Mix and match: The perfect open-source Web commerce company

Open source has a great chance to take a big role in Web commerce and advertising, but requires the right combination: Acquia, Magento, OpenX.

Occasionally I get brilliant ideas about who should merge with whom in open source. OK, so it's very occasionally, but I think I'll start sharing them under a "mix and match" headline.

Forget fantasy football. It's time for "fantasy open source."

Over the past few weeks I've spent a fair amount of time with the Acquia team, the company that offers a commercial distribution of the ubiquitous Drupal open-source Web content management system. Drupal is very strong in Web publishing and has an amazing community following, which makes it a nice pairing for two open-source projects/companies that help vendors make money over the Internet.

The first is OpenX, an open-source ad-server company that I've written about several times, and which I continue to believe offers a disruptive way to shake up the online advertising business, especially for smaller Web publishers. While Drupal is used by plenty of marquee brands like Intel and FedEx, it has a strong base of support within these smaller Web publishers.

Why not give such small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a way to build a Web presence (Drupal) and a way to drive customers to their sites (OpenX) at the same time?

While we're at it, why not also provide the e-commerce engine to turn ad-related interest into paying customers? Magento, which I've also covered several times, is a natural fit.

Yes, Magento, like Drupal and OpenX, has its share of big customers, including Germany's equivalent of REI, Globetrotter. But Magento already has a lot of traction within the mid-market segment that Drupal and OpenX also serve.

Granted, mergers and acquisitions always look better on paper than in actuality, but I think the combination could be potent. Each company comes with strong communities and strong products. Each also contributes to a very interesting, subscription plus transaction-based revenue stream.

Disagree? Which companies (at least one of which must be open source) do you think should get together?

Follow me on Twitter @mjasay.

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