new office openings. One of those offices was established in Lille, France, the European retail place where more than 70 retailers have their headquarters, including major names such as Decathlon, Leroy Merlin, Castorama, Kiabi, Camaieu or La Redoute. This new office is led by a highly experienced team that comes from Cylande and Raymark, reinforcing Openbravo’s positioning in the French market while facilitating their expansion into other European countries. The second office was established in Dubai, UAE, which supports the company growth in the Middle East and offers enhanced service to existing retail customers in the region such as SharafDG and Organic Foods & Café, who are already using Openbravo's retail solution. “Supporting the common needs of today’s retailers, Openbravo will continue delivering the promise of the most flexible cloud-based omnichannel solution in the market,” concludes de Vries.

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Barcelona, Spain

Marco de Vries, CEO

Delivers cloud-based Omnichannel software aimed toward redefining agility and innovation across the retail landscape