Open Source in Big Business [LCA2011 Miniconf]
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Open Source in Big Business [LCA2011 Miniconf]

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LCA2011 miniconf presentation on Open Source in Big Business

LCA2011 miniconf presentation on Open Source in Big Business

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  • * Work with a bunch of big-name clients * Shine is NOT an Open Source company. * Much of what I say today reflects Shine values … * Also contributed to CPython et al.
  • Our experience: clients “know” what they want. Exception to the rule: requests for tender, sometimes Where they don't know what they want, often open to suggestion on the provision we'll support it. Of course, if the solution is open source, we can support it. We rely on long-term business relationships with our clients.
  • Consultants provide expert advice. Clients pay because they want your opinion. They believe your opinion will provide value. You thus have an obligation to deliver this value.
  • Strive to deliver value over all else. “Value” -> security, efficiency, productivity, money. Unsure what your client wants? Ask! Do not recommend a second-rate OS solution: * Your client might lose money. * You could lose a client. * Tarnish the image of OS Consider all options. Provide the client with multiple options.
  • Our experience: clients “know” what they want. Exception to the rule: requests for tender, sometimes Where they don't know what they want, often open to suggestion on the provision we'll support it. Of course, if the solution is open source, we can support it. We rely on long-term business relationships with our clients.
  • Avoid vendor lock-in. Reduce initial outlay. Proprietary solutions bad for consultants too: * Support somebody else's solution?
  • Avoid vendor lock-in. Reduce initial outlay. Proprietary solutions bad for consultants too: * Support somebody else's solution?
  • “ Oh, open source has a higher TCO” Completely irrelevant, even for averages Solutions deserve independent scrutiny. Advocating either was is doing clients a disservice.

Open Source in Big Business [LCA2011 Miniconf] Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Open Source in Big Business: A Consulting Perspective Tom Lee Shine Technologies
  • 2. Overview
    • Who am I?
    • 3. Our Clients
    • 4. What is a Consultant?
    • 5. Disregard Dogmatism, Acquire Value
    • 6. Selling Big Business on Open Source
    • 7. Why Open Source for Your Clients?
    • 8. Getting Big Business to “Give Back”
    • 9. On Total Cost of Ownership
  • 10. Who am I?
    • Senior Consultant for Shine Technologies
      • Software consultancy with offices in Melbourne and Brisbane
      • 11. http://www.shinetech.com
    • Open source contributor
      • (C)Python, Node, Rails, ...
  • 12.
    • NAB
    • 13. Sensis
    • 14. Loyalty Pacific
    • 15. Lufthansa Technik
    • 16. Others...
    Our Clients
  • 17. What is a Consultant? “ A consultant is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area of expertise.” – Wikipedia People pay consultants for our opinions. They pay consultants because they believe our advice will translate to tangible value.
  • 18. Disregard Dogmatism, Acquire Value We should strive to deliver optimum value to our clients . Open source is part of our toolkit.
  • 19. Selling Big Business on Open Source Most of the time they ask, or they're already using it! Usually specific, proven Open Source solutions that are tried and tested. e.g Apache HTTPd, Tomcat, Hudson, Ruby & Rails Proving that you can support these solutions is an excellent start.
  • 20. Selling Big Business on Open Source (cont.) Big business is generally conservative: opportunities on the bleeding-edge are rare but not entirely unheard of! Open source allows good business relationships to trump proprietary lock-in.
  • 21. Why Open Source for Your Clients? Proprietary solutions often limit your client's options for support. What happens if a business falls out with a proprietary vendor? Who will support the solution? Initial outlay for open source is typically less than for proprietary solutions. Benefit from features and bug-fixes delivered for free by the community.
  • 22. Why Open Source for Your Clients? (cont.) Only the license and (lack of) access to the source code prevents your consultancy from supporting proprietary solutions. Is a vendor of proprietary software really more technically capable than anybody else with access to the source?
  • 23. Getting Big Business to “Give Back” Your clients may be a little nervous about you contributing fixes upstream . Convince them of the benefits of “giving back”. Go ahead and create useful open source for your clients. e.g. jazz – node template engine http://github.com/shinetech/jazz Jazz is in active use by the CitySearch team at Sensis http://www.citysearch.com.au
  • 24. Getting Big Business to “Give Back” (cont.) Convincing your clients to give back benefits everyone. The Open Source project continues to grow . Simplifies the upgrade path for your client. Gets your company name “ out there ”.
  • 25. On Total Cost of Ownership Lots of talk regarding Open Source vs. proprietary on TCO, but it's pointless to generalize. For any given problem, the difference between the TCO of open source and proprietary solutions can and will differ due to any number of factors.
  • 26. Summary
    • Focus on delivering value to your clients.
    • 27. Be understanding of corporate technological conservatism.
    • 28. This is RL: don't get caught up in dogma.
  • 29. Questions? Tom Lee http://tomlee.co Shine Technologies http://www.shinetech.com [email_address]