Why does Forbes keep indulging SaaS/cloud vendors looking to pick straw-man fights? (see also “The End of ERP” – and my comments there).
Bryan from Acquia makes the point well that open source and SaaS/cloud are mutually complementary, so I won’t try to add anything to that.
Mr. Cohen quotes a passage from Richard Stallman that I actually agree with – the distinction between open source as a product development model and a social cause. Since my company developed our entire ERP software system from scratch (http://www.xtuple.com) – and then decided to make it open source in order to grow a community of users who would help us continue to develop it, I naturally favor the prior view.
Mr. Cohen seems to be suggesting that open source vendors like xTuple came into an existing marketplace, somehow ripped off the incumbents, and then burned the forest behind themselves so that no one could ever grow a decent proprietary software company there again.
I submit that it’s more a question of natural evolution – as software systems become more commoditized, this happens anyway. Competition increases, prices come down, and the best business model wins in the end. Open source is a competitive weapon for my company against the bloated incumbents who are overstaffed, overfed, and build all that bloat into their pricing structure.
We innovate in *how we do business* – not how we record debits and credits in the general ledger. Consumers win. Tell me again how that’s bad?
Here's the full article. You decide:
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