Open-source software stack vendor OpenLogic has unveiled its OpenLogic JumpStart program, which is designed to help companies better organize and plan their use of open-source software alongside proprietary applications.
The company said JumpStart includes consulting services, a two-day workshop that deals with setting operational policies for implementing open-source software and a 90-day license to try out all of the open-source applications included in the company's preconfigured, pretested Enterprise applications stack.
"JumpStart is a way to get people to get off the sidelines without having to spend an arm and a leg," said Steven Grandchamp, CEO of OpenLogic. "JumpStart helps them take a better look."
Grandchamp said the program starts at about US$25,000 and provides an in-depth look at what companies should keep in mind when implementing open-source applications. If a company chooses to hire OpenLogic to provide open-source stack services after the program is completed, much of the upfront fee will be credited to the continuing services, he said.
The program also deal with what licensing should be used and options for commercial-grade support, Grandchamp said.
Many companies don't realize how they need to have use policies in place for dealing with open-source software -- including selection, sourcing, licensing, approval, usage, maintenance and support, Grandchamp said. "It is a governance and basic standard-of-care issue," he said.
Often, companies jump into open-source without doing their homework or IT workers download open-source applications and add them to corporate infrastructures without approvals or guidelines. "It just shows up," he said.
"What we're really trying to do is help them enterprisewide" by teaching ways of incorporating open-source applications while maintaining proper controls and responsibility for IT systems, Grandchamp said.
The JumpStart program will offer 90 days of support for up to 20 open-source projects included in the OpenLogic Enterprise stack and two days of training and consulting for the use and deployment of the trial stacks.
Michael Goulde, an analyst at Forrester Research, said JumpStart comes at a time when many businesses are beginning to take a closer look at how they approach open-source software.
"A lot of large enterprises who are working with open-source in the context of their mainstream IT strategies are addressing the fact that they need policies in place," Goulde said. "Quite frankly, a lot of them need help."
Companies often have no one to guide them through some of the unique aspects of the open-source world, "so they burn up an awful lot of internal resources with steering committees" and other reviews, Goulde said. Traditional IT consulting companies can help with such planning, but in OpenLogic's case, the help will come from a company already integrally involved in the open-source community, he said.
"This is a good thing, having someone close to the [open-source] projects," Goulde said. "My guess is that people will be looking to have these services in a more cost-effective way. I think there's a good opportunity for it. The need for it ... meets where a lot of mainstream companies are today."