Growing Commercial Open Source through Cross-Pollination

August 7, 2009
Rikki Green

As we trudge through the weak economy looking for ways to attract new clients and grow our business, the old Marketing 101 adage comes to mind:

“Your best new customers are the customers you already have”

At Levementum, we’re finding that this rings true in an amazing way.

With our SugarCRM, Compiere, and Magento Open Source service offerings, we’re finding that the hit rate (on new Open Source apps) for customers that previously have implemented one of these outstanding products, is well over 50%…an amazing rate of Opportunity conversion.

Why is that?  I think its a reflection of how these clients have crossed their own chasms relative to the key “Objections” raised in the course of a Commercial Open Source sale.

When we talk to a new customer – one that has never implemented an Open Source product at an enterprise level, the four concerns we tend to see are:

1. Concerns about the Project/Company viability.

2. Concerns about support and SLA.

3. Concerns about Intellectual Property rights of derivative works.

4. Concerns about quality and features.

Clearly these objections are colored in the spirit of Open Source as a “new” and “disruptive” force, and customers have to be carefully navigated through these discussions.

The key  is, once the bridge has been crossed with one application project, the propensity to steamroll through these objections on the following application project is very high.

We’re finding that SugarCRM customers love Compiere…Compiere customers love what SugarCRM has to offer, and we’re also seeing an interest in Magento from customers of both SugarCRM and Compiere.  Again I propose its because they’ve already taken the Open Source plunge – and already subscribe to the unparallelled value proposition that they can take advantage of:

1. Control of Your Own Destiny.

2. Cost Benefit and TCO.

3. The Quality factor (as a strength)

We’re hoping to continue to see more and more progress – its a bet Levementum has made in spades – and why we continue on our path to being at the forefront of service firms that help Enterprises make sense of how to deploy broad Open Source solutions as an enabler for their own value propositions.

We’re in exciting times in the world of Open Source…The strength of the community has been, well, the community!  I see the opportunity for the SugarCRMs, Compieres and Magentos of the world to cross pollinate – share customers – share ideas – define boundaries – maximize opportunity value.  Its a win win for everybody, mostly for our customers .

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