Friday, January 14, 2005

Building Open source evangelists; redefining software services model.


As Mitch Kapor said

"I think that for people who use software, in the long run, open-source products are going to be less expensive and of higher quality. Also, open-source products put more control into the hands of people and organizations that use the software, which is a good thing."; in this recent article.

It is true, it takes a considerable amount of time for revolution, Open source products started growing from developers heart to CIO's heart. It is a long transition from late 90's till date.

As fundamental idea behind open source , Companies have lesser burdern from software cost and more of long term maintenance/service work. Infact it is not only with open source , even with commercial product vendors are facing this problem. There is no "new license" money, its all about Subscription/maintenance model ,
" "subscription" maintenance business as "an extremely high-margin business." mentioned by Larry Ellison's earlier this year in a earnings call, Have a look at this graph (from Forrester Research) of New licenses/Maintenance/Services. It shows Maintenance is a constant growth and reaches close to 40% of total revenue, following that Services superseded New licenses during 2001 to 2003.

So How is open source players are taking this trend?. By proposing services as business model for open source companies, building open source specialists; soon to become evangelists, Who will
  • Promote and implement open source technologies around different stacks like LAMP/LAMJ and other components
  • Provide support for existing open source platform and components for different customers.
Companies are taking this real seriously, We currently seeing following service trend for open source industry.
  • New wave in Global Open source software services, Companies like SourceLabs, Spikesource; providing whole LAMP/LAMJ stack certification. Then Optaros, doing system integration and consulting.
  • Big players support for established open source prdoducts. (HP's support for JBoss/MySQL, which intern gives competitive edge against IBM/BEA)
  • Open source vendors (JBoss/MySQL) driving services as one of the key business factors.
  • Offshore SI/service providers developing open source services practices and expertise.

And there are companies like Apptility who wants to make open source adoption/compliance easier, along with services/support, Blackduck on compliance management.

Following diagram will show the transition of a concept to enterprise value element.





In a true sense it is redefining typical software services model, with the help of open source advocates and evangelists.

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