Open Source Exchanges: Can VARs Profit?
When OpenBravo — an open source ERP company — launched an open source exchange earlier today, The VAR Guy had a case of deja vu. From Digium to Red Hat to xTuple, numerous open source companies have launched online marketplaces for their customers and VARs. But can open source exchanges really stir application sales? Here are some thoughts.
Let’s start with the news and trends.
- Openbravo on January 25 launched Openbravo Exchange, a marketplace that features “production-grade apps and services that extend the use of Openbravo ERP.”
- Digium on January 21 officially launched Asterisk Exchange, a marketplace for the open source IP PBX. Digium CEO Danny Windham explained potential VAR and partner opportunities in this FastChat Video with The VAR Guy. Digium also is launching Asterisk Forge to help developers work with one another. The move is somewhat akin to GroundWork Open Source‘s Monitoring Forge launch.
- xTuple, another open source ERP specialist, launched xChange Online App Store in mid-2009. As did Compiere.
The list likely goes on and on… but The VAR Guy is pressed for time. The key question: Can open source exchanges help VARs to quickly find and assemble customer solutions?
Red Hat Exchange: An Update
Before you answer, consider the situation with Red Hat Exchange. Launched in 2007, the Red Hat Exchange sounded promising. And The VAR Guy was guilty of hyping the effort quite a bit. But over time, Red Hat gradually rethought its exchange efforts.
Time for The VAR Guy to check in with Red Hat to check the status of their exchange.
In the meantime, our resident blogger will continue to watch exchange efforts at multiple open source companies. They’re promising initiatives. But success certainly isn’t guaranteed.