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Accenture, SpringSource team up, but here's the real news

Although Accenture uses a ton of open-source software, it has been a poor partner for the open-source business community. That may be changing.

In an example of the real news lurking behind the press release, SpringSource and Accenture have announced that they are teaming up to provide an open-source batch processing solution to the market:

Accenture and SpringSource on Tuesday will unveil a production-ready version of Spring Batch, an open source framework for batch processing. The framework enables large organizations to use open source software to develop customized batch processing applications, the companies said. Spring Batch already is in use at more than 35 Accenture clients...

That's ostensibly the news (though it's really a year old), but I actually think there's something much more significant in play: Accenture is actually partnering with an open-source company, rather than just deploying the open-source software.

Open source is nothing new to Accenture and other global system integrators. Indeed, Accenture uses a large and increasing amount of open source in its business.

What is new is the "novel" idea of helping the company behind the project actually get paid. The SpringSource announcement is the only real record you'll find of Accenture partnering with an open-source company, despite widespread deployment of open-source software by Accenture.

I know of at least three major projects being widely deployed by Accenture with tens of millions of dollars going to Accenture in consulting fees...and exactly $0 going to the vendors behind the projects (and exactly zero lines of code, too). (And no, I'm not talking about Alfresco here, though...)

SpringSource is doing well here, and Accenture is engaging with a commercial open-source vendor in a way that should lead to more and better code for it to deploy to its clients. To the extent that Accenture and other system integrators engage with open source in this fashion, we'll see much more open source for them to leverage to improve productivity and lower costs.

Imagine that.