Friday, February 16, 2007

Open Source vs Free: SugarCRM

I found a nice diagram on this page yesterday at SugarCRM. In summary it suggested:

  • 1st generation CRM = Proprietary On Premise, Client/Server, ~ to 2001
  • 2nd generation CRM = Proprietary On Demand, Hosted, ~ 2002 - 2006
  • 3rd generation CRM = Open Source, On Demand / On Premise Appliance ~2007 +
I like this concept. It means for those of us at the lower end of the food chain we can take a look inside the big fish and learn something. And we get to use some cool stuff with a minimum of outlay.

However, the "open source" bit does not equal "free". In the IT world "free" does not exist. You gotta pay your ticket to get to the "free" bit.

Moreover, big business is not in the market for free software - they aren't buying the software, they're buying process, support, and someone to sue if the toys end up on the floor by the cot.

Nice if your supplying the big business... not so nice if you're funding it.

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