These are Michael Whitehead's customers at The Long Reach in Ottawa, Canada.
"All businesses really care is can I get something that’s cost effective, which does the job, which is priced to suit my business, and do I have someone to call when it needs extending or changing," he said.
Open source can cut those costs but it must still interoperate with proprietary products like QuickBooks, Whitehead said. His Info@Hand combines open source, hybrid licenses and proprietary integration into a package that sells for $250/user.
In the small business market, "What people don’t want is a CRM. They want small business integration from a CRM core. They want a link to QuickBooks, they want a link to an online shopping cart, they want integrated service management, they want people in the CRM to see the invoicing and post history of customers. It’s called running the business."
Whether the SugarCRM license conforms to the OSI standard is not important, Whitehead said. Affordability is all. License gotchas don't matter as much as the small business' relationship with their reseller.
Whitehead concludes that to succeed in the mass business market, open source companies need to keep Value Added Resellers (VARs) happy. Make a long reach toward VARs and your project can crack this market.