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Open Source is Becoming an Essential Part of Services Portfolios for Major Services Players, IDC Reveals

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 1, 2006 – According to a recent IDC study, open source is becoming a fundamental aspect of services portfolios for IBM Global Services, HP Services (HPS), Unisys, Novell, and other major services providers. The study also reveals that open source is moving up on the investment agenda of companies worldwide, as services providers (mostly services arms of technology companies) have formalized support, training, and certification services to encourage adoption of open source (principally Linux) on their products. As open source software goes mainstream, IDC finds that services vendors must further develop open source capabilities in order to meet their clients' needs and attract new customers.

"A more widespread adoption of Linux and open source software is encouraged by the increasing availability of a much stronger set of external support, training, consulting, and implementation services," said Sophie Mayo, director, Emerging Technologies: The Services Opportunity. "There is no longer any doubt that enterprises are trying to take advantage of the quality, flexibility, and license cost savings that open source software offers. However, they have to take into consideration integration, maintenance, and support costs while deploying and managing their open source infrastructure."

Mayo adds, "As the adoption increases, services providers are working to become their clients' single point of contact for all of their open source initiatives. They are also creating more refined offerings, including preintegrated stacks of open source or mixed-source components, and are supporting them."

IDC offers the following recommendations for services providers:

— Open source will become business as usual in two to three years, so act today and create direct open source services offerings and embed open source in your solutions where you can

— Be creative with a new services revenue model, as there is no new industry-wide accepted approach yet

— Look beyond support as a way to differentiate yourself

— Learn "the art of componentry," and extend the functionalities of an open source core with commercial plug-ins or extensions, or vice versa

— Demonstrate your commitment to open source and open standards, as open source is at the core of trends toward standardization, optimization, consolidation, and rationalization of the IT infrastructure

The IDC study, Worldwide Open Source Services 2006 Vendor Analysis: The Open Source Services Opportunity (IDC #200994), analyzes the open source services competitive landscape by examining and comparing the leading providers of open source-related services. The study looks at the performance of these firms in addition to their key growth strategies and future directions, and contains an open source services competitive map. This study helps services players, their customers, and alliance partners differentiate the capabilities of firms that provide a wide array of offerings globally. This study is published within IDC's Emerging Technologies: The Services Opportunity program.

To purchase this document, call IDC's Sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. Over 850 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends. For more than 42 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting


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