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From Flames To Fork, Comes Freedom • View topic - Business Support Model in Open Source

Business Support Model in Open Source

Before you even think of trying Compiere. What you should worry about. What are the issues? These are stuff that our prospects and clients went through. No holds barred. We tell it like it is.

Business Support Model in Open Source

Postby red1 » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:23 pm

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Postby trifon » Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:38 pm

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Postby afalcone » Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:11 pm

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Postby trifon » Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:23 pm

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Postby afalcone » Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:42 am

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Postby trifon » Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:52 am

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Postby afalcone » Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:03 am

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Re: Business Support Model in Open Source

Postby globalqss » Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:59 am

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Postby red1 » Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:45 am

Wow Carlos, very strong points here (and thanks for that link!). And this is precisely what i want your comments to be public here so that we can guide potential customers to read this first before going to Compiere Inc or us for support. So that they know what they are in for. This is doing a free info service for them.

Its also a free marketing or presales for us, so that when they do agree to pay us, they wont treat us the same way with others. They wont argue that Compiere is bug free and that we are making things up. Or they regard that we are all powerful and can repair Compiere in a hurry.

But its obvious (as pointed out by Trifon and Alejandro) that there is a line between Compiere Inc, and the Open Source direction, and it seems to be business as usual as its with other OS projects.

Not that many people are evil but that what a champion does can bring consequence and oppurtunities (as Trifon puts it) to the market. So now that Compiere Inc has seemed to be rather commercialistic and we here been trying to practice the OS code of conduct which is not to make money out of royalty but time spent, we can further gather around and seriously consider this pact of worldwide compiere developers and give a common front to the users.

What i have been driving at in this forum thread is that all this will lead to a code of practice and policy standard, and a presales education. For example the number of hours to solve a bug or fix a setup for a customer, how long should it take? What if the customer disagrees as he/she wanted a cheap solution in the first place and often not willing to pay even extra for anything else.

I m saying that the customer must first agree with our points that we are taking advantage (correctly) of the loopholes and weaknesses in Compiere.

Thus i call for and propose standards that educate and protect both sides such as that there is a 2 time clause in rendering service:
1) First time of say 2 hours charge to determine if the bug or issue can be solved, and the customer pays for that 2 hour (USD 50 per hour). The answer can be :
i) Your problem will take 7 days to fix and we guarantee that if its more than that u dont have to pay extra.
ii) Your problem is difficult to be fix and may take longer (explanation given). Can u try for 7 days and then we see, but no guarantee?

This is the tactic i used in PC business and i believe many service providers do that too. For example u can ask a plumber to come to your house to see if he can fixed a blockage problem. He comes and say that u need completely new plumbing which cost a bomb and u dont want his service. But he ask u to pay him USD20 for his time in looking at your problem, which i paid as its fair.

2) There can be prudent total support in an Open way for example, a customer must publish her/his problem openly in our forum, and that we can all give advice and that is chargeable as an opening fee. This is so that the customer gets the maximum advice possible, and that all of us knows the context of the problem. Then we decide who to provide the support or point of contact responsible for the fixing, and fixes it, customer pays. Developer gets 80%, 20% goes to our fund for this overall management, and to pay out those who help in any indirect way.

2.2) If the developer fixing it fails, the job passes to another in the circle. And fee is spread pro-rata.

3) By doing it in open manner gives many advantages.
a) Customer has to publish her/his problem rather openly and cannot avoid not paying or else others will know and wouldnt give further support thus protecting our surety of receiving payments.
b) The content of accumulated problem solving threads assist in attracting more customers who would get free advice (as the policy of all info is free but ppl are not), and save them money first, and thus they would like this place and trust us whenever we charge for time consumed.
c) It provide us the trail and documentation to make our work more manageable and visible.
d) It resist from making what we do become closed source and so we can choose customers that are more willing to be open than close.
e) Collaboration will draw more pool of resources from developers other than us to join in and this in turn guarantee all round success, as well as drawing more customers.

3) There can also be a membership scheme where customers pay a fix yearly fee for forum support and extra for further work. Again what r the advantages and disadvantages?

In view of the starting 4 of us here in giving such like minded spirit, i m supportive of this idea of forming a circle of peers where we must first form politically, i.e. it must be official. And that we must have a policy of charging costs and resolving issues. And it must have a leader. So u choose your leader who is most mature and understanding of all these issues and has good management and resourceful as well has a very good heart.
I m not advertising for this post. I want to be an adviser :D And provide the forum for all this to happen.
I think i like to try to look out on how to contribute a fixed server co located in a web farm for the infrastructure where we can put all our codes backup and test sites.

on a sidenote, I m pretty busy with a coming challenging task that is to put Compiere into a PABX phone system where when someone calls in it brings up on the screen who is calling and his compiere records and any actions will be reflected in the CRM and Inventory and other history.

The codes are proprietary but i m not :D So i will produce another set for OS later.
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Excellent idea

Postby newdrim » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:59 pm

I think the payable help forum would be beneficial to everybody - to customers and other developers who are just learning (like me :oops: ) as well as to experienced developers who would get some motivation to help. And in the end we would have a very good knowledge base as well.

Are you guys still interested? I am willing to help set this thing up.

Andreja
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Postby red1 » Sat Aug 05, 2006 7:02 am

Hi Andreja,
What we are doing here is moving towards what u said, which is to provide a base for paid service. This is more possible here due to the standard definition of dotcom success which are the 3 Cs - :

1) COMMUNITY - RED1 Compiere forum is trying to interact to be a market of enough mindshare among the Compiere community. This last year has been about About 200 - 300 unique visitors a day. In order that this BAZAAR effect is so, all 3Cs must happen in tandem, and this forum has sparked and also trying to evolve to that.

2) CONTENT - We are also gathering alot of materials and experience documented here that in tun attracts such a crowd of both contributors ans users - elements of buyers and sellers. Having this controllable forum allows us to edit and delete repetitive comments, and housekeep the place to remain attractive and easily used by the community.

3) COMMERCE - Products to sell. Here the products are your time and materials - be it consultative and personal. And some has been doing so indirectly and informally thru this forum. This also happens in general in other forums. But here i seriously meant that it must happen more and true.

For that last point to happen involves and depends on the following:
a) There must be a community that has gain recognition and willing to come together so as not to dilute the bazaar energy. Here such a community is been gathered and growing.

b) The community learns to trade openly, and eventually what forms next are policies, and guilds of artisans of experts and interest groups in their various fields who can police themselves. This means a political constitution and i have propose that with the policy of (i) INFO is FREE, (ii) PEOPLE are NOT, (iii) CONTRIBUTORS are PRICELESS

Now we are evolving to a stage where people like u began to share tots and this forms a directory and reference where alot of other eyeballs will get more directed and soon more things happen.

I m humbled thru many previous dotcoms in the sense that even if this dont happen as ideally as expected, this forum threads and posting remains just as a free watering hole, albeit a better kept one.

There are generally no problem now for the established names here to get their basic service times bought by users from the community. And the buyers are getting bigger and in this thread, some may come forward and take up the 'Follow the Sun Support' that we now are in the basic sense capable of, since we are in different time zones of the globe.

For a start u have to be more visible in the forums, publishing your work and experience so that u also gain membership in this still informal Hall of Advocates. I know developers are shy people been only human, and i have been pushing with all my strength of words constantly that i m the same too, but that i just love to 'boast' (meaning share), and u really have to so that the market recognises u, your name and your capabilities. Then the trading of services takes hold thru mutual trust and confidence between parties or else no trading happens and we remain a cowboy town. But thats ok as thats what happens first in the early WWW (Wild Wild West)
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Postby newdrim » Sat Aug 05, 2006 7:48 pm

Hi, Red1!

Thanks for your reply. I can see you have a growing community here and I really appreciate all the effort that went into it. I will help where I can and hope that it will grow even more and be able to serve progressively greater audience.

One of the things where we tend to fail the most (as programmers) is adequate support for what we write. It makes me sad when I see good code with bad presentation (be it user interface, manuals or people who interact with customers). It doesn't do you any good to have great code that nobody knows how to use. And as implementors we are the customers of Compiere as well.

Andreja
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