This page is a list of businesses that use and contribute to open source as part of their business model. This list is not exhaustive nor is it intended to be evaluative. You are free to enter your own business details here, but it must use the following format, you must provide factual information that is of value to people interested in exploring existing open source business models and you must keep the list in strict alphabetic order.

For a list of different open source business models see the BusinessModels page.

Name

The business name

Description

A brief description of your business, its customers, its size and its products

URL

A link to the companies home page.

OSS Activity

A brief description of your involvement with open source, with links to projects you work with. This section should indicate what you do to support the projects your work with. In other words, how much do you give back to the community as a result of your participation?

How?

How do you actually survive as a business. Where does your money come from.

Why OSS?

Why are you involved with open source? What does it add to your business that closed source could not add

Author(s)

Who are you? What is your involvement with the business? What authority do you have to speak for the business?

The Businesses

Name

Amazon.com

Description

Online retailer and web services provider

URL

http://www.amazon.com

OSS Activity

Amazon uses a number of open source projects in the delivery of its products and services. Amazon staff are active within the development communities of those projects.

How?

International retail operation. Paid for web services.

Why OSS?

Drives down the software cost of huge server farms; allows software to be tailored to our specific needs quickly, easily and confidentially; allows spotting of good talent for recruitment; as a competitive tool against other large players in the internet sphere

Author(s)

OSS Watch - We have no authority to speak for Amazon, we have to gather this information from publicly available resources

Name

Google

Description

Internet search specialist, branching into other internet areas

URL

http://www.google.com

OSS Activity

Many Google employees are active, as part of their daily work, in open source projects that are important to the Google suite of products and services. Runs a number of programs such as the Google Summer of Code (which funds students over the summer to work on open source code) and the Google Open Source Jam (which is an irregular meeting of open sourcer's at Google's London offices)

How?

Paid advertising on search results. Sale of "search appliances" hardware for high performance specialised search within organisations. Paid accounts for web applications should as "Docs and Spreadsheets" (pro versions of the free offerings)

Why OSS?

Drives down the software cost of huge server farms; allows software to be tailored to our specific needs quickly, easily and confidentially; allows spotting of good talent for recruitment; as a competitive tool against other large players in the internet sphere

Author(s)

StuartYeates & Ross Gardler - We have no authority to speak for Google, we are OSS Watch employees and have gather this information from the web and also from my participation in the Google activities

Name

IBM

Description

A multinational computer technology and consulting corporation

URL

http://www.ibm.com

OSS Activity

IBM produce a great deal of open source software both internally and through their work on external projects such as Linux, the Eclipse Foundation and the Apache Foundation. They operate the Linux Technology Centre, an organization focused on development for the Linux kernel and related open-source software projects.

Why OSS?

"There were several factors. IBM is a large computer company and so you can look at any strategy through a software, hardware, or services lens. On a really good day you can even look through all three! All by itself, IBM has multiple hardware lines and having a single operating system that spans all of them makes certain things easier. Any given customer problem can be solved and the solution optimized by choosing the right hardware, the right OS, the right middleware, the right applications, and the right services to tie them all together, if necessary. Linux increases the options that our customers and we have, not decreases them. Note that this "one thing that spans several platforms" strategy is used in various ways by IBM such as with Eclipse, Java, XML, ODF, web services, and SOA. It helps make interoperability a tool rather than a marketing buzzword." Bob Sutor

Author(s)

RossGardler - I have no authority to speak for IBM, I'm an OSS Watch employee and grabbed most of this from various web soruces.

Name

Red Hat

Description

Red Hat is a recognized leader in enterprise solutions that take full advantage of the quality and performance provided by the open source model. With Red Hat, enterprise hardware and software vendors have a standard platform on which to certify their technology. We assure the necessary scalability and security of open source software. We make mission-critical Linux deployments possible. Together with their partners, Red Hat bring the vast benefits of open source computing into an enterprise environment where cost-effective performance is absolutely at its most critical.

URL

http://www.redhat.com

OSS Activity

Red Hat maintain one of the most popular Linux distributions, contributes to many Linux related projects, owns JBoss (another open source company) and has a number of other complimentary projects, all of which are open source.

How?

Selling various services and products based on open source software such as Linux and JBoss, most of these services are geared around managing their clients risk. Training and certification is also an important part of their product line.

Why OSS?

Balance means building a successful company without sacrificing customer trust. And creating shareholder value without severing our ties to the open source community. The sharing inherent in open source allows Red Hat to not only provide a level of flexibility that proprietary software never allows, but also lets us return innovation to the community of open source users and developers. The cycle of creation is continuous.

Author(s)

RossGardler - I have no authority to speak for Red Hat, I'm an OSS Watch employee and grabbed most of this from the Red Hat website.

Name

SugarCRM

Description

SugarCRM launched in 2004 in what Roberts said was an "experiment" to use an open-source business model to create high-quality customer relationship management applications. Since its launch, SugarCRM has funded its growth largely from revenue, rather than the $26 million in venture funding it raised, he said.

URL

http://www.sugarcrm.com/crm/

OSS Activity

A "low end" version of the SugarCRM enterprise package is available under the GPL3 licence. SugarCRM develop these materials in the open and, almost certainly contribute to some of the projects their software depends upon.

How?

The company makes a low-end version available for free, whilst they charge for the Enterprise version. Most of its customers are already very familiar with the product and don't require a costly sales and marketing process, he said.

Why OSS?

Doing software engineering in the open, where outsiders can view the source code, has improved the product development process, Roberts said.

Author(s)

Ross Gardler - I have no authority to speak for SugarCRM, I'm an OSS Watch employee and grabbed most of this from an blog on CNET.

Name

Sourcesense

Description

Leading European systems integrator providing Open Source consultancy and services. Customers are typically enterprises looking to adopt Open Source, or currently implementaing Open Source solutions. Sourcesense has 50+ core developers across Europe, and are experts in Apache Software Foundation projects as well as a range of commercial Open Source products.

URL

http://www.sourcesense.com/

OSS Activity

Many Sourcesense developers are active contributors to Open Source projects, in particular those of the Apache Software Foundation such as Apache Cocoon, and Alfresco. Work on the projects includes actively writing and contributing code, providing bug fixes, documentation, support on the mailing lists, offering training, and giving talks at community events.

How?

Sourcesense makes money from offering support, consultancy, training and bespoke development around Open Source solutions.

Why OSS?

Sourcesense are involved in Open Source since it represents the most effective way of writing and delivering software, and often represents the best solution for customers.

Author(s)

Andrew Savory, managing the UK office of Sourcesense.

Name

LimeSurvey

Description

LimeSurvey, formerly PHPSurveyor, is an open source project to develop a survey application.

URL

http://www.limesurvey.org/

OSS Activity

LimeSurvey is mostly written in PHP, and can interact with Apache servers and MySQL databases, all well known open source projects. It is released under the GPL v2.

How?

Most of the members of the LimeSurvey team seem to be either professionals in IT that contribute to the project in their spare time or students that use LimeSurvey for their research. LimeSurvey also provides a thread in their forum to request hiring a developer to implement a feature, or offering yourself as a programmer.

Why OSS?

From the LimeSurvey Project Team webpage: "Jason wrote LimeSurvey as a project for work, but liked it so much he took it¹ and released it as Open Source. It was his payback for all the great open source products he has used both personally and for work purposes."

Author(s)

Ramón Casero - I have no authority to speak for LimeSurvey, I'm an OSS Watch employee and grabbed most of this from the LimeSurvey website.

Name

Catalyst

Description

A medium sized web-focused IT business in Wellington, New Zealand, with many customers in the public sector, including schools and government departments

URL

http://catalyst.net.nz/

OSS Activity

Heavily involved in the development of moodle (http://www.moodle.org) and Mahara (http://www.mahara.org/), also hosts national mirrors of a number of linux distributions and funds open source awards.

How?

Contributing client-funded developments back to the open source communities; making available software already downloaded to others in .nz (international bandwidth is typically changed for separately from national bandwidth in New Zealand by most ISPs).

Why OSS?

Many developers had a history of using open source pre-dating their association with Catalyst.

Author(s)

StuartYeates - I have no authority to speak for Catalyst, I'm an OSS Watch employee and grabbed most of this from the website and from talking to developers face-to-face.

OSSWatchWiki: ExamplesOfOpenSourceBusiness (last edited 2013-04-15 13:56:23 by localhost)

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