Subject: Re: Competition by internal expertise for F/OSS vendors
From: Federico Lucifredi <flucifredi@acm.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 21:02:34 -0400

Rich Bodo wrote:
> 
>> 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).
>>
> When I was consulting with FOSS I did notice an acute cheapo-effect - 
> much moreso than in the general IT consulting I did.  I recall Don Marti 
> used only two axes to evaluate customers into four quadrants - 
> Intelligence and Wealth.  I believe this was a result of his having 
> worked in the first FOSS marketing company.  I can't prove it, but I do 
> believe that relative to products that do not promote FOSS, 
> FOSS-promoting products skew customers to the Intelligent and 
> Extremely-Cheapo corner of the chart.

interesting. Got a pointer to Don's analysis? I could not find it in my 
search.


>>  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.
>>
> Hard to say, this one looks a little more telling to me:
> 
> http://www.google.com/trends?q=centos%2C+rhel%2C+suse%2C+debian%2C+ubuntu&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

> 
> 
> Looks like Ubuntu is just kicking ass and taking mind-share.  Of course, 
> there is no telling what all that web traffic means in terms of market 
> share.
> 
> -Rich

Best -F


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