Menu
Open source philosophy under threat

Open source philosophy under threat

Independent software vendors (ISVs) could soon become a thing of the past as major software vendors continue to adopt open source software.

Sam Higgins, Forrester senior analyst ANZ, says there is ample evidence that giant software vendors are revising their product and marketing strategies around open source.

As Higgins points out, the last year has seen IBM acquire Gluecode Software, CA spin out the Ingres database into a separate open source company and even Microsoft create

several open source licences for its software.

“The thing that gets me is where do I go to find an ISV now that the industry is becoming so commoditised? Where did all the independent companies go?”

Higgins says Red Hat’s acquisition of JBoss makes perfect sense but says that if Oracle buys Novell it places CA as the only ISV left in the field.

“Given all the criticism that’s been thrown at Microsoft and even IBM over the years it’s a complete turnaround because that’s exactly where the rest of the market is going,” he says.

Higgins says the trigger for Forrester’s latest open source report was Oracle acquiring Sleepycat Software, developer of the open source BerkeleyDB database.

“We started doing some digging around and found there was a lot more activity going on. This is just the start of it — I think the next couple of years will be extremely interesting in the open source market.”

But Higgins believes this commercialisation of open source could put the very philosophy of the movement at risk.

“When clients phone me with questions about open source they are actually referring to the commercial open source vendors.”

He says open source communities will have to work to retain their hard-won independence and users may wonder what happened to the benefits they hoped to achieve from adopting open source software.

“I still think the issue for buyers surrounds the purchasing model. The irony of open source is the struggle to buy services from open source vendors and many users don’t have an understanding of the subscription model.”

This impacts resellers, says Higgins, who under the traditional model make revenue from flow-on services or take a cut of the licence fees.

“In the open source environment resellers are in the power position but the big boys recognise this and some are considering reducing their partner and VAR networks.”

Higgins says commercial vendors are looking at a variety of revenue-generation strategies and will move from one strategy to another — regardless of benefits to clients.

He says the open source ecosystem will only become more complex and gaining benefits from open source may become even harder.

“If such overheads become too great the pendulum may swing away from open source.”

Ultimately, says Higgins, if open source projects are acquired en masse by companies such as Oracle then he expects to see the broader movement retreat.

He believes any strategy employed by traditional software vendors to stamp out open source will only lead to stronger, more successful open source. It would just be a question of how soon, the form it would take and who the leaders would be.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2018 inductees - Chris Simpson, Kendra Ross and Phill Patton - to the third running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing landscape of the technology industry in New Zealand, while outlining ways to attract a new breed of players to the ecosystem. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch
Upcoming tech talent share insights at inaugural Emerging Leaders Forum 2019

Upcoming tech talent share insights at inaugural Emerging Leaders Forum 2019

The channel came together for the inaugural Reseller News Emerging Leaders Forum in New Zealand, created to provide a program that identifies, educates and showcases the upcoming talent of the ICT industry. Hosted as a half day event, attendees heard from industry champions as keynoters and panelists talked about future opportunities and leadership paths and joined mentoring sessions with members of the ICT industry Hall of Fame. The forum concluded with 30 Under 30 Tech Awards across areas of Sales, Entrepreneur, Marketing, Management, Technical and Human Resources. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Upcoming tech talent share insights at inaugural Emerging Leaders Forum 2019
Show Comments