In the recent Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco, Larry Augustin, CEO of Medsphere, talked about four successful models, each representing a different application category: sugarCRM , Compiere , Asterisk , and VistA (the technology his company first deployed to the private sector) and looked at what they had in common to come up with six rules that identify a ripe opportunity for open source:
* Look at heavy applications that are traditionally a big expense and take years to implement. These include, CRM, ERP, PBX, and EHR (electronic health records).
* The presence of big proprietary traditional competitors with big upfront software licensing fees that make it hard to get started.
* A large, enthusiastic free user base so you don’t have to spend a lot of time educating them and the market about what you are doing, giving you sales leverage.
* An enthusiastic developer ecosystem–you have a community of people that participate in some way.
* There is a big enterprise market opportunity: for healthcare, the market is to grow to $25B IT market by 2007.
* You have a big under-penetrated SMB market opportunity.