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New startups explore new niches for open source

Two new open-source companies have launched, only one of which makes much sense.

Over the weekend two new open-source startups caught my eye (and my inbox): OrecX and Transverse. The first is notable for its demonstration that open source is ready for niche applications. The second? Well, the second is notable because after reading through its website I still have no idea what it does.

OrecX is a Chicago-based company that has created the first open-source call recording software company, targeting small businesses. According to the company, "Voice recording is high in demand to create an element of professionalism and quality customer service but because of its cost, it's been out of reach for many businesses."

Fair enough. So, OrecX aims to use open source to lower the cost of tailored voice recording solutions, which are normally priced at $1,000 to $4,000. I doubt many companies will actually customize OrecX's solution, preferring instead to tap into the cost savings, but that is one valid way to leverage open-source software.

Another way is that which Transverse, an Austin-based company, has chosen. Transverse is focused on expanding revenue opportunities for telecom providers with its Customer Asset Management solution and blee(p) platform

Hmm...what does that mean? From the company's website:

[Transverse's] blee(p) is a fully integrated set of business management services that are grouped into business domain structures. Using the blee(p) service-oriented architecture these domains are easily extended through a plug-in framework, which allows a limitless number of business solutions to be assembled in days, not weeks or months.

Still unsure of what Transverse does? Me, too. About the only thing clear about the company is how it intends to make money. Note to Transverse: speak English, not marketing-speak.

In either case, it will be interesting to see if either company derives the expected value from open source that their websites anticipate. We've seen open source move well beyond core infrastructure like databases, application servers, and operating systems. Can it take over voice recording and Customer Asset Management?

We'll see.