When the subject of technologies commercialization techniques comes up, the most normally pointed out possibilities include things like promoting the technologies or constructing a company about the technologies by promoting merchandise or offering licenses or subscriptions to technologies-primarily based options.

In this series, we’ll appear at significantly less-discussed technologies commercialization possibilities. In the very first component, we appear at how providers can use open supply software program (OSS) as a commercialization tactic. In the upcoming Portion two, we will concentrate on the solution of “white labeling” the technologies as a commercialization tactic.

WHY OPEN Supply?

We’ve highlighted OSS challenges in a quantity of weblog posts: we’ve talked about trends in OSS usage, as properly as challenges to think about in the context of representations and warranties in M&A transactions. Our colleagues also discussed the company dangers related with utilizing OSS.

In this post, nevertheless, we concentrate on why an enterprise may well determine to pursue an open supply tactic and how enterprises can nonetheless advantage commercially from OSS. The central thought of ​​OSS is to leverage the breadth and depth of the developer neighborhood, which aids determine and eradicate bugs and safety challenges, as properly as boost software program capabilities and user expertise primarily based on user feedback.

This remains a essential benefit for OSS-primarily based enterprises: as shown in RedHat’s State of the Enterprise Open Supply report, 89% of respondents think that enterprise open supply is as safe or extra safe than proprietary software program. On the other hand, open supply providers have also established that they can be lucrative providers, and numerous current initial public offerings in the sector prove this.


Just before we appear at how OSS owners can make income, it is worth noting that the industrial good results of OSS can mostly be attributed to (i) the degree of interest in the item and the developer and consumer communities to take benefit of the essential rewards of open supply as above highlighted and (ii) the credibility and reputation of the OSS owner, as cybersecurity challenges are normally a prime priority for customers. Now, let’s turn to the possibilities.

Open, but not cost-free

Despite the fact that OSS is normally perceived as cost-free software program, this is not necessarily the case. The creator may well publish the supply code below a license that would limit rights of use and modification or impose a income-sharing obligation on the licensee if the item in which the software program is incorporated is commercialized, which encourages prospective industrial customers to enter into a separate industrial license with the creator.

This solution is also named restrictive licensing and has been criticized by the open supply neighborhood as deviating from the original intent of OSS. Note that converting to a restrictive license just after the item is very first released with no any restrictions may well not be properly received by customers (see our coverage of the Dungeons and Dragons case earlier this year).

Free of charge vs paid versions

This solution is in some cases named dual licensing, mainly because the software program owner may well let cost-free use of the software program with simple possibilities, but will charge a charge for versions that include things like added functionality or are intended particularly for enterprise use. This pricing tactic is in some cases named “freemium.”

Open the kernel

A variation of the dual licensing model is recognized as the “open core” model. In the open core model, the developer opens up most of the code and enables it to be created as typical OSS, but keeps specific capabilities and functionality proprietary and offered for industrial licensing.

For instance, consider a browser or mobile operating program that comes with a marketplace of plugins and extensions developed by the owner as properly as independent developers, exactly where some of these plugins and extensions are offered for a charge.


Simply because not all organizations have the capacity to deploy and run OSS, some vendors may well decide on to give a remote OSS server with added functionality such as OSS backups and upgrades.

On the other hand, considering that remote servers are largely the territory of cloud vendors, there may well be competitors among OSS developers and cloud vendors who give OSS as a service at no added expense to the consumer. This competitors has led some OSS providers to include things like restrictions in their licenses to avoid them from promoting their software program as a service with no paying royalties.

Help and consulting

OSS developers can leverage their knowledge and give buyers paid assistance connected to OSS deployment, configuration, integration, coaching, or troubleshooting. There are differing views on no matter whether this is a sustainable operating model in the lengthy term, as quite a few argue that OSS must boost more than time, and customers will not be inclined to continue paying just after the initial deployment phase. As a outcome, some providers decide on to use this function collectively with proprietary OSS or open-core compatible capabilities.

In addition to the above, there are numerous techniques to raise income, such as certification charges, crowdsourcing, branded distribution or hybrid licensing, for instance, the so-named franchising model exactly where the OSS owner certifies chosen partners to turn out to be “authorized” OSS providers and they use one particular from commercialization techniques and spend a charge to the OSS owner.

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