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STILL there is confusion out there around open source solutions. I was reading today’s great post by Caroline Dangson from the Dachis Group on “Building a Business Case for Customer Community," when one line derailed my concentration on the topic enough to make me write this. Caroline was outlining a great plan for building a detailed business case for customer communities, when I read this line in step 10:
“Will you consider an open source solution or use a full-service, third-party provider?”
Why is it that consultants, analysts, etc still equate open source to being unsupported? Open source technology is just another technology option to build solutions. When developers are looking to build solutions, whether they be at an enterprise or at a vendor, they can select from any of the options out there – .NET, Java, Drupal, Ruby, etc. Open-source technology is just another option.
Selecting and open source technology isn’t the alternative to selecting a full-service, third-party provider. In fact, I would argue Acquia, using Drupal open-source technology, provides more of a full-service solution than any of the proprietary vendors out there.
Looking to build a Customer Community? What other company can provide you:
- Social business consulting services
- Ability to get your community site up and running in a week
- Almost 60 different ways to integrate with Facebook
- Over 80 ways to integrate with Twitter
- 26 ways to integrate with YouTube
- 12 ways to integrate with Salesforce.com
- Hosting in our Cloud platform or installed on your infrastructure
- Fully managed service – our SaaS model (Social-as-a-Service)
- Free ongoing software upgrades
So please, if you write about selecting technologies for solutions: Don’t pit open source as the alternative to a fully managed service. Acquia provides you the same services as a proprietary vendor. Yet you get the benefits of what open source software provides – including ownership of source code, faster innovation, greater flexibility, and more.