Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Letter to the EU: Stop the Delay of Oracle's Acquisition of Sun

I could not continue to simply sit by and watch the ongoing delay by the EU with regards to the Oracle/Sun Microsystems deal. I've sent the following letter to Neelie Kroes, commissioner for competition, EU, and wanted to share it here as well.


Attention: Neelie Kroes
Commissioner for Competition
European Union

I’m writing to urge you to stop the delay of Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

With the proliferation of open source software over the last decade, lower barriers to entry have naturally increased healthy competition in the enterprise software market. As a result, the software and technology market has grown far too dynamic to allow one acquisition to stifle competition. In this new marketplace, nearly anyone can create software with little upfront cost and then compete with even the most entrenched players.

Consider the company I lead, Jaspersoft, as just one example of hundreds where a company was founded based on the need to create better software than what was available from existing providers. We’ve created the most widely used business intelligence software in the world by using the open source software development model. Our success – as well as others – is at least partially due to MySQL and the impact it has had on the expansion of the database market using this same model. The market will continue to benefit when MySQL is once again able to fully compete.

With new software development models succeeding, innovation will continue unabated. And, it will happen in the database market. Ingres, PostgreSQL and MariaDB, for example, will only grow stronger and prove to be more competitive. And, new database products will emerge that supplement existing competition.

Furthermore, done properly, Oracle’s acquisition of Sun should serve the market, community and customers even better. The company will be put in a position where it can play an important leadership role in helping its global peers more surely understand the open source model of shared development and community collaboration in addressing rapidly changing customer requirements.

Lastly, I urge you to come to a conclusion on this matter before January. With its delay, the EU is neither hastening more competition nor furthering Oracle's business. In this case, government should step aside and let the market move on.


Brian C. Gentile
Chief Executive Officer

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Government embrace of open source: the times they are a changin’

Substantial advancements are underway proving that open source software, at every level of the stack, is becoming mainstream in the U.S. Federal Government. Speaking at this week’s GOSCON Conference in Washington, the acting DoD CIO, David Wennergren, spoke about the new departmental understanding that open source software which manifests in commercial form is legitimate and should be considered for use.

I’m religious about efficiency and effectiveness in government, believing that strong democracies are built and reinforced through successful capitalism, which (in turn) is hindered when government is allowed to become bloated and expensive. In this sense, the government’s use of open source is necessary.

Further, I’ve previously emphasized how the government’s use of open source can act as a lighthouse of credibility that influences not only all of the public sector but spills into the private sector as well. I highlighted this while praising the choice of Vivek Kundra as the new Federal CIO and now have more first-hand evidence as I’ve spent even more time with government-focused partners and customers.

At Jaspersoft, we’re betting with our time and energy as we’ve enthusiastically joined both Open Source for America and, most recently, the Open Source Software Institute. Our belief is that profound change will come to the public sector partially due to new efficiency brought by technology.

I’m proud that Jaspersoft is at the heart of a new Business Process Management-driven BI application, developed by HandySoft, that delivers sophisticated business intelligence for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This is a system that saves time and delivers vital intelligence information to a large audience simply and powerfully, winning Gartner’s 2009 Innovation Award in the process. NRC adds to our already impressive roster of Government customers like NASA, the DoD, and NIH, giving us all hope that fewer tax dollars are being spent to deliver superior analysis and insight, and ultimately better decisions.

I invite you to follow Jaspersoft’s progress in helping to create more efficient government, at our new government-focused web page. This is our part in the return to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people . . . also known as “community”, which is what open source is all about.

Brian Gentile

Chief Executive Officer