Beekeeping, the new face of Open Source value in Africa

Karl-photo smallBy default the Open Source software business model features principles or ideals that make it an attractive proposition for businesses of all size.

Experts in the growing field believe that OS’ ‘beekeeper model’ exposes the investor to several fundamentals that represent key advantages to business – including innovation, relevance, higher quality, speed of delivery and better pricing.

Karl Fischer, senior technical consultant at Obsidian Systems, reminds the market of the fundamentals that make open source a worthwhile and powerful investment.

“For example, the way open source is portrayed is misleading. It is not free, this software is not a cost-free solution. Free in this context refers to freedom and this is important to remember,” says Fischer.

Open Source is based fundamentally on the principle of ‘openness’ and transparency. “Transparency allows you as a community to observe a published road map, defect tracking system, design and communication on schedules and hurdles,” says Fischer.

“Through the looking glass one can make fact-based and timeous decisions, plan your business strategy and participate in steering the future of a software solution to meet rapid changing business needs,” he adds.

It is critical that the principle of openness and transparency are applied before any disruptive power of open source can be realised.

Made for today’s business environment 

Source code, archives or a public repository of information can be made available early and updated frequently which means immediate and simple adoption by developers.

In a market that is continuously shifting focus to grow developer skills and communities in order to support business processes, this is considered a major advantage Fischer adds.

At the same time OS is flexible, which means that database solutions do sit on a platform that allows for easy migration of information. “Interoperability is crucial… remember flexibility,” he continues.

According to Fischer and Obsidian Systems, a company focused on OS services and solution development, this flexibility is evident in the application of virtualised services model.

But what is it about the inherent nature of Open Source that makes it a viable, value-add investment? “I believe that the Beekeeper Model is that the bees cannot survive without the keeper and visa-versa.  Yes, monetization is critical in any industry, the key is the value that one can bring to the open source customer. I think our history speaks volumes, open source is still as relevant in today’s market as it was two decades ago. Yes, the focus has changed significantly as technology changes. That’s the joy of open source is that we are still moving with the trends in hardware and software,” he adds.

And what makes Open Source so exciting? According to Fischer it is the ability to integrate the best of global minds in bringing value through the chain of developers and to the end-user.