A blog for the enterprise open source community
The convergence of open source and SaaSMatthew Aslett, October 23, 2008 @ 5:47 am ET
Matt Asay has an interesting post today on how its getting harder to distinguish between open source and SaaS which reminded me of the presentation I was scheduled to give at a recent SugarCRM event in London.
Due to illness I was forced to cancel my appearance (and it’s a good job I did as my second child coincidentally chose that day to make an appearance – I at least avoided having to run off stage mid-presentation to head for the hospital).
Anyway, since then the slides for my presentation The Convergence of Open Source and SaaS have been gathering virtual dust on my desktop. Given they are unlikely to see the light of day I thought I might as well upload them to SlideShare.
Of course you miss the full details of the presentation, but the slides themselves give a pretty good overview of how we see open source and SaaS as complementary software development and distribution models (respectively).
As Matt notes they have their similarities “Both are all about getting software in the hands of prospective customers as fast as possible, and look to monetize that adoption downstream rather than upfront. Both provide a lower cost of entry and (often) a long-term cost savings, with a subscription-based revenue model.”
What we also see, however, is that some of their differences are also complementary. With particular reference to the thirteenth slide I should perhaps point out that I would not claim that open source and SaaS are the perfect match, but I think the slide shows how some of the benefits of open source can help to negate the weaknesses of SaaS, and vice versa.
By the way, one statement I would take issue with in Matt Asay’s post is the comment by his investor friend that “venture funding in open source appears to be going down, as reported by The 451 Group.” As the chart on our post indicates, VC funding for open source was down in Q3 (YoY) but was up in Q1 and Q2 and has fluctuated throughout its history.
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