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Open Source Is Free But Not Cheap

 have an open source competitor but I don't encounter them that much in Singapore market.

If and when I do encounter prospects using this open source solution now, I tend to avoid them. The reason for avoiding them isn't because I am competing myself with free, but rather, I have found these prospect have invested, not just time, but money and resource to maintain this open source software.

Let me explain.

While the open source solution is free for download from the source website, maintaining the open source solution requires effort. Interestingly, I found that IT teams that use this open source solution, have a manpower or two hired assigned just to manage this open source solution.

If these open source IT teams decided to use my paid solution, it would have meant that their investment, in terms of time and money, to get where their open source solution is today, have been a wrong decision from the start.

Unless I am to talk to new a IT director who wants to revamp their solution, it would be a lost cause for the IT person in charge to totally drop the open source solution, which time and money has been used, for a solution that would not have required him/her to spend that amount of time and resources in the first place.

This open source solution recently provided a premium support. Problem is that the service support comes from the US and the company is in Singapore. This means that support queries, for only by email, will be replied only after 1am Singapore time.

This means that if an issue occur at 8am Singapore time, the support answer will only be replied 16 hours later. If the Singapore IT team have questions about the support, it will be another 16 hours wait.

They use to say open source is for those with no money but lots of time. However, with time being an important commodity today, open source may be free but it won't come cheap.

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