IBM is characterizing the Red Hat deal as a deal to further their cloud initiatives. And I’m sure that’s why they did it. But from a different perspective, it also legitimizes open source as a viable business choice. Open source software over the years has been viewed as a sort of weird alternative. It is certainly a different business model than the past, and people looked at it askew. So it took a while for decision makers to feel comfortable with it. But given it was a more economical alternative in most cases, some companies felt more comfortable and became early adopters.
In the telecom industry, Linux slowly but surely supplanted UNIX, and Asterisk became a viable voice communications platform. And that helped the open source movement in general. Now, according to this report, open source could be used in 78% of businesses in some form.
And over the years, the business model of the open source companies has evolved. They can make money. They can sell add-ons to the open source base product. They can sell service and support. They can provide services using the base platform. And they become viable companies in their own right and no longer be viewed as a weird alternative.
2018 has seen quite a few open source deals, showing that open source companies have grown up. The open source solution is undoubtedly a legitimate choice.
Sangoma is a trusted leader in value-based Unified Communications (UC) and UC as a Service (UCaaS) solutions and is the primary developer and sponsor of both the Asterisk project, the world’s most widely used open source communications software, and the FreePBX project, the world’s most widely used open source PBX software.