Pivotal and the threat of open source CRM: A strategic assessment

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Thesis type
(Research Project) M.B.A.
Date created
The open source idea is gaining currency. In areas such as scripting languages, web server platforms, and database servers, open source software has managed to compete with and surpass commercial incumbents. Could the CRM industry be next? To answer this question, we introduce four open source case studies: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Identifying commonalities between them, we suggest a framework for explaining the success of open source projects. Based on this framework, we evaluate the likelihood of open source CRM succeeding and pinpoint future developments that would trigger its widespread adoption. We conclude that open source CRM is likely to succeed and that its success will negatively impact commercial CRM vendors. In light of these conclusions, we propose recommendations that Pivotal Corporation - a commercial CRM incumbent - can pursue in order to better position itself in the industry's evolving competitive landscape.
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