Archive for March 6th, 2009

Rethinking OSS business model classifications by adding adopters’ value

As a follow-up to our previous research in FLOSSMETRICS and OpenTTT, we are trying to improve our original classification, adapting it to the many changes that are happening in the commercial open source world. As a preliminary result, I would like to share with you the preliminary second version of our OSS model taxonomy, that includes a few relevant changes:

  • It does, for the first time, disaggregate what was originally called ITSC (Installation, training, support, consulting) because many successful companies are now specializing in a single activity. This is a significant change from 2006 (when we started collecting data on OSS models), when companies were performing in a more or less undifferentiated way all those activities. We believe that this “specialization” will continue with the enlargement of the commercial OSS market.
  • We removed the “badgeware” category from the list. We found that some of the vendors that originally followed this model disappeared, and  for those remaining protection from freeriding and overall model was more or less morphed into a “open core” or “split oss/commercial”. As the visibility clause can now be included in the GPLv3, I believe that the remaining few badgeware licenses will disappear quickly.
  • We have added an experimental section, related to the advantages for the vendor and for the adopters of OSS models. This section is in my opinion quite important in making this a sort of “cheatsheet” for companies that will be interested in using an OSS business model in the future, but is still subject to some revision. I would be grateful for any suggestion or correction to it.

Anyway, here is a link to the table in ODS format, and in html format: