VAR Guy: VARs Can Make FOSS Better For Enterprises

Chris CrumBusiness

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Univa put out the results of a survey indicating that 75% of enterprises encounter problems when using open source software.

The biggest gripe is a lack of enterprise-grade support , with 27% of respondents raising this as their top concern. Other issues: usability (24%), maintenance (20%), crashes (19%), bugs (18%), downtime (16%), loss off productivity (16%) and interoperability (16%).

According to the survey, 64% are willing to pay for better quality, with the following listed as reasons to do so: Stability (25%), Enterprise-grade support (22%), Ease of use (20%), Extra functionality (18%), Bug reports/fixes (15%), Integrated solution (13%), Product upgrades (13%), and Predictable lifecycles (13%).

"We have always said that users are willing to pay for quality when it comes to Open Source software, and the results of the survey have confirmed as such," said Univa CEO Gary Tyreman. "A large number of organizations use Open Source Grid Engine as a key ingredient in product development, but as the company grows they can’t afford to rely on unsupported Open Source Grid Engine. That is when they can turn to us for peace of mind, scalability and reliability provided by our team and proven Univa Grid Engine."

Christopher Tozzi ("The VAR Guy") thinks some of the areas of concern for enterprises are places where VARs can step up.

"These [ software stability problems, bug reporting troubles and unpredictable product lifecycles] are all classic criticisms of FOSS, and there is a limit to the extent to which third-party solutions can address them without being able to change the behavior of independent open source projects," he writes. "Yet several of the other problems with FOSS that the respondents cited are a VAR's dream, since they represent places where third-party vendors can very feasibly add recognizable value to FOSS solutions. These include improving ease-of-use, providing extra functionality and integrating FOSS into broader solutions."

"The message for the channel, then, seems clear," he concludes. "Open source is a crucial part of the operations of most enterprises today, yet those enterprises are willing to pay to make their FOSS experience smoother. And the opportunities for VARs to do so are rich, as long as they are able to home in on the specific areas where organizations demand better service."

An infographic with data from the survey can be found here.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.