Best of breed now means open source

Best of breed now means open source

Summary: This is just the way business evolves. The challenge of the new forces those of the old into ever-higher redoubts, but in time those castles are taken as well.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Open Source
10

Attila the Hun Greeting CardIn discussing the purchase of Cognos by IBM, BusinessWeek writer Steve Hamm laments the "end of best of breed," meaning enterprise software is now hopelessly consolidated in a few strong hands.

That's true if you're looking at proprietary systems.

But open source has a ton of "best of breed" projects. In the field of business intelligence alone you have Pentaho, JasperSoftBIRT, and I'm sure there are others I need to apologize for not mentioning.

It's typical that a New York-based business magazine won't see much below the Fortune 500, but c'mon! Does Hamm really think these companies are completely captive to a single supplier, willingly paying monopoly rents, refusing to consider alternatives?

Consolidation is the natural reaction to the threat of open source. It's proof that open source is making real progress in the business market.

The only way proprietary solutions in the enterprise space can compete with open source is by merging. Open source is like medieval Huns who force the peasants back into a few heavily-fortified castles, then slowly transform themselves into goulash-loving Hungarians.

(Thus the picture, John Cleese as Mr. A.T. Hun, from the famous Monty Python sketch. Now available as a greeting card.)

This is just the way business evolves. The challenge of the new forces those of the old into ever-higher redoubts, but in time those castles are taken as well.

The idea that, in 2007, big business magazines still haven't figured this out is startling to me. Don't they know what Microsoft was just 30 years ago?

A start-up.

Topic: Open Source

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

10 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Two terms that make my teeth grate

    Are "best of breed" and "best practices". Both of them are from the devil. But they sound good to the mid-level managers getting their IT wisdom from in-flight magazines and popular business media.

    In my book the best product is the one offering the most value for the money. Whether that money is spent on license cost or support. With proprietary products you're frequently paying for both. Where's the value in that model?

    If more proprietary products came with service and support, my attitude might be different. Then there might be more instances when proprietary comes out on top. But so many of them want to charge you for the product, then charge for a service agreement. Sometimes you're paying for the product, a CAL so users can connect to it and service besides. Screw that.

    Proprietary vendors have to cling together for survival because they've priced themselves out of the value market. If they want to make the big bucks from here on out, they'll have to switch a radical new business concept for software companies. They'll have to earn it.
    Chad_z
    • Open source companies having to focus on the best service and support, and

      NOT the fact that they are the sole source of the software is rather refreshing isn't it???
      DonnieBoy
    • IBM????

      Yea, you gotta hand it to those dummies at IBM for buying a 5 billion dollar software company. What were they thinking? I guess next time they should check with you guys first.
      botchagalupe
  • Pfttt....

    "Consolidation is the natural reaction to the threat of open source."


    Umm, NO. Consolidation is the natural life cycle of ANY market. Business 101...
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Consolidation can happen for a number of different reasons, though it is

      almost always due to turbulence in the market that can be caused by a number of different things. The author here is arguing that open source is causing a lot of turbulence, he is right on!!!
      DonnieBoy
      • Your ignorance is showing

        As I said, you can look at ANY market and consilidation is as prodictable as the sun rising. Man I wish you had a clue of how business and markets work. Maybe if open source supporters like yourself had a clue you could actualy promote it effectively instead of looking foolish.
        No_Ax_to_Grind
        • Heck!

          We just wish you had a clue! ]:)
          Linux User 147560
  • RE: Best of breed now means open source

    "Consolidation is the natural reaction to the threat of open source. It???s proof that open source is making real progress in the business market.

    The only way proprietary solutions in the enterprise space can compete with open source is by merging. Open source is like medieval Huns who force the peasants back into a few heavily-fortified castles, then slowly transform themselves into goulash-loving Hungarians."

    Beyond a doubt why other people are making money and the author is writing about them ...
    crypt2121
    • Not sure what your cryptic message is, but, we have had writers since the

      beginning of time. I guess you could argue that they write because they can't make money any other way, but, you could make that argument about any other profession as well.

      Just what was your point???
      DonnieBoy
      • Sorry, just saw your reply

        Answer: Its hard to create value, easy to write about it.

        The authors here make a sweeping statement about open source and proprietary software with no basis of support in their article - none. Further, that statement runs contrary to basic market economics. If you are going to tell me that the gravity is off, then you'd better prove it (or in short article give me a good reason to think that you might be right).

        In addition, they undercut their own arguement by bringing out some packages that by closed source standards are basically non-starters and call them best-of-breed. A good start maybe, but not best-of-breed.

        Toss in a bizzare metaphor about Hungarians and well ... I hope nobody paid for this.
        crypt2121