Open Source Software: The Customer Perception from SME and SMI?

Sep 08 2009

We wanted to draw your attention on a research work, published in March 2009, on the perception of Open Source Software from SME and SMI. This report was written by Boris Garand, in the framework of an MBA (Group ESC Rouen School of business).

Here is the abstract:

"Many studies, surveys recognizes the overall performance of Open Source Software compare to proprietary products in term of innovation, total cost ownership, stability, community involvement ... many factors that makes Open Source Software a viable project and movement. The purpose of this thesis is to analyse the customer perception of OSS only from SME and SMI in order to understand this low level of market share."

The main conclusions, from the quantitative and qualitative survey, are the following: companies are not reluctant with alternative solutions offered by OSS because there are good solutions in term of reliability, performance, scalability, security and TCO. The communication seams to be insufficient though (in particular for solutions less known than Mozilla, Linux, Open Office...) and not sufficiently clear (for instance, concerning the licences). The other negative reported point is the lack of support. These conclusions seem to be relevant. However, it is necessary to admit that small companies don't always have the ressources of the big ones; thus, to be as visible as Mozilla may be a difficult task. Concerning the support, here is a small reminding, XWiki has a professionnal offer.

To download the report.