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Open Source SLAs


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Dialogs about how we agree to build, buy or adopt software solutions.

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Open Source SLAs

  1. 1. Open Source and SLAs Noah Zoschke @nzoschke Open Source Show & Tell 2016
  2. 2. Bio • Worked for 6 years at Heroku, deployment PaaS. Subsidiary of SalesForce, one of the largest SaaS companies in the world. • Working for past year at Convox, open source deployment toolkit. Goals: • Help teams save time and money making cloud infrastructure effortless • Build successful open source project • Build viable open source business • Grateful for the opportunity to experiment with new software and business models
  3. 3. Follow Along on GitHub Go, Docker, AWS toolkit Used by 100s of companies
  4. 4. Software Agreement Dialogs…
  5. 5. Employment Agreement Hiring Manager: Here is a role, responsibilities, and a salary. Engineer: I accept! Manager: Here are the things we need to do this week to keep our business running. Engineer: Consider it done! Manager: Great job. Here is your paycheck.
  6. 6. SaaS Agreement Decision Maker: Here is some functionality I need to run my business and a budget to buy it. Vendor: We do that and its $X / month which fits in your budget! Decision Maker: Great. Here is my business credit card.
  7. 7. SaaS Agreement Upgrade Cycle Decision Maker: I wish this service also did X. Vendor: We do that on the pro plan that is $Y / month. Tech: Great. You can charge me more.
  8. 8. SaaS Agreement Support Cycle Decision Maker: I wish this service also did Y. Vendor: We don’t support that yet. Talk to this Product Manager to get it on the roadmap. Decision Maker: Ok I’ll talk and wait. I’m glad my team doesn’t have to build it.
  9. 9. SaaS Agreement Rejection Cycle Decision Maker: I wish this service also did Y. Vendor: We don’t support that. Decision Maker: Bummer. I need this so find another vendor I can pay for this functionality, and terminate my subscription. or Decision Maker: Bummer. I’ll pay staff to build it in house.
  10. 10. OSS Agreement Tech: Here is some functionality I need to run my business. OSS Project: We already solved that. Agree to the software license and you can use it free of charge. Tech: Sweet. Free and open software is amazingly helpful for getting my job done.
  11. 11. OSS Agreement Support Cycle Tech: I wish this software also did Y Abandoned OSS Project: <crickets> Incompatible OSS Project: Sorry we don’t want to do that Facilitating OSS Project: Interesting idea. Follow these guidelines to contribute a patch. We will help you and support the feature. Magic OSS Project: Killer idea. Here is your solution. Tech: Ok. Open source is [challenging | nice | amazing]. I’m glad I don’t have to solve everything myself.
  12. 12. Service Level Agreements • Software License • Used as-is… • Subscriptions • Pay $25/month for 3 users access • Support expectations • Community; same-day • Service guarantees like uptime and performance or resource • 99.9% uptime; 10k emails / month
  13. 13. Service Level Agreements • Explicit • Measurable • Monetizable
  14. 14. OSS SLAs • Generally free software “as-is” and support is best effort • Why not? • Sell a version as SaaS (with uptime assurances) • Sell some closed features (open core) • Sell same-day or same-hour support (tiered support) • Sell a way for priority feature work (professional services) • Sell contracts for migrations and training (professional services)
  15. 15. OSS SLAs Challenges • Bootstrapping. Full time support and engineering costs real money. • Packaging and pricing. Building a software sales system costs real time and energy. • Psychology. Consumers have a free version. Why pay anything?
  16. 16. OSS SLAs My Challenges • People balk at $25 / user / month • GitHub is $9 / mo • AWS bills are $5k / month • Engineers cost $10k / month • Don’t know how to price guarantees around uptime • How much is it worth to you? • How much will it cost to meet? Need engineers on call 24/7 • What happens when we don’t hit it? • Trust • Takes a lot of time and energy to gain trust
  17. 17. OSS SLAs My Wishes • More OSS projects sell services. Run the project like a business. Find ways to guarantee software quality without working for free. • CTOs buy something. Tech company budgets are huge. They could be better understanding OSS value sponsoring more work which benefits us all. • We all keep working on OSS. Critical infrastructure for our industry. • OSS becomes a clear value add, not an obstacle to selling software.
  18. 18. Thanks! Discussion / Questions / Comments ? @nzoschke