[TriLUG] Re: TriLUG Digest, Vol 33, Issue 20

Jeff Ellis ncsufan at pobox.com
Thu Apr 20 16:51:51 EDT 2006

Kind of brings up another related topic.  For all the commercial
organizations using open source software to save money, I wonder how many
support the projects they are using.  Often it is pretty easy to stick a
dollar value on the savings (e.g., replacing an $8000 appserver with JBoss
saves $8000).  What's fair?  How many commericial organizations actually
do it?


> Message: 15
> Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 18:03:58 -0400
> From: "Mark Freeze" <mfreeze at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [TriLUG] Open Source Propaganda
> To: "Triangle Linux Users Group discussion list" <trilug at trilug.org>
> Message-ID:
> 	<94735e350604191503w5e112e52h2ac90b6680af2805 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>> If you look closely at the phrasing of the question your CEO asked, you
>> can see that it builds an unnecessary fence around the answer.  "Why
>> would you build a wonderful product and then just give it away?" serves
>> to throw you into a defensive posture, with the likely outcome of
>> looking foolish.  It is much more of a statement of opinion than a
>> forthright question.
> Let me rephrase the question that I was asked.   We had just shown the
> CEO the SugarCRM app.  The question/statement sequence went like this
> "Wow!  This is great!  How much work did you guys put in on this?"  (1
> day)  "How much did this software cost us?"  ($0) "The software was
> free? What do you mean free? How can someone just give this away? I
> mean, I guess they can, but why would you write something like this
> and just give it away?"
> As most of us know, nothing is truly free.  I don't think that he was
> trying to shoot holes in it, I think that he was just looking for the
> 'catch'.  In business, when someone tells you that their product is
> free, you better start looking over your shoulder.  I gave him 'my
> version' of the open-source spiel and he now understands it for the
> most part, but still eyes it with more than a healthy dose of
> suspicion.
> Look at it from a non-IT standpoint. (If that is possible in this
> group...)
> He is used to having a $5000 server running $2500 worth of M$
> software, to run mail, web and file services.  Salesforce CRM is $995
> per year for only 5 users and $65 per seat after that.  (Not to
> mention $ to run SQLServer.) Thjis is all on hardware that constantly
> needs upgrades to keep up with M$'s ever progressing requirements.
> My partner and I tell the him that we are going to run Ubuntu (free)
> with MySql (free) and SugarCRM (free) on hardware that the current IT
> department stopped using 1 1/2 years ago. And, on top of that, our
> stuff will run twice as fast with half the problems while doubling the
> amount of services that were available on the m$ system with 95% more
> uptime.
> If you didn't have any open source/linux experiences to draw on
> wouldn't you be suspicious?
> To me, Open Source is about giving back.  Pure and simple.  Despite
> having over 22 years in the industry and being a fairly proficient M$
> programmer, I'm nowhere near as savvy as some, maybe most, people on
> this list. I can't crack open Ubuntu or Sugar and start coding away.
> So, the way that I plan on giving back is to promote and further Open
> Source every chance I get.
> What I am doing is adding section on our website and our promotional
> documentation that explains how Open Source has worked (and is
> working) for us. I want to show our implementation and encourage
> others to do the same. So, I'm really looking for anything I can get
> on the open source philosophy.
> Thanks for all of the links so far.  Keep 'em coming.
> Regards,
> Mark.

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