COSS BI: Open Source, Open Core or Openly Naked?
Peter Yared wrote recently a BusinessWeek guest blog post called âFailure of Commercial Open Source Software.â Not surprisingly his post caused a lot of angry replies from people who work for COSS companies. âThe emperor is not nakedâ they argued.
I believe that the COSS emperor is openly naked. And the discussion shouldnât be whether COSS is a complete or a partial failure just because there are few successful exits that Peter neglected to mention. At the end of the day Peterâs comment that âselling software is miserableâ is true. Every sales rep involved in selling COSS would agree (Iâm interviewing many of them now). Selling COSS is no easier than selling any other form of software.
Any company using the word âopenâ should be able to explain the true cost of delivery (this is one of Peterâs points). And there is an obvious litmus test of openness of COSS companies: One that I would call âopen pricing.â COSS companies should openly publish their price list and clearly mark whatâs free and open and whatâs paid and closed. Otherwise OSS is just a bait-and-switch to a familiar proprietary software tactic of customer lock-in. This is what OSS was supposed to get rid of in the .. …
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