I found a very interesting article 2015-the-year-that-open-source-software-went-nuclear from the wired magazine highlighting the even more emerging trend towards open source. And indeed asides the desktop open source is a winning bet. It is also utterly interesting to see the giants move towards this model. I always was looking with interest to Oracles strategy with MySQL, Java and other components as they are moving to pen source but also the recent moves by Microsoft and Apple are interesting. Still this is on the technical side but it is of interest. I did write before here on the interesting move Salesforce does with their open sourcing the Lightning design system.
Also on the Desktop side the rise of thin clients and android moving from the Phone to further devices might sooner or later break Microsoft’s dominance with Windows on the Desktop.
In any case what does it mean for CRM. Looking at SugarCRM we are there already. It is a dominant player. Still unclear yet is the strategy SugarCRM as a company is pursuing. Open and honest there is a lack of communication what SugarCRM wants to do and how they see the future of Open Source. Despite them trying to push it to the background SugarCRM CE still exists. It will be interesting to see what happens at the end of 2016 when they officially will cease support for their 6.5 codebase. On the one hand if you look in depth to the Sugar7 backend code there is not so much change since 6.5 – except splitting the MVC model and adding a REST interface the majority stayed as it is. On the other hand, it will be interesting to see how many of their licensed customers can really migrate to Sugar7 in time. Or are even willing to do so. The license cost are only one side but the service and reimplementation costs are the bigger barrier. So 6.5 might have a longer life than people might want to see.
What it means for SpiceCRM is clear. We will evolve the platform and drive the 6.5 kernel to support state of the art technology (you read the post where we are currently upgrading the core components to support PHP7 or MySQL 5.7), enable customers to migrate at their pace and protect the investment they made thus far in their platform.
And yes we also believe that Open Source can add value and is a model that will stay for many more years. Still every company needs to find a way of giving away parts of their work for free and on the other hand still maintaining their business and being profitable. For the large players this might be easier than for the small ones (due to the money they make) on the other hand it is a chance for smaller players as well since there is less to loose. Interesting times.
We wish all of you the best for 2016.