ZAOZAO LIU MIS500 FALL 2012 Should Marty’s company embrace open-source software in its hit product? Marty Dirwey, CEO of Kalley Music Software, is facing a crucial question that whether she should open Amp Up’s source code to users and developers. Undoubtedly, the new strategy which opens source software in KMS’s hit product challenges the current highly successful strategy which prioritizes holding the intellectual property of Amp Up. However, if I were Marty, I would support the new strategy. There are four parts in this paper. 1) analyze a basic but essential issue that why Marty hesitates opening Amp Up’s source code; (2) further explain the reasons why the company should accept the open-source strategy; (3)give some recommendations to KMS; (4) draw the conclusion. The reasons why Marty hesitates opening Amp Up’s source code Essentially, there are three things Marty is worrying about: the feelings of the team, the churn of the customers, and the profit of the company. As we can see from the case, Marty is in a dilemma.
She resists opening the source code, because she is unwilling to give up the source code which is the fruit of painstaking labor of the whole team and she is worrying about how to make money if the company shared the source code of the software which currently is the main source of their revenue. However, on the other hand, if she won’t open the source code, undeniably, she is likely to be seen as the enemy of the users, maybe not the enemy of all users, but at least the enemy of the fanatics, which must lead to be alienated by the customers who play a significant role in the music game field. ZAOZAO LIU MIS500 FALL 2012 The reasons why the company should accept the open-source strategy Based on what’s Marty worried I mentioned above, I will explain the reasons why the company should accept the open-source strategy from three perspectives. Considering the feelings of the team, especially the feelings of programmers, I believe the programmers must cheer for open-source software.
Obvious is that confronting the current situation that inventing and executing dazzling upgrades are becoming harder and harder, programmers who Marty really cares about are fatigue so that they lose the passion in the software so that exhaust the creativity. At the moment, open source is a savior for all the programmers. They can integrate ideas from different developers and based on the basic innovative idea from developers, the programmers are more likely to create more stable and valuable upgrades than their opponents, because the programmers, the parents of Amp Up, must be more familiar with every detail of code.
Another fact we should recognize is that a new generation of programmers has grown up with open source software, and is more skilled in finding out what they need with OSS than with closed and proprietary tools and systems. What mean by this is that with the open-source software, the programmers would work more effectively and efficiently. As to the customer churn, opening Amp Up’s source code to the external developers doesn’t necessarily lead to the customer churn, while closing the source code doesn’t mean that similar and better software would never show up and the customers would be loyal to the company forever.
Actually, infringers with strong competences have already shown up. Thus 2 ZAOZAO LIU MIS500 FALL 2012 open source becomes a must-to-do thing. From my perspective, as long as the programmer team of Amp Up doesn’t give up the innovation of the software, the opponents can hardly take away the original customers. There are two reasons. One reason is that Amp Up has sound brand which has been generally accepted. In my opinion, the code of software is similar to the literature.
Famous literature must be recreated several times, but the readers usually only can remember the original writer and prefer the original work. Thus, Marty doesn’t need to worry about the KMG’s position in the music game will be challenged easily, leading to a large number of customer loss. The other reason is the team of Amp Up, including the programmers, CEO, COO, is professional and visionary and more familiar with the software and mass market so that the team is more likely to have a better understanding of the customers’ preference and cater to the needs of the market.
The strategy of open-source software in KMS’s hit product has a positive impact on enforcing the business transformation from a technology-oriented company to a serviceoriented company, which can bring KMS more opportunity to get more profit. If KMS wouldn’t give away their proprietary IP and open the source, to keep technology advantages in the music game field, they must invest more money in Amp Up, such as maintenance fee of hardware, so the downward tendency of KMS’s profit would be inevitable. Recommendations for KMS In short-term run, KMS should open the source and then integrate and utilize the ideas from different developers to mprove Amp Up quality and get potential customers to the 3 ZAOZAO LIU MIS500 FALL 2012 maximum extent. That is, KMS should utilize Amp Up to capture the last bucket of gold of the music software. After that, KMS should open the platform to third-party companies and provide technical support to those companies which still have the dream of surviving or even thriving in an increasingly competitive music game field. In long-term run, a business transformation of KMS is a must. Besides, I think KMS should still prioritize the innovation, because it has a potent technology team. However, the model of technology innovation should be changed.
Innovation within ecosystem should be a long-term direction. Conclusion KMS should open the source, because Amp Up has already in the open-source community and open source software can bring more potential customers and more profit to KMS. Reference Coyle, Karen. “Open Source, Open Standards. ” Information Technology and Libraries 21. 1 (2002): 33-6. ABI/INFORM Complete. Web. 18 Sep. 2012. Jonathan Schwartz. ”Should Marty’s Should Marty’s company embrace open-source software in its hit product? ” Simon, Phil. “Next Wave of Technologies” opportunities in chaos (03/01/2010) , Chapter 5 4