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Spoiling the open-source IT management party

SpringSource's acquisition of Hyperic is billed as the bringing together of two strong open-source companies, but proprietary competitor Nimsoft doesn't believe it.

SpringSource announced news earlier today that it has acquired Hyperic. This is good news for SpringSource, but not everyone out there believes that it's good news for open source.

The PR representative for Nimsoft, a proprietary IT management company, decided that it would use the occasion to fling mud at Hyperic and open-source IT management solutions. In an e-mail pitch to me, it ends up going long on claims and short on substance.

My responses in italics below.

We noted with interest your article on SpringSource's acquisition of Hyperic this morning. We believe that this is very key for SpringSource, as it allows them to protect their business model, going forward, but wonder what it means for open-source vendors in general.

I work for an open-source company that has doubled or tripled sales every year since inception, and know a slew of open-source companies doing really well in the bad economy, including Hyperic, but apparently this PR person didn't know that. ;-)

An executive from Nimsoft, a performance- and availability-monitoring company, would like to share with you his thoughts on why you will see more open-source performance-monitoring companies either shutting their doors or becoming acquired in the near future.

I'm all ears! I guess this executive from Nimsoft isn't privy to the financial performance of Zenoss, Hyperic, Groundwork, and others, and so he doesn't know that if they're acquired, it's likely because they're doing well, not poorly.

Specifically, he would like to discuss:

  • Why open-source models won't work, going forward

I've spent the last seven years blogging about why and how they will succeed, but hey! A proprietary software company that only managed to sign 29 new "logo" customers in its past quarter is probably well-positioned to advise the rest of the market on why open source will fail...even as Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, and others all buy into open source more heavily.

  • What companies are discovering about the hidden costs --inexpensive up-front but high-manpower costs moving forward to manage the environment

I guess Nimsoft didn't get the memo from Forrester Research that 92 percent of companies it surveyed actually do save money with open source. Even after all those "hidden costs" are factored in.

  • How the business model is affected by the economy: Why the practice of "giving the product away" and hoping companies will sign up for maintenance contracts is facing challenges.

Finally, something we can agree upon! I have seen many open-source companies facing the challenge of meeting big spikes in demand in the bad economy. Maybe the Nimsoft representatives should look at this chart:
It shows the positive trajectory the negative economy is having on open-source sales.

Please let me know if you are interested in speaking with Nimsoft, and I will be able to get you in touch with them, as well as get you any follow-up material that you might require.

I think the only follow-up material I'll need is real data on open source, but then, I guess I've been posting that for quite some time here, so perhaps after Nimsoft has taken the trouble to read it...? Thanks.

Follow me on Twitter @mjasay.