Recently at Google’s premier cloud conference Next, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian enthusiastically celebrated the work his team is doing with leading open source companies. Google announced seven partnerships with open source vendors Redis Labs, Confluent, DataStax, Elastic, InfluxData, MongoDB and Neo4j.
As another big West Coast tech company accepts its role in the future of enterprise technology, is this the “we’ve made it” moment for open source?
Develop, not devour
Surely some of you are saying no and making the case for IBM, who bought pioneering open source platform Red Hat for the biggest software acquisition ever for $34 billion, or Microsoft buying code repository GitHub for $7.5 billion. These deals should be applauded to show how important open source technologies have become, however time will tell on how visible these brands are until the corporate marketing machine at Microsoft and IBM kick into gear.
Google’s partnership approach is the benchmark on how the big tech giants can help open source tech companies. Google is treating its partners as first, not third parties, by directly integrating them on the Google Cloud Platform, meaning billing and supports happens on one interface. Google’s approach should be commended because it gives open sources a direct cut of the revenue. Microsoft’s approach with Databricks is like Google’s approach (on a smaller scale) and should be commended.
A cloudy future for AWS
This is a part on how it shouldn’t be done. AWS, arguably the largest public cloud vendor in the world by market share, needs to rethink its open source approach. Currently, AWS is building commercial services on top of the freely-available open source code from the MongoDB and Confluent communities without cutting either company in the revenues generated by AWS.
If they allow this to happen long enough, AWS will alienate developers who want to use the latest and greatest applications on the cloud, and its future cloud revenue.
This take-take approach makes the Google partnerships with MongoDB and Confluent even more interesting.
Apache Awesomeness Accelerated
Open source software powers pretty much every application we use from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. Over the last seven-plus years of working in B2B Tech PR and Marketing, I’ve always felt more could be done to help accelerate the growth of open source companies and now I feel Google is onto something here.
It looks like Apache-based companies, such as Confluent and Databricks, have really caught the eye of developers, Valley tech giants and investors recently.
What’s really great for us in the UK is we will be able to hear the latest from these Apache Allstars and other open source companies in upcoming conferences such as Kafka Summit, Big Data LDN, and Spark + AI Summit Europe.
If you’re a software company who is making developers' lives easier and looking for UK and European advice on Marketing and PR, please give me a shout on firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s no secret that Amazon’s AWS cloud computing platform has a reputation for taking some of the best open-source projects and then forking those and packaging them up under its own brand, often without giving back to the original project.