This question baffles me.

After all, selling services around open source seems to be the future for a lot of the software world. Oracle made 70% of their revenues last year based on services. There are clear arguments to be made in capturing a large mindshare by introducing quality open source products and monetizing it with services, customization and support.

And services, customization and support are areas that the Indian outsourcing industry has already mastered!

They clearly have the manpower, they must be having an insight into industry trends and needs, and they definitely have a strong story on the services side. So why not do it ?

Why didn’t Wipro, TCS or Infosys think of JBoss, Pentaho, Zimbra or zmanda ?

I have talked to many, many people on this, and I don’t buy most of the reasons I have heard – such as “their leadership is not innovative”, or “theres not enough money for them to be bothered”, or “they are too comfortable with their current business model”. Those sort of simplistic reasons dont hold much water, in my opinion.

The only plausible explanation that I have been offered by a friend of mine is this – fear.

Indian outsourcing majors do not want to antagonize any of their potential customers by releasing software that can potentially cannibalise their customers markets.

Is that what this is all about ? Do nothing that could jeopardize any relationship with any future customer ? That seems to tie up Indian companies in a strait jacket with little wiggle room, since one could argue that any product launch competes with a potential customer.

Sumedh Mungee

Sumedh Mungee works as a Principal Engineer developing software for a major optical networking equipment maker in the Silicon Valley. His family runs several tech firms in India. As such, he is always on the brink of entrepreneurship himself.

His varied interests include distributed computing, media, collaboration, e-learning, virtual reality and mass customization.

Sumedh lives in Silicon Valley and holds an M.S. from Washington University and a B.E. from Pune Institute of Computer Technology.

He maintains a personal blog at www.mungee.org