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July 19, 2004

Open source moving up the chain

Plenty of open source news. Most of them are confirming Frank Heckler's suggested business models around open source -

"Support Sellers," in which revenue comes from media distribution, branding, training, consulting, custom development, and post-sales support instead of traditional software licensing fees
"Loss Leader," where a no-charge open-source product is used as a loss leader for traditional commercial software
"Widget Frosting," for companies that are in business primarily to sell hardware but which use the open-source model for enabling software such as driver and interface code
"Accessorizing," for companies which distribute books, computer hardware and other physical items associated with and supportive of open-source software
"Service Enabler," where open-source software is created and distributed primarily to support access to revenue-generating on-line services
"Brand Licensing," in which a company charges other companies for the right to use its brand names and trademarks in creating derivative products
"Sell It, Free It," where a company's software products start out their product life cycle as traditional commercial products and then are continually converted to open-source products when appropriate
"Software Franchising," a combination of several of the preceding models (in particular "Brand Licensing" and "Support Sellers") in which a company authorizes others to use its brand names and trademarks in creating associated organizations doing custom software development in particular geographic areas or vertical markets, and supplies franchises with training and related services in exchange for franchise fees of some sort

Niku open sourcing their Workbench project managemet software (this one they got from acquisition). This is surely a good offensive strategy to counter Primavera on one hand and MS Project on the other hand. With PM software becoming absolute commodity this move wasn't surprising. Having spent 2 years in a company (current version of that company is Digite) which developed first PM software on the Unix platform I am glad there is finally a enterprise strength PM software in the open source domain. This will free-up lot of good talents who are still slogging over resource scheduling and PERT/CPM algorithms trying to eke out some elusive competitive advantage for their PM software vendors.

Related open source news where JBoss is trying to disrupt lot of proprietary software vendor business models by using the path of acquire-and-then-open-source-it.

JBoss is looking specifically to open-source, standards-based integration software, called an enterprise service bus, and business process management (BPM) software, which is server-based software for automating complex business processes, Bickel said. Currently, enterprise service bus and BPM software are offered by both large commercial software companies and smaller, specialized ones.

Also check out SugarCRM - open source CRM solution. Which from the user interface looks very much like the Salesforce.com

July 19, 2004 in Open source | Permalink


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