February 22, 2010 11:43 AM GMT
Open Source for OSS requires a CTO with guts and the ability to trust time honoured products and embrace open systems (Linux aside). Our company Gatif produces a Full Open source OSS that is being used by many global carriers and the foundation for at least 2 (two) other industry available products (full SID compliance)
We have decided to release our product as a full open source (Microsoft Visual C++ / Oracle -any platform- database back-end) based offering. Our code is approx 7+ years old and of that 2 years preparing that code base for open source release. We did so hoping to create a community of OSS professionals that would share information and modelling without outside vendor (hardware or software) dependency. Using open systems can do that, almost every industry in the world (telecom aside) has benefited from open systems. As usual the carriers (OSS-CTO’s case in point) world is the last, despite the fact hey are perceived as being the first to offer new technology solutions to industry and end subscribers.
Gatif (our initial offering code named Waypoint) has now been downloaded 100's of users but only them only 6 of them seem to be serious in-house OSS designers/architects that work for carriers of those 6 global carriers two of them have actually done full source code downloads. We hope to assist them to do full blown deployments in the coming months.
The barrier from my perspective is finding a CTO with the ability to understand what really makes up a product offering and find the key staff to do it. The savings are enormous but so is the risk (to the CTO apparently).
If carriers adopt an open source model, the potential is that carriers can work together (Carrier to carrier direct) or employees of those carriers, to share modelling and truly exchange ideas to support their complex systems. Those systems (Complex OSS systems) need not be a barrier for them to be competitive. What they gain is control of their OSS and costs associated to it.
All OSS are ultimately custom systems, so the sooner that Open Source for OSS is embraced by carriers, the better.