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Is open source collaboration software viable for businesses?

Open source collaboration software could be an attractive option for enterprises looking for something at a low-cost. But most businesses may not be able to fully adopt open source software.

Open source software is great. Developers use it on a daily basis to be more productive at the lowest possible price point: free. That said, can you truly adopt open source collaboration software in your company? The immediate answer is most probably a resounding, "No."

You might work with vendors that use open source software within the collaboration suite they license or sell you, but you won't really notice or care that it is open source collaboration software, as the IT world is slowly moving toward the cloud. Instead of installing and running on-premises services, companies are now comfortable with having these systems managed for them and running data centers they don't own or control directly.

Open source plays a huge part in running these managed software packages -- including collaboration software. But ultimately your company's integration points with collaboration software are done via API interfaces.

The benefits of open source collaboration software aren't seen by the company that plays the role of the customer but rather by the vendor providing the service or selling the product. By leveraging open source software, a vendor can tap into a larger pool of open source-focused developers to work on parts or the entirety of their software-based offerings.

When you choose collaboration software, open source can be a factor in your decision making, but don't give it too much weight.

Do you have a question for Tsahi Levent-Levi or any of our experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! (All questions are treated anonymously.)

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Where do you think open source collaboration fits in the enterprise?