ICT in Education Main Headline

Learning enterprise resource planning with open-source Odoo

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

Maintaining corporate information in an accurate, up-to-date and easy-to-use format can be costly from an information management perspective, due to the increasingly complex dynamics of the modern business world. IFT students know the solution for this is enterprise resource planning (ERP) software: however, commercial ERP software is generally expensive and nearly impossible to acquire solely for educational purposes. Or rather, that is how things used to be.

Odoo is an open-source, web-based ERP software. It includes numerous self-functioning applications. In addition, all corporate data and business processes can be managed by a variety of apps, allowing the software’s user an integrated approach to such tasks.

Odoo also includes an educational platform – Odoo Education. It allows users the option of building a company profile of their choice, complete with database. Such a profile is accessible to the user for a period of up to 10 months. During this time, students can learn how to manage and manipulate information contained in the database, using different tools, in order to optimise different business processes of the sample company. The tools cover topics including sales, customer relationship management, accounting, inventory management, and project resources or human resources.

Lecturer Ms. Kobi Lei – a teacher on the Management Information Systems course at IFT – made use of Odoo Education in academic year 2016/17 in order to better explain the concept of ERP to her students. She asked them to come up with a retail business concept and deliver a presentation on how to manage it using Odoo. The students first had to identify the business processes involved in their proposed business, and then work out how Odoo could help optimise those processes.

“This project allowed us to consolidate what we had learned in the past 2 years and put it to good use,” says Bachelor of Science in Tourism Retail and Marketing Management Year 2 student Ishan Wang.

He adds: “Odoo is very powerful in increasing business efficiency by eliminating various tedious issues related to the daily operation of a business. The different functions of the system – say sales and inventory – are all interconnected, which makes everything so easy to process, and so we can focus on generating additional sales.”

The Odoo project was a novelty for IFT but the outcome was quite successful, say participants. The goal was to provide students an opportunity to apply to a simulated business case what they had learned at the Institute.

President’s Corner

The challenge of uncertainty

A new academic year has just started at IFTM. It however differs in many ways from previous ones. We are all navigating our way through uncertain times. COVID-19 has changed substantially the way we live, and is affecting the way teaching and study is conducted at higher education institutions. Read More