Threat to OSS and BSS is free.

Just last week I was meeting with a few friends in the OSS business and we were discussing their ongoing challenges relating to product sales, deployment and ultimately support. We talked about what barriers there were to sales for them, and in passing, one of my friends said, “the biggest hurdle to sales, that we are facing, is open source and free software”.

We have seen the enemy and it is free

Now that comment must have flown by me at too great a speed because it was not until the next day that I recalled that it even had been said. It has since bothered me for a few days and in thinking about this aspect of the OSS and BSS business models I wonder just what effect this will have on the Support System world? Recently I came across a story which highlights that CRM provider is doing just that.

Further, a couple of days ago I ran into an old friend who is working in the maintenance side of telecom. He told me that his company is using Open Ticket Request System (OTRS) to manage all customer trouble tickets. I then recalled I had bookmarked an article back in September that reinforced the move of OSS and BSS to open source. Further we have always been users of MySQL and were pleased when, back in June, Sun announced its carrier grade version of the popular database.

Join the dots

If you are an OSS or BSS architect I would become very close to what is going on in the market. While these are but a few data points, you might want be cognizant of the serious trend lines forming.

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