Commercial Open Source and the Software Commoditization Catalyst


Title: Commercial Open Source and the Software Commoditization Catalyst

Author: Cedric Thomas

Date: segunda-feira, 1 de setembro, 10:00h

Where: IME, bloco B - auditório Jacy Monteiro

CCSL is proud to invite you to the presentation "Commercial Open Source and the Software Commoditization Catalyst" by Cedric Thomas, OW2 CEO. OW2 is an international consortium of universities, governmental bodies, and companies of different size of different sizes (from large multinational companies to small startups) interested in the development of open source middleware.

This presentation concentrates on commercial open source (COS) and develops an entirely new perspective on open source. It explains the rise of COS as a result of commoditization trends in the software industry and it suggests broad strategic options when pursuing either public or private interests.

We start with the illustration of some defining moments in the more than 20 year evolution from the Free Software, initiated by RMS through a set of four basic freedoms to something different that I call Commercial Open Source, and which has achieved significant market impact.

Then we present an explanation of what happened. Commercial Open Source has the characteristics of commodities, however commodities being not born commodities and being instead the result of a long-term process we look at the software commoditization process. In the case of high-tech industries, this process has been adequately described by the Disruptive Innovation theory. The software commoditization process helps understand the changing structure of the software industry and the nature of Commercial Open Source as an outcome of this process.

In this context of changing software industry structure, we highlight the characteristics of several broad sets of strategic options, eg. "strategic commoditization" would best serve the interests of public policies whereas "strategic de-commoditization" would be in the best interest of private companies and their profit-seeking stake holders. We conclude by highlighting the role of organized communities and by showing that OW2 was founded to leverage this trends and how it works.

A strategy consultant with twenty-five years of experience in IT industry, Cedric Thomas took the CEO job at OW2 after driving the launch of this open-source organization. Previously, as both an investor and a consultant with FronTier Associates, the consulting company he founded in 1997, he contributed to the launch of several technology start-ups, actively took part in three IPOs, and provided strategy consulting to several global players in the software, hardware and services sectors. See
cedric.thomas AT .

31/Aug (2009), 07:00 - 31/Aug (2009), 08:30