Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Jun 2008 15:13 UTC
Oracle and SUN Sun UK's chief open-source officer, Simon Phipps, has a high-profile role to play as the company is seeking a complete its move to 100 percent open software development. When asked about the criticism over its commitment to open source, Simon re-iterate its commitment with a "Pig and a Chicken" story: "Both animals were asked by the farmer to bring something along for breakfast one morning to show their worth. The chicken turns up with an egg, while the pig turns up with a side of bacon. The farmer looks over the offerings and says: "Well, the chicken has contributed, but the pig is committed."
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The New World
by fretinator on Fri 27th Jun 2008 15:47 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

OLD:

1. A company employs a team of developers.
2. It figures out what it believes other companies want.
3. It codes up the amazing solution.
4. Pictures, whitepapers and demos of the awesome application are proffered.
5. Companies decide they want it, pay the price, and install the app.
6. If something doesn't quite work, the companies whine and moan to the vendor. Often little _real_ support is available, unless you are a large organization with a lot of money.
7. If enough noise is made, changes are implemented and released over the wall, otherwise consider a competing product.

NEW:

1. A company either grows or joins the community around a cool product
2. The company leads and drives the open development of the product. It employs experts and contributors in the product.
3. The company creates stable, tested, SUPPORTED snapshots of the product.
4. Companies purchase supported versions of the product.
5. If something doesn't quite work, the purchasing company uses their support to request intervention, often from actual engineers involved in the product. Larger companies may actually employ their own experts to modify and patch the product.

The key difference is that a company that generates revenue off an open-source product must maintain a high degree of expertise in the product and provide first-line support that is worth paying for. In the closed world, the hiding of information locks the purchaser into the vendor. The focus is on the purchase, not the support. This is why I get much better support for my non-paid Ubuntu OS, than I do for my expensive Window's OS. For closed products, support is more of an afterthought, and usually more geared for enterprises with VERY deep pockets. For open-source products, support is in essence the product!

Reply Score: 10

RE: The New World
by tomcat on Fri 27th Jun 2008 21:25 in reply to "The New World"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

You forgot a couple ...

6. The company tries to attract investor financing with spurious use of the terms "open source" and "leverage" and "community" and "initial public offering" in its business plan.

7. The company lays off all of its staff, files for bankrupty protection, shutters the headquarters due to lack of funding.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: The New World
by kaiwai on Sat 28th Jun 2008 00:17 in reply to "RE: The New World"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

You forgot a couple ...

6. The company tries to attract investor financing with spurious use of the terms "open source" and "leverage" and "community" and "initial public offering" in its business plan.

7. The company lays off all of its staff, files for bankrupty protection, shutters the headquarters due to lack of funding.


Assuming that they use open source as a panacea to fix all of the companies ills, when actual fact, the problem with the company is structural but the management are unwilling to acknowledge it.

The difference is with Sun, they're recognised they have to change, they've not only made open source a 'word' they've also committed to it in the form of restructuring their business model.

The problem is that so many businesses go open source as a last ditch effort, as the silver bullet that will apparently fix all the problems in their company whilst ignoring that open source, although a great idea, isn't going to fix everything.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: The New World
by kaiwai on Fri 27th Jun 2008 23:53 in reply to "The New World"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

The key difference is that a company that generates revenue off an open-source product must maintain a high degree of expertise in the product and provide first-line support that is worth paying for. In the closed world, the hiding of information locks the purchaser into the vendor. The focus is on the purchase, not the support. This is why I get much better support for my non-paid Ubuntu OS, than I do for my expensive Window's OS. For closed products, support is more of an afterthought, and usually more geared for enterprises with VERY deep pockets. For open-source products, support is in essence the product!


What you said perfectly explains the current situation which exists not just in the IT world but in the marketplace in general. Once these you've purchased their product and they've got your money - they don't want to have to deal with you, and their view is that they don't need to because they already have your money.

For some large companies, as soon as they get the money, they think that the relationship with the customer has ended - anything more than do for you, in terms of drivers and documentation, we the unwashed masses should be 'bloody well greatful'.

But lets remember, it never used to be this way. I remember 15-20 years ago, the reason why someone bought software over copy-the-floppy was because one would get support (telephone and updates). It was believed that as part of the package (the benefit of being legal), you would get all this 'add bonus' with it. Sure, there was piracy, but not to the same degree.

Here we are 15-20 years later, some companies have completely thrown away the idea completely of free technical support simply in favour of online documentation or worse a pay per incident policy (even if the issue is the fault of the vendor itself) - it is of very little use to a novice who is confused with technical terminology. In the end, for the person pirating, can you really blame them for not wanting to purchase software when the old reasons (after sales support) no longer ring true?

The open source business model will go through some tweaks, and hopefully more vendors will realise that the 'secret sauce' they used in the past is a hollow myth. When software becomes more and more commoditised, the focus will move away from simply adding features for the sake of features in favour of working with customers to get the software to work as the customers expect - through specialised services.

The customer feels as though the company is actually addressing their needs rather than it being an inconvenient after thought, and software companies benefit from a long term stable revenue stream rather than the dramatic peaks and troughs of having to push out products every number of years.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: The New World
by unclefester on Sat 28th Jun 2008 11:49 in reply to "RE: The New World"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Carmakers make relatively little profit on cars. They make money out of spares and service. You can almost always buy any part for cars 20 years old. Mercedes will provide parts and service for their 50 year old models. Rolls Royce will service, repair or refurbish any Roller ever made at the factory. Bentley will customise in virtually any way possible if your pockets are deep enough - "Pink ostrich skin seats, gold plated wheels, lime green shag pile carpets and ruby-studded solid platinum gear knob...no problem at all Sir!"

Reply Parent Score: 2