Interoperability is surely a big deal. How it ended up being the top concern of an open-source interoperability group's (the Open Solutions Alliance) survey doesn't require much imagination. But the ironic thing in the survey's findings is that the OSA (voiced here by Dominic Sartorio) has come to the wrong conclusion from it:
Most commercial open-source companies are finding a good amount of success. But how many opportunities are they leaving on the table because they're not interoperable?
Please allow me to answer: "Zero." At least, zero to few opportunities are lost from not being interoperable with other open-source projects. Yes, I get quite a few requests to have Alfresco integrate with JBoss and Liferay, and I've done business with both. But I didn't need a committee to tell me that. Customers did. Customers have yet to request integration with Compiere, for example, so we haven't done it. Someday we probably will. But when customers vote with dollars.
Today's interoperability requests for open-source vendors are to work with existing (proprietary) systems from SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, etc. If the OSA wants to be relevant, it should help work on that kind of interoperability. It could be useful there.