Pure Open Source and Ecology of Value – Part I: a new strategy for the ecological approach

Hi, in my latest post Open Core and Pure Open Source I said: “[ecology of value] could be a new answer to an old request: how to bring innovation and value into the market. It depends on what innovation and value are”.

Now, I’m here again and I’d like to start from the beginning: SpagoWorld history.

In August 2009, I’ve published an article entitled SpagoWorld, the Open Source Initiative by Engineering, where I said: “the SpagoWorld Initiative provides a context where its communities and the different involved actors – companies, vendors, integrators, BI consultants, governmental institutions, customers, academia and individuals – cooperate to develop mature and reliable infrastructure solutions and compete with one another to meet their own goals, creating a lively and stimulating environment. In this way, all SpagoWorld adopters can find a reference environment for their open source adoption strategies and an opportunity to contribute to the growth of a collective strategy aiming to increase value in an ecological context… The open source domain is particularly appropriate to the development of a collective strategy that increases value in a context that can be defined as ecological, where indirect non-monetary and hardly quantifiable returns can be more valuable than the monetary ones, because they are beneficial in a long-term sustainability context.”


Let’s see now which is Engineering’s strategy in the development of SpagoWorld ecosystem.

The licensing strategy focuses on the release of free open source software, in a Pure Open Source way: a single stable version released under an open source license, avoiding any licence policy which would make open source similar to the proprietary model.

The development strategy focuses on the project-centric type approach, where the end-user project is more important than the adopted technological solutions and where the ability to design and develop complex systems capable of satisfying the users needs is fully exploited. In this model, the use of open source software becomes also a tool to enhance the design skills and the technical know-how of integrator developing the solution. At the same time, those open source offer better characteristics than a proprietary one in terms of availability, openness, modifiability, modularity, integration, adaptability, reusability and scalability (see at SpagoBI, as an example).

The ecosystem strategy is based on the decision of Engineering not to work alone, but to connect itself to already existing international communities (mainly OW2 Consortium and Eclipse Foundation) and to build and participate in many Initiatives (OW2 ELC, OW2 BI initiative, Eclipse SOA IWG, NESSI OSS Working Group, QualiPSo Project, Italian Open Source Competence Center, FLOSS Competence Center Network and SpagoWorld initiatives are coming). Besides, collaborations with Universities and Research Institutions add more value in the education and innovation fields. “Relations with communities are a value creation process set on the background of a complex network of business and social relationships, of shared values and interdependencies between the different members. The returning value is high but mainly non-quantitative (i.e.: monetary). It is a collaboration in a knowledge-based industrial network sharing common promotional efforts and a strong commitment on crucial decisions, fostering innovation, open competition and freedom to embark on different activities”.

This strategy hasn’t been planned a priori but it derives from the analysis of its results, growth and adaptation over time. I can say we have lived the experience of being inserted in an ecological contest where the strategy concept has been changed from the already known one. “For the development of a strategy, it is usually important to fix short-term, middle-term and long-term objectives and to define a plan, called strategic, through which we can reach these objectives, by defining their most adequate means, supposing that these are always scanty. Adopting an ecological approach to the value means both abandoning part of those certainties coming from the possession of a definite plan to develop a certain set of objectives, and replacing them with our capacity of continuously exploring the meaning of our existence in the world and the sense we have to assign to this. The aim is to improve the quality of our condition, by experiencing all different possible potentials.” [Thank you Luciano for your words].

I’ll continue soon with Part II, talking of the Innovation I’m envisaging.

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