Open source software has been around for decades, but the modern open source movement has completely changed the software landscape. It used to be that a small business seeking to run an e-mail, web, file or voice-over-IP server, let alone workstations had to pay through the nose for proprietary solutions that while often were well supported, were so cost prohibitive that the financial overhead imposed significant margin compression.
Imagine starting a business and having to shell out $5,000 to $10,000 in software license costs, proprietary hardware, etc. This simply is not feasible for most start-ups. Especially if they want to be able to achieve some measure of profitability quickly and durably.
The open source alternatives, ranging from Ubuntu Linux to FreeBSD have been maturing, gaining momentum and offering the same features as the commercial solutions, but without the need to shell out a large sum of money. Now one can easily setup their own internal network infrastructure without having to spend any money on software and with minimal hardware expenses, because an added benefit of most open source software is that it is more efficient with system resources as well.
I started my business, Envescent, in 1999. All I had to fund the company was some cash I raised selling my car. I was able to hit the ground running because I invested my time in building and integrating my own internal solutions, from my web server to my e-mail, file and voice over IP servers. All of this saved me an extraordinary amount of money that I was able to immediately reinvest in making the business viable and eventually profitable.
In the 15 years I’ve been using open source software, I’ve always donated both time and funds to open source projects as a gesture of my appreciation, because I am passionate that open source is changing the world of business for the better, allowing start-ups to leverage enterprise technology at a fraction of the cost that the commercial solutions impose. In Spring of 2009 I started Open Support Source, a division of Envescent dedicated to handling the needs of other small businesses adopting or utilizing open source technology. In those years we’ve been able to assist many companies in migrating away from Windows, Mac OS X and other commercial software to open source operating systems such as Linux or FreeBSD and applications like Apache, SpamAssassin, MaraDNS, WordPress, etc.
If your company is examining the possibility of migrating to an open source solution or needs help maintaining its open source software, contact me at Open Support Source and I’ll be happy to help!