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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.
Disregard Dogmatism, Acquire Value We should strive to deliver optimum value to our clients . Open source is part of our toolkit.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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 ”.
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.