Let's say that a company is philosophically willing to use open source. How does it learn about the best software for the company's purposes?Bob Zurek of EnterpriseDB notes that open source awareness is promoted by hiring open-source savvy IT people:
Businesses are gaining key knowledge about open source software by employing the next generation of young IT professionals who grew up using open source software like Linux, PHP, PostgreSQL or maybe MySQL.Matt Aslett responded by referencing a report from the 451 group about what open source database vendors need to do to take on the commercial vendors. He also points out:
The selection process [for open source software] tips the balance of power much more in favour of the customer in that they are able to download the software and ensure it fits their needs before engaging in a commercial conversation with the vendor.I noted that open source doesn't have to mean marketing impaired. Open source isn't an excuse for poor marketing, it is a strategy to reduce marketing and distribution costs.
Here is a simple test. If you are looking for a technical solution - for example a visual ajax tool - you should be able to type "visual ajax tool" into Google and get both open source and proprietary solutions (all about WaveMaker, naturally ;-).
Read the Silverado Rules for Open Source Success for more on how the open source business model is evolving.