Subject: Competition by internal expertise for F/OSS vendors
From: Federico Lucifredi <flucifredi@acm.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 17:25:52 -0400

Hello fsb,
  some of you may remember my past comment along the line of "top 
competitor to F/OSS service vendors is internal expertise, ergo 
companies with clueful and sufficiently large support staff may choose 
to deploy and support F/OSS by themselves more often than those without 
said cluefulness. Conclusion: the F/OSS support market dredges for IT 
shops inherently less than ideal in terms of support cost for the vendor 
(they will indeed use what they purchase, extensively - it is not simple 
"blame insurance" - and those customers are selectively expensive, as 
opposed to an unbiased cut of the whole spectrum).

  We already discussed that in the past, including appropriate 
counterpoints to the effect that consulting is for the less clueful, by 
definition 
(http://www.crynwr.com/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi?mss:11819:200612:cafocagihfkdchgnagon), 
and we should not expect an unbiased sampling in the first place - blame 
insurance should not be the primary scenario.

  However, a nice trend chart ( 
http://www.google.com/trends?q=centos%2C+rhel%2C+sles&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

) would seem to show that indeed, self-support is growing faster than 
direct traditional support - what does that mean? Not sure, but seems 
still worth thinking about.

  Best -F
-- 
_________________________________________
-- "'Problem' is a bleak word for challenge" - Richard Fish
(Federico L. Lucifredi) - flucifredi@acm.org