Global Summit of Open Source Leaders Releases Report

Organizers of Open Source Think Tank 2007: The Future of Commercial Open Source, today announced availability of a free online report summarizing the 2 ½-day executive summit held in March in California with participation by more than 100 open source leaders from six continents around the world.

The report, available online at no charge from Think Tank organizers Olliance Group and DLA Piper ( looks at how the fast-moving commercial open source industry has dramatically impacted business models, licensing and intellectual property issues, and adoption and usage models for open source software.

Think Tank 2007 was supported by JasperSoft, Microsoft, NEC, Novell, OpenLogic, SugarCRM and Unisys. The summit was hosted by the Olliance Group, a leading open source management consulting firm, and DLA Piper, a global law firm with 3,200 lawyers in 24 countries and a leading advisor to the open source industry.

“Think Tank 2007 offered a unique invitation-only venue for thought leaders from key segments of the open source industry to collaboratively discuss, brainstorm and develop solutions that address critical issues in the growth and maturation of commercial open source,” said Andrew Aitken, managing partner, Olliance Group.

Think Tank 2007 featured two CIO panels offering frank insights into how global 2000 organizations view open source today in their software procurement decisions. While most of their IT infrastructure already includes open source software, some barriers remain, including:
Added costs for license review and internal compliance policies for non-commercially supported open source;
A continuing lack of adequate commercial support for open source software;
A need for better interoperability and integration for open source software.

Keynote address speaker Tony Perkins, founder and first editor of Red Herring Magazine, kicked off the conference with a survey of trends in media, the Internet and blogging that all play increasingly important roles in the commercial open source market.

In the ensuing breakout sessions that formed the heart of the 2007 Think Tank summit, conversations among participants ranged over many of the difficult issues facing commercial open source companies with many interesting conclusions:

The number of open source developers is not keeping pace with industry growth;
CIOs are saying open source is ready for the enterprise – with some caveats;
Choosing a commercial open source company’s business model is a prerequisite for choosing the appropriate license;
The key issues raised by participants in Think Tank show the need for an industry forum that represents the interest of commercial open source vendors and customers;
Most participants in Think Tank 2007 preferred a market approach to deciding how terms and definitions like “open source” are used over a government legislated or industry standards body dictating approach.

“Open source is thriving and growing, as evidenced by the increasing number of companies participating in the Think Tank,” said Mark Radcliffe, senior partner, DLA Piper and Chair of the DLA Piper’s Open Source Practice Group. “Open source has moved beyond idealistic predictions of world domination and into the realm of solving hard business problems.”