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Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

More about Ben here.

5 responses to “Has SaaS Killed OSS?”

  1. Neil Kay-Jones

    Great article, nice to hear other views on this subject and we thank you for taking the time to give your own thoughts.

    Kind regards,

    Neil

    Neil Kay-Jones
    Online Support & User Experience Manager
    Yuuguu

    Twitter: @NeilKayJones

  2. Paul Miller

    Ben

    an interesting perspective on a point that crept in at the end of a recent post of mine… http://cloudofdata.com/2009/01/is-open-source-inevitable-in-the-enterprise/

    The post was considering the (inevitable?) rise of Open Source in the enterprise, but did postulate that SaaS might disrupt the whole thing…

  3. bretthusbands@firmstep.com

    I agree with the general point, and we are just about to launch our SaaS customer portal that adopts all of the points you articulate so clearly.

    To say it has killed OSS is overstating – there are some places where installed software makes most sense and SaaS will never touch that (OS, browser, mobile offline)

    Though I thought it worth looking at the logic from the point of view of customers…

    The key point in any software choice is the difference in Total Cost of Ownership and risk regardless of how they are developed and delivered.

    Any company delivering software or services incurs costs and risks that have to be charged somewhere – whether it is in the form of charging for premium services, charged support or simply charging for service provision at a cost that is attractive when compared to alternatives.

    SaaS makes it possible to reduce the short term costs of adopting new technology, usually to around the same or less than the cost of adopting the OpenSource alternative, where investments need to be made in technology and skills.

    The risk profile of SaaS is different to alternatives in that the costs of making a wrong decision are low, trying before making a large investment is easier, and the obligations for maintaining continued support sit clearly with the vendor.

    This all adds up to it being the wisest choice for most business operations when adopting new technology. This same logic probably applies for switching technologies – just that the maths, justification, and politics get harder.

    The biggest principle for me is about business focus – robust organizations should stick solely to core business – if maintaining tech is not your business, switch to a SaaS provider who specialises in doing just that thing.

  4. web meetings josh

    I want to suggest you try http://www.showdocument.com – its an alternative tool for yuugu that allows document sharing and web meeting in real-time. all the participants in the session see each others’ drawing, highlights, etc. It is free and requires no installation.

    josh

  5. maharawj

    I have been searching high and low for articles on how Saas Is killing of the small developer.
    Why is nobody talking about it.
    Ofcourse Saas has killed OSS.
    All open source applications like Drupal, Magento, etc are offering their own SaaS solutions.

    I am also looking if any really “noticed” or agree that magento and Drupal especially(with launch of Magento GO and Drupal gardens.) Have “screwed” their own community.

    The same community that helped build them today they launch their own hosted solutions where the small to medium business can launch their Ecommerce store or CMS based website without the need of any developer or a Web development company.

    You should visit the Magento Go website which has the customer testimonials where one customer claims to have started her online store in minutes from the backseat of her car.
    (i am pretty sure no one from Magento community who have been supporting and testing this application was in the backseat with her).

    So why is no one noticing this, or am I missing something.
    We already had clients complaining if wordpress of Joomla is “free” then why are you charging us so much(which is peanuts basically).
    Now Magento goes and launches a hosted platform that cost cheaper than a ONLY hosting package that would be required to host a Magento or any other ecommerce website.(Magento also comes with a 1 million stimulus plan that makes the base plan free for 1 year. It can host 100 products.).

    I think its a knife in the back for all developers who supported Magento.
    Also Many marketing Consulting firms can do the job of deploying the eCommerce for their clients without the need to hire a developer or a development company

    Its just killed the developer community.
    Bigger Enterprises who hire a webmaster can also deploy their ecommerce and shopping cart without hiring an external company or hiring a team of inhouse developers.

    Maybe I am not using the right keywords to search in google, But I just dont hear anyone speaking about the impact of SaaS and especially OSS Organization that have deployed their own SaaS platforms.(and how its screwing the developer community and killing off the market)