Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Can you resell Free/Open Source Software Products ?

Free/Open Source Product Software has always been a boon for Startups/Freelance Developers. Availability of quality code (for reuse or reference) acts aopen_source_solds a catalyst in  providing much needed agility that small enterprises need. This not only saved time to  market but also saved lots of moolah that would ,otherwise, be spent on buying costly licensed products.  However, “can you monetize freely available source code?”, is a question I am trying to analyze ?

What is a free software ?

GNU philosophy of free software explains this very well. Here is the gist:

  • When you think free software, think as in free speech, not as in free beer.
  • Users can exercise following freedom with the free software :
    • Freedom to run/execute the program for any purpose.
    • Freedom to study how the program works and adapt it to your needs.
    • Freedom to redistribute copies with friends, colleagues and community.
    • Freedom to enhance/improve the product code and release it for commercial use.
  • Free software does not mean non-commercial. A free program must be available for commercial use, commercial development, and commercial distribution.

What is an Open Source software ?

Almost all open source software is a free software and vice-versa. Like free software, open source software providers ensures that source code is available for the users to run/execute, study,redistribute, enhance and improve the software.

So where is the difference ?

Free software license (most commonly GNU GPL) ensures that any redistribution, enhancement or improvement to the source code is available (mandatory) along with the commercially available executables built out of modified code. This ensures passing all the benefits to the community no matter how the original software was used.

On the contrary, Open Source license (most commonly SUN CDDL) advocates redistribution of software on similar lines as GPL except that it does not make it mandatory to release the enhanced/improved code along with executables built out of modified code. This, to some extent, may stem the community contribution making source code more viable for repackaging into a commercially available proprietary products.

Thus, both Free and Open Source software can be sold and monetized as long as you abide by license agreement under which they exist.

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Moving from QoS to QoE with Single Customer View (Master Indexed Data)

QoS (Quality of Service) has to be delivered. Organizations worldwide have already identified and mastered this to sustain in the  customer centric markets of today. QoE(Quality of Experience), however, has been fast maturing and taking over QoS (Quality of Service) as a key differentiator.

Organization wide indexing of customer data helps the enterprise deliver QoE by uniquely identifying customers across various functions of the business. They also allow customer centric collaboration between integrated business models thus driving QoE along with QoS. This can be very simply understood as described below :

Jerry is a frequent flyer and often needs to dial-a-cab "Cool-Cabs" service for the Airport. He needs to provide his Name, Address and Telephone number along with the time when the cab is required and the cab is always at the doorstep well in time. Jerry is happy with this service.

Due to Christmas season rush, all "Cool-Cabs" were booked and Jerry tried calling another similar cab service named "Super-cool-cabs" this time. On placing the call from his mobile, Jerry was identified and greeted with his first name, his address was promptly identified and confirmed and the cab was booked in less than 30 sec. Jerry was awestruck when the cab arrived with a morning copy of his favorite newspaper with a personalized welcome note stuck on it.

Later, on inquiring how this was made possible, Jerry learns that "Super-cool-cabs" service was apparently run by the same  "Baron-business-group" that owns a popular book store in the city where he usually picks up a copy of this daily newsprint. Baron maintains the master index of its customers and leverages the same in all its spread out customer centric businesses.

"Super-cool-cabs" service turned out to be as efficient as "Cool-Cabs" service and Jerry, a new customer, was WON!

SUN Master Index Studio provides the capability to create any domain specific master index through the matching, de-duplication, merging, and cleansing of data from various data sources.

Project Mural is an open source MDM (Master Data Management) solution from SUN.

Sphere: Related Content