At FuseSource, we are independent, we have a proven subscription based business plan and we have a clear message: "The experts in open source integration and messaging". A message that that is backed up by our Apache committers and consultants, many of whom are project founders. We are on the right track.
I think the growth of FuseSource is testament to the fact that enterprises are understanding a key benefit of liberal licensed open source:
Value shared is value multiplied
Put simply, each deployment of Apache ServiceMix, Apache ActiveMQ, ApacheCXF and Apache Camel, contributes positively to the shared pool of knowledge about these products. At FuseSource, all enhancement and fixes are delivered first at Apache, so everyone can benefit immediately. A great innovation this week becomes the start point for a new deployment next week. There are no barriers to entry. We all get smarter together.
The reality is that open source consultants rarely repeat themselves, work done for one client is work done for everyone. It is a model of shared incremental improvement. It is constantly challenging work, but most rewarding and always interesting.
My hope is that more organisations, where information technology (IT) is not the core of their competitive advantage, will see the benefit of an open collaborative approach to infrastructure investment. The approach is simple: Use the same open source products as others, invest in those products, contribute back and reap the benefits of the contributions of others. Though we consider our selves individuals, when it comes to what we need computers to do, we are mostly the same.
If you work in health care, government or retail and have an IT problem, somewhere in the world some one is struggling with the same problem as you. You need not be alone, you just need to share a common language and join the community. Open source infrastructure can be that language.
Note: those organisations that use IT for competitive advantage are already on the open source band wagon, layering higher value services over existing open implementations, standing on the shoulders of giants. They just don't always have the same incentive to share.