Recently, Peachtree Pro Accounting was given away for free, making this commercial software look open source, from a financial acquisition perspective.
Against this backdrop, I read comments by Roberto Galoppini, where he raises the issues of services in the open source world. Roberto makes this comment:
Open Source franchising is aimed at delivering to the market IT basic services using OSS, with a fixed-time fixed-price methodology meeting clearly defined performance criteria (SLA).
I see no difference whatsoever between open source services and traditional consulting services.
Once the license is obtained, whether through payment or free, the software must be deployed. At that point, the key issue becomes integrating the new software into an existing technical and business infrastructure.
While I agree with Roberto that fixed-price services are the right model, it’s not specifically an open source issue.