There's a school of thought that says that open source is only truly viable when it involves commodity technologies such as operating systems that a lot of people have expertise in.
And yet, we continue to see open source march into the application later where the available expertise surrounding that application may not be so deep. The latest example is Bonita Open Solution for business process management (BPM) from BonitaSoft.
According to BonitaSoft CEO Miguel Valdes Faura, the open source model works just fine at the higher ends of the application stack. The Bonita Open Solution, which is in its fifth iteration, is now being downloaded 40,000 times a month.
The BonitaSoft CEO contends that application vendors have artificially constrained access to BPM by making it something that should only be considered by large companies willing to pay big time consulting fees to deploy BPM. BonitaSoft, in contrast, is about the "democratization" of BPM using an open source model that makes a BPM framework widely accessible to all.
There are profound changes taking place in the enterprise these days as it relates to BPM. And yet, the number of companies deploying BPM software has been constrained largely to a lack of available internal expertise and affordable external consultants. BonitaSoft might very well be at the forefront of shift in the BPM sector that will forever change that equation.