Open Source positioning

18 07 2005

Sacha Labourey: “As I was thinking about the way companies (mostly software vendors) position towards Open Source, I realized I could try to categorize them.

Here is what I came up with:

  • The truly committed
  • The mixed-codebase
  • The pragmatics
  • The anti-strategist
  • The headless chickens
  • The in-denial
  • The anti-OSS”

I like to think that we can be characterized as mixed-codebase:

The second category, the “mixed-codebase”, gathers companies with an increasing commitment to an Open Source strategy but that also have some existing critical revenue streams to protect, and hence cannot simply switch to a full OSS strategy overnight. “Mixed-codebase” companies not only deploy on/use Open Source software (as an ISV), but also actively contribute to (or even lead) OSS projects and have some clear OSS alliances reinforcing this strategy. Examples of such companies include Novell and Computer Associates. I mostly see the “mixed-codebase” category has a transition step: companies will eventually move to category 1 (successful transition) or 3 (retrenchment), depending on how well they execute their transition, how well they can convert their existing revenue streams, how frequently they change their CEO, etc. I do not know of any company that would have successfully switched from a traditional company to a category 1 company yet. My bet is that such a thing will take place in the next 2 years.

We are probably also trying to move to category 1, but it’s going to take lots of time and sweat. Where are you on the above scale?




One response

18 07 2005

the company i’m going to leave is an anti-oss (i discovered that something like 2 months ago)
the company i’m going to join seems to be a pragmatic or a mixed-codebase (still don’t know for sure)

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