The president and chief executive of open-source database firm Ingres is in London this week to enjoy a decent pint of beer and draw a line under enterprise barriers to open-source solutions.
Roger Burkhardt said that enterprises in the UK can be the most reluctant to adopt his company's technologies, and this is one thing that he feels he must tackle.
"The UK is the laggard when it comes to open-source adoption because some barriers do exist," he said. "Not all open source is ready for enterprise adoption, but a lot of solutions are proven."
Burkhardt was not short of customer success stories when it came to illustrating his point.
"There is a large Swiss banking system doing funds transfer on a totally open-source platform, including Ingres, JBoss and Red Hat Enterprise Linux," he said. "If you can satisfy the needs of the Swiss banking system, you are proven. "
However, other external forces are proving to be unlikely aids to his cause, such as the global downturn.
"Firms like the open-source model because it has no licensing fees, no lock-in and superior technology. In the middle of the worst recession for some time, big software companies are raising their prices," he said.
"After acquiring BEA Systems, Oracle raised prices for the WebLogic app server by 45 per cent. It is driving people to look for alternatives. The chief information officer of one large supermarket chain is quoted as saying he is disgusted with its pricing. He is now an Ingres customer."
A lack of decent support from proprietary vendors is also driving enterprises into making the jump to open-source solutions, according to Burkhardt.
"For proprietary companies it's more of a cost, and they choose to cut it down," he said. "This is our business. If we don't give good support we starve. "
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