Business Week - Further Evaluating Commercial Open Source

in Business Week

Guest blogging today is John Powell, CEO of Alfresco Software, a company that makes open source enterprise content management software. The following post is a rebuttal to yesterday’s guest blog by Peter Yared.

As we all know measures of success are subjective. I believe commercial open source is proving to be a viable and successful model based on its ability to deliver real value to both customers and investors.

It has moved from the first phase of evangelism to mass market adoption. Supporting evidence can be found in the growth rate of Alfresco, Jaspersoft, Red Hat, MySQL, OpenBravo, SpringSource, Atlassian. All are growing double digit and are close to or already profitable. A recent IDC study reveals that worldwide revenue from open source software will grow at a 22.4% to reach $8.1 billion by 2013.

There have been significant exit events – XenSource was bought by Citrix for $500 million; Yahoo! Acquired Zimbra for $360 million, Oracle got Sleepycat for $60 million. Any recent slow-down simply reflects the fact that the credit crunch has reduced technology company exits to virtually zero.

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