Thursday, July 27, 2006

OSCON - Business Models for Open Source Software Companies

Business Models for Open Source Software Companies by Tony Wasserman

I was hoping to get a little more out of this. I always have the expectation that when I hear an academic speak, they'd have all kinds of brilliant insights simply because they can claim they are an academic and get access to lots of great information that wouldn't be available to the press or to others in the industry. This presentation was nothing more than a general run down of the various open source business models out there.

Subscription Model
ala SugarCRM, Red Hat

Commercial and Open Source Products
ala Borland, CollabNet, SugarCRM

Support and Training Model
- Also, publications
Example: Many including O'Reilly
Works well for 1 / small man consulting shops and in develoing countries.

Dual License Model
Vendor offers same software under a commercial license who want or need commercial support.
Example: MySQL

Hosted Service
- Vendor uses open source software to create services that can be given away or sold to customers.
Examples: Yahoo, Google

Packaging Model
- Vendor integrates two or more open source products into a new product stack
- Vendor offers the "added value" stack along with support, training, and consulting
Examples: SpikeSource and OpenLogic

Commercial Enhancement- Vendor uses suitably licensed open source software and derives a new product that can be offered commercially, either as closed or open source.
Examples: EnterpriseDB and SRA OSS (PostgreSQL-based)

Consulting Strategy
- Vendor offers no open source software direcvtly, but helps clients make strategic decisions and investments related to open source
- Vendor obtains revenue by charging customers for their consulting time
Examples: IBM Global Services, Accenture, Gartner

Patronage Model
- Vendor offers open source software, money, equipment, or people's time to the community with no direct expectation of revenue.
- Vendor obtains revenue from other products and services, which may or may not be related to the open source software (and not even be open source).
Examples: Sun, IBM, Microsoft

Reseller Model
Offering free and open source software.