Business sustainability for Open Source

This page collects information, best practices, and other resources for business sustainability of Open Source projects.

Business models

Specific business models or approaches used by other Open Source projects and communities. This section is small but will continue to grow as more knowledge is collected and centralized together.

Training & support

One popular approach to business sustainability is offering training and support for your Open Source product. Your project is Open Source. You may also have documentation that explains how to use it. However, some clients need extra support to integrate new technology into a complex environment. Training and support for using the Open Source software is used by a range of Open Source projects.

This section explores specific examples to review for inspiration and ideas on what this looks like.

Red Hat

Red Hat is a well-known U.S. software company known for their Open Source operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). In addition to RHEL, Red Hat has several other products for enterprise software development with Open Source technology and tools. In many cases, Red Hat is either the largest or one of the largest contributors to several Open Source technologies. However, Red Hat also recognizes the need to validate end-user knowledge of their technologies and to create new relationships with users of their technology. In addition to creating a new revenue stream for the business, it also puts them closer to the needs and feedback of their clients or future clients.

For validation of end-user knowledge, Red Hat has an extensive portfolio of certifications. A selection is shown below:

Dronfies Labs & Portable UTM (Uruguay)

Dronfies Lab, a UNICEF Innovation investee, creates the Open Source tool Portable UTM. Portable UTM is an Open Source Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management system, or U.T.M., for low-connectivity environments in order to support drone delivery and emergency response. It is developed with respect to the NASA UAS Service Supplier Specification. Dronfies provides a profile of their collaboration with UNICEF Innovation during their investment period with the Fund.

Dronfies uses training as a way to both generate revenue and also to empower their users to use their tools most effectively. Dronfies training is made more competitive by their compliance with the NASA UAS Service Supplier Specification. Receiving training by Dronfies with Portable UTM enables trainees to work with other tools that also comply with the common standard. Additionally, training services builds end-user knowledge of the application. New users get up to speed faster by using the new tool according to best practices.

Stock Knowledge (The Philippines)

Stock Knowledge is a Summer 2020 Generation Unlimited inductee with the UNICEF Innovation Fund. Stock Knowledge uses training as a method to support their Open Source Learning Management System (L.M.S.). Check back for more info soon.