This is an exciting time for enterprise software. Never before has there been so much flexibility when choosing enterprise software. However, we are also seeing a convergence in the market between commercial and open source solutions. Both models have their place in today's world, but open source is intensifying the business environment commercial vendors are facing by increasing potential competition and accelerating innovation.

The rising relevance of open source software results from more than its zero-cost nature. Larger businesses also gain nonmonetary but valuable benefits such as source code control and modifiability. The market's acceptance of the open source business model, where companies pay for support instead of the code, pushes the market to focus on open source product development and requires respectable service levels from supporting companies. The answers to most problems related to open source may be freely available through community forums, but many businesses that do not have in-house expertise will want some experts on tap, especially for mission-critical applications such as business intelligence (BI).

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