Open Sourcing …Posted: November 24, 2007
I am reding the chapter on Peer Production in Wikinomics … And they are taking peer production to the next level with the Wikinomics Playbook. I am joining up there. This post is about two things …
1. They have written about some of the ground rules of open-sourcing … primarily from the IBM experience … In this regard, I have already written earlier, that participating in open-source initiatives is one thing, and being an open-source modelled organization (if there is any such thing … if there isnt, maybe i could coin the term?) is another. Though, this is not the point I am writing about here. One point that seems to come out of the discussion in the book is that open-sourcing be the port of last call … when you dont see anything coming coming out of an initiative (read OS/2, or the Barrick Challenge), open-source it, and see if you can extract something out of it. I dont think this is the best way of doing this. With diverse companies showing the way, too. With companies as diverse as Lego and (cant find the link where I read it) … Unilever, with their Dove brand of soaps … (correct me if I am wrong, though …), and I think theres much more to open-sourcing than meets the eye. This aspect of open-sourcing needs to be explored further.
2. The chapter also talks about open-sourced ERP … thats interesting. One of the things that ERP implementations today entail is lengthy implementation cycles … whether it be SAP, or one of the Oracle products … Open-source ERP would be an interesting thing … small components which can be downloaded, and modified as per the requirements of the company … with small consulting firms creating the ecosystem around the software, tweakin the software, and implementing updates on an ongoing basis (and I am sure there would be lots …). This should keep the IT folks into the loop, and involved completely as well. But, this is a huge deviation from the existing model. What I am talking about here, is open-source ERP software, with a clutch of innovative consulting firms providing implementation and support services around these. Considering that the ERP wars are now being fought in the “SMB” segment, with the biggie segment already saturated, this could be the road forward for enterprise software. Oracle has already done this, with making their documentation, and software available for download, with some terms and conditions, of course … Anyone interested in open-sourcing ERP software, please feel free to contact me! 🙂